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Biden Bets on the Low Expectations of the American People

Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2023
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by Daniel Berman
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

One thing can be said for the announcement video for Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign, which runs to a little over three minutes. Biden and the Democrats are willing to defy historical conventional wisdom, which since the time of Harry Truman has said that when presidents run for reelection, “the buck stops here.”

The video opens with images of January 6, as Biden intones about threats to democracy, followed by images of protestors carrying banners declaring “Abortion is a right” and “Trans Rights are human rights.” Watching the video, one could be forgiven for wondering just who the president has been for the past two and a half years.

As ominous music plays, Biden intones that “they are banning books.” He warns of attacks on Social Security, and enjoins that “hate should have no place.” While the extraordinarily dark video brightens up slightly during the final minute, there should be no doubt about the tone of the campaign Americans should expect from the incumbent president next year: Joe Biden is all that stands between America and the ostensibly terrible things happening right now while he is in office.

It would be a mistake to disparage the potential effectiveness of this strategy. Elections over the past year, from last month’s Supreme Court race in Wisconsin to the 2022 midterms, stand as a testament to the ability of Democrats to run effective scare campaigns on abortion. The steady descent of a long-overdue stand for parental rights in Florida into an increasingly confused spat with Disney explains why Democrats might believe that an issue that has until recently been a liability might suddenly play favorably. Painting your opponents as caricatures is much simpler when they compliantly act like ones.

In fact, given the poor standing of Joe Biden in the polls, with numbers resembling those of Jimmy Carter, this may be not just the best strategy but the only one with a real chance of success. Biden can afford to lose Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia if he holds Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Democrats did well in all three of the latter in 2022. A large part of that was by using culture war issues to mobilize the liberal base.

Presidential campaigns are not mere matters of strategy. Voters, at the end of the day, are choosing someone who for the next four years will be responsible for the country, not a mid-level manager. Many journalists and academics who believe America would benefit from being governed by mid-level management types have correspondingly bemoaned our political system, including primaries and the electoral college. The question “who would you rather have a beer with?” has become a term of mockery when it is brought up every cycle, as if it is an unfair standard through which voters reject the stewardship of their betters merely because their betters have more important things to do than pretend to be tolerable human beings.

The question is in reality a proxy for trust. Do they have any sense of people like you? Could you trust this person with your life? After all, that is what we are doing by making them president of the most powerful country on earth. Our fight or flight instincts are finely honed to survival, and that includes being able to generate discomfort and distrust when confronted by individuals who we can sense are dangerous even if we cannot specify precisely why.

Napoleon once asked of one of his marshals when told he was skilled, “But is he lucky?” Voters want a winner, because they viscerally sense from their own experiences that for reasons we can’t explain, certain individuals go through life triumphing, even when the odds are against them and by rights they should fail. Others, meanwhile, bring misfortune in their wake, not necessarily through malice, but because they are simply missing certain traits.

One of Joe Biden’s problems, and a problem which is made worse by his message, is that he is a loser. He lost his bids for the presidency in 1988 and 2008. He lost most of the political fights he picked under Obama. He was pushed aside by Hillary. In office, he lost in Afghanistan, he has been mocked by the Saudis, Mexico, and even the new left-wing president of Brazil whom he did everything in his power to install in office. Supply chains collapsed into the same disorder as Biden’s legislative agenda in 2021, while parents of children with ADHD still cannot acquire medication six months into a national shortage.

Republicans may be apt to object to Biden as an extremist and a danger to the country, but it is Democrats and liberals who should be most concerned about his record of professional losses. Under Joe Biden, Roe v. Wade fell, nearly half the country restricted abortion, and the administration narrowly dodged having FDA approval of a major drug reversed. It was under Biden that states proceeded to restrict minors from changing genders, restrict women’s sports to biological women, and attack DEI investment. Biden bemoans mass shootings, but if they have gotten worse, alongside crime, he seems powerless to stop it.

