There are grumblings among the Democratic intelligentsia suggesting their leader is not doing much to help the party as it struggles to form a coherent strategy to make sure they avoid the boot to the derriere they are set to receive in the upcoming midterm elections. A new CNN report shows that many on the left are unhappy with President Joe Biden’s lack of engagement with Democratic candidates who want his support.
In three dozen exclusive interviews with CNN, top Democratic politicians, campaign officials and operatives say the White House political operation is heading into the midterms unprepared and unresponsive even to basic requests for help or information.
The report notes that “Democratic leaders have significant concerns with the White House’s approach to getting the President to break through,” and that the people tasked with ensuring Democrats remain in power “doubt that Biden’s team understands how to improve his political fate – and with it, theirs.”
Some senior Democratic leaders told CNN that the White House seems to lack “both a political strategy and the discipline to execute one.” The report also notes:
Focus groups are giving party operatives nightmares. Biden is coming across as old and absent, they say. Real and perceived fumbles play into deep fears that he’s not up to the job and that Democrats are incompetent. Few Americans can say what was in the massive bills he’s signed, though many have heard about Democratic infighting and failure in what he hasn’t signed.
This is an issue about which Democratic leadership is worried, and it appears their fears are not unfounded. CNN notes that behind closed doors, “they are petrified that a Republican majority would end Biden’s agenda and swamp them with endless investigations and subpoenas, promise impeachment and potentially endanger fair certification of the next presidential election.”
A high-level operative working on campaigns said it does not seem as if “they’re dealing with the politics with the urgency of what’s currently at stake.”
Naturally, the White House is dismissing these concerns. Biden aides told CNN that he has been busy dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy. An adviser to the president said he believes the administration has enough time to rebound from his abysmal approval ratings.
“History is against us, and we have work to do here,” the adviser explained. “But I am not over-torqued by where we are, because we have the right story, we have the right person who can connect with people. … We have to work harder, but we have the ingredients and the pieces.”
Other Democrats acknowledged that their messaging strategy hasn’t been quite on point, and some have been overly reliant on the president to carry them.
“We haven’t talked about our accomplishments near enough. The accomplishments by definition will delineate who’s for what, and who’s not for what,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) “I point the finger at myself as much as everybody in the Senate, as much as everybody in the House, as much as everybody in the executive branch.”
There also seems to be a disconnect between the White House and congressional Democrats over messaging. From CNN:
It’s how they’re using their time that worries people, though, with less than nine months to go until the midterms. In early December, Biden sent two very senior staffers — his communications director and his National Economic Council director — to the Hill to meet with the Democratic senators in charge of steering their caucus agenda. Kate Bedingfield and Brian Deese delivered a PowerPoint presentation, urging the lawmakers to craft a “Whose side are you on?” appeal to voters.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan ripped into the White House suggestions. They wanted stronger contrasts, a clearer case. They wanted Biden to call Republicans out as “shills” for corporate interests and blame them for endangering public health and the economy.
Stabenow told the White House’s delegation that their wording was “not strong enough.”
Other Democrats shared Stabenows’ opinion that the White House’s approach was too milquetoast. They complained that White House chief of staff Ron Klain “hasn’t pressed Biden to respond in more forceful ways.”
This demonstrates a lack of awareness on their part, however. If comparing one’s opponents to Bull Connor and other supporters of Jim Crow just for a disagreement on voting rights legislation isn’t strong enough, it would be quite interesting to see what would fit this bill.
This development is yet another that suggests that Democrats are headed towards disaster in November. As I wrote previously, it is not common for the left to fail this hard when it comes to messaging. Yet, here we are. The fact that President Biden seems to have checked out isn’t helping matters either. His seeming lack of interest in helping Democrats retain their positions in November is a prime indicator that the party has much to be afraid of.
It seems to me that the Democrats’ biggest mistakes can be seen in how heavily they have overplayed their hand. They have doubled down on forcing Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccination. Leftists colluded with Biden’s Justice Department to essentially label parents protesting Critical Race Theory in schools as “domestic terrorists.” They claim those opposing the two voting rights bills Democrats proposed are perpetuating “Jim Crow 2.0.”
Now, at the beginning of 2022, Democrats still have not learned their lesson and are still pushing their rhetoric to the extreme. At this point, the Democrats seem intent on losing, which presents an opportunity for conservative voters – but only if they are willing to show up during primary season.
UPDATE [6:14 p.m. EST, 1/21/22]: In an email statement to RedState, Sen. Klobuchar’s office sent along this “correction” to CNN’s reporting.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan ripped into the White House suggestions. They wanted stronger contrasts, a clearer case. Senators in the room wanted Biden to call Republicans out as “shills” for corporate interests and blame them for endangering public health and the economy.