The first minute and a half of Biden’s campaign video is a narrative of failure. On not one of the issues brought up has Biden triumphed. On most, from a liberal perspective, things have become worse. Even the achievements mentioned, such as student loan relief, are under threat, and given Biden’s record, it should be assumed they are doomed.

The problem with running a campaign strategy around saying “at least things aren’t worse” is that you concede that things are unlikely to get better. Biden has no second term agenda. In fact, he argues in the ad that the reason he is running for reelection is that things are bad, and would be worse without him, not because things are better with him, much less that they will improve in a second term. He can offer more of the same, and the same is not very popular.

Jimmy Carter ran this strategy in 1980. He conceded America was in the grip of “malaise” but argued this was still the “best of all possible worlds” and that the alternatives were too dangerous to attempt. This enabled him to overcome a primary challenge from Ted Kennedy and allowed him to remain tied with Ronald Reagan until the final week. It is conceivable that against a more generic Republican without Reagan’s vision or optimism Carter might well have been able to demoralize the electorate into reelecting him.

That only works if voters are convinced that all their options are losers. In that case, they might as well vote for the loser who will try to do things they like, even if ineffectively, over one who might do things they don’t like. But the moment they begin to doubt that their only options are losers, the strategy begins to collapse.

Joe Biden is betting on a very narrow path to reelection. He is betting that Americans will accept that this is the best things can get and settle for a comfortable failure and decline. He may be right. Voters have never liked the Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.” It will be up to Republicans to convince voters they can aspire for something more.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.

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Max
Max
1 year ago

Well, has nothing has changed in the way that Pres. Biden has chosen to run again. His HANDLERS have chosen the most appropriate way as to stand a chance to win re-election in 2024. CREATE FEAR in the populace who haven’t a true clue of what has been going on since Jan 2021 and keep most of the populace off balance and keep up with all lies and distractions with MSM.

Donna
Donna
1 year ago

We with hope, courage and faith in God should knock the anvil of fear from the the hands of the authoritarians. God will help us.

George
George
1 year ago

Most people are too stupid to see what is going on. The Democratic Communist party will leverage that.

John (Salem NH)
John (Salem NH)
1 year ago

Great article Mr. Berman.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Been bad day 1 since in office & maybe during Senate years

Veteran
Veteran
1 year ago

This persecution of Americans and their kids by the federal government has to stop! If we need to have a Convention of States and eliminate 97% of the federal government, so be it! It was created to guarantee and protect our rights, not eliminate them and enslave us.

susabella
susabella
1 year ago

Biden may be running, but I’m pretty sure he won’t end up on the ballot. No one, and I mean no one, wants Kamala to take over.

SAW
SAW
1 year ago

“Biden Bets on the Low Expectations of the American People”
Very captive, well written and informative article Mr. Berman.

“American People” – would that be those that are legal Americans or would it be the continual flow of illegal aliens from every corner of the world which are now considered American People?

The illegal aliens children are sent to our schools to learn our language and hopefully prosper but they are also being immediately indoctrinated into the Woke Society of losers through the corrupt teachers union.

Ann S
Ann S
1 year ago

Why are Americans not capable of seeing what Brandon is doing to America and to them. Why is it in America we vote for personalities and not for what they do for or against America. That video shows exactly what Brandon did wrong the last 2 years. His failures. They have been banning books pushed trans on our kids set up Jan 6.
If you can’t show anything more than this crap you are not good for our country. Vote him out.

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Tens of millions of Americans have been totally brainwashed to believe that Biden, no matter how incompetent, is a better choice than Donald Trump the egomaniac. The “I Hate Trump” movement is still so overwhelmingly rampant, that another presidential race between Traitor Joe and President Trump could easily be a toss up, with Biden actually winning a very close election. The Republicans must do their utmost to keep on openly investigating the Biden Crime Syndicate. The chance that Biden’s corruption will finally be exposed to the American public is actually becoming greater and greater, no matter how much the mainstream media lie and refuse to report the actual truth. The Republicans actually have a chance to expose Biden for the decrepit criminal that he really is. It’s going to be tough to finally get justice for us, the American people, but the welfare of our great country depends on it. If the USA falls, hope for all mankind will significantly suffer.

legally present
legally present
1 year ago

Not so sure Michigan is totally Democrat now, the auto industry is cutting 35,000 jobs in Michigan, the battery companies are going to Indiana. Our STUPID Governor reversed the Right to work law, that if your company, teachers union, or any unionized company, you WILL now be force to pay those union dues because they need to fill the Democrat coffers. Wonder how those Auto workers are feeling now that they’ve been stabbed in the back AGAIN. It’s all about LGBTQ or any other letter of the alphabet that you MUST respect their right to be whatever they want to be, I DON’T CARE what you want to be, I wouldn’t even know if you weren’t out advertising it. And don’t forget it’s almost all white kids falling for this BS, transgender, and NO children for you. They are nothing but EVIL pushing this BS on kids.

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
1 year ago

Biden has friends in low places where the drugs flow and there are 12 year old rapist. Epstein likes it here and Biden is near. Yup Biden has friends in low places where the dollars flow and there’s Chinese faces to chase the honest away every day.

Terry Serbus
Terry Serbus
1 year ago

Need to stop all early voting and ballot harvesting, SAME DAY ONLY NO EXCEPTIONS! Then the extreme and euphoric will disappear, for good.

Paul W
Paul W
1 year ago

I think what the stumblebum and his handlers are betting on is the completely compromised, farcical “election” system that the plandemic facilitated. I’m not sure, however, that the d.n.c. will GIVE him the nomination this time around. They may, if he still operates as the useful idiot that he has been for the last two and a half hellish years. A lot probably depends on whether he and his crackhead son face legal repercussions, but with this d.o.j. and f.b.i., I wouldn’t bet the farm on that. I wouldn’t bet a nickel on that!

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
1 year ago

Democrats love to talk about Republican “threats” to democracy. The invasion of the Capitol has been portrayed as such, but how many weapons were seized by authorities in the Capitol building? An insurrection requires more than a mob, especially when the police, FBI, DC mayor and Nancy Queen of Mean all expected problems. A real threat to democracy is when non-elected political hacks decide that we all need to get COVID inoculations or tell us that we must buy EVs after a certain date or potentially stop using gas stoves. Where is the legislation for that? They talk about abortion “rights.” I don’t see that in the Constitution anywhere. I don’t see legislation making it a right. Depending upon the court system to grant rights where none exist isn’t democracy. Then there is “hate” speech. As Democrats define it, hate speech is whatever speech is counter to their concept of how things should be.

I wish I could say voters are smart enough to see that. Often the same people who tell me how bad things are going in the country also tell me that if it comes down to Trump vs. Biden, they will have to vote for Biden. I ask them if the economy was bad during Trump’s administration or if the border was being invaded when Trump was president. They respond no it wasn’t, but they just don’t like Trump as a person and can’t vote for him. I had professors in college that I didn’t “like” personally because they were demanding and graded tough. I also learned a lot from them because I knew they demanded that I understand the subject matter (such as chemistry and physics) in order to graduate. For president, I don’t want to elect someone who I want to have a beer with, I want someone who will restore our standing in the world, secure the border, reinvigorate the economy and not bow and scrape before the woke ideology of the few.

mytake
mytake
1 year ago

How much reality has to be shoved in the face of people who don’t like Trump versus a tyrant and traitor. Biden is not fit and if they don’t see it, they are beyond stupid tunnel vision.

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

Lowest common denominator has always and will always get you just that, the lowest, nothing more nothing less.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

It is quite amazing that infanticide draws so much support from the Left and many many Americans. Nutty times we live in for sure when the support for infanticide is the main issue of how people will vote.

Barbara P. Turner
Barbara P. Turner
1 year ago

Mumbling old FOOL IS WHAT HE IS!!! He’s insane! Get him out! NOWWWWW!!!!

heil biden
heil biden
1 year ago

BRANDON PELOSI AND SHUMER ARE PRINTING BIDEN BALLOTS AS WE SPEAK

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

Biden isn’t Carter and this country is vastly different than in 1980. Let me put it directly- would Reagan win handily today? I say no way. Half the country hates the country yet wants more free stuff from it. They’re like scavengers on a carcass waiting their chance to gorge. How else could this cadaver be at 40% approval. The ten% who don’t approve are impatient with his progress in ruining the country.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Only LOSERS follow and believe Dictator Beijing biden and his Socialist/Communist Fascist Party cause they ALL have a very low I.Q..
As STUPID as Beijing biden and Communist harris are they think that the rest of us are as Dumb as they are.
Go Brandon. Go BROKE just like WOKE.

Karen comisk
Karen comisk
1 year ago

He’s not competent. Bottom line.

MariaRose
MariaRose
1 year ago

Anyone who thinks life in America has become better is drinking too much of the Kool-Aid to rationally think about the actual effects. Sure criminals now know that major felony crimes are merely misdemeanors, including murder, because they can claim they were not given enough “equity” changes in their lives, making their actions not their fault. Rising prices on everything–food, utilities, jobs–but we are supposed to think that’s okay. But the worse thing about this, is somehow Biden will be re-elected by whatever machinery tactics they will do to fix the election counts.

BEA
BEA
1 year ago

Joe Biden is the worst president ever elected in the US of America, and will probably be elected, again. The Republicans will blow it, again. We need a third party!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ed Giambalvo
Ed Giambalvo
1 year ago

Republican leadership’s inability to recognize the middle of the road on culture issues may yet be our undoing, despite Biden dragging us closer and closer to the abyss. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve got a very bad feeling about 2024.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

1. Jan 6 was orchestrated by Bidums socialist left with planted Fed agents and Capitol police, Ray Epps and others. Bidum and his sycophants called It a terrible insurrection, but the Feds own video that only Tucker Carlson would broadcast, showed people just walking peacefully thru the Capitol often escorted by Capitol Police. 
2. Abortion is the murder of one’s own baby by a doctor, that is a crime, not a right! 
3. ‘Trans’ are some confused and sick young individuals who will be devastated later at what they did when they were not old enough to understand that it is a life sentence and is irreversible. 
4. Conservatives are not “banning books”, but do want “age inappropriate books” removed from school libraries that have exposure to kids too young for those books. 
5. The same goes for “drag queen” shows! That is sick and inappropriate for anyone of any age. 
That is just morals, and we used to have that!
Bidum is called a perp for a reason. Any father who likes to shower with his daughter and sniff every little girl would likely be labeled the same.
This is not about the political parties or Democrats in particular, although Harry Truman, JFK and many other Democrats of old are spinning in their graves at what their party has become and this is the reason many are leaving the party. It has become the socialist left party! Do you realize how many thousands of Americans died fighting Communism/Socialism? And now Biden’s “democrats” are pushing that very same ideology in America. It is why they create so many crises, so we will be distracted as they gain control.  
It is also why they have tried to “get” Pres. Trump for 7 years now. 
Unfortunately, I am sure this constant criminalizing of Trump has had a negative affect on some voters, even though there has never been any evidence of wrongdoing by Trump. 
But there has been so much evidence of criminal behavior by Biden, his son and every clown Joe has chosen for his administration and it continues even as he lies, it didn’t happen. Truth Comes Out!

Since America’s founding, Americans had morals and a respect for God, Americans and America was respected. 
But now World’s leaders mock Biden and America, and America has never been in more danger. 

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Sure we have low expectations. We don’t have a Chi-com pointing a rifle at us yet
so we’re happy . Right ? Forget the fact that we will all be commie or dead by 2030.
t

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

Biden warns of attacks on Social Security, but offers no ideas of what plans are to keep this intact in future. Trump ads attack Desantsis for voting to cut SS when he was in Congress & says that he Trump will protect Social Security. I want to know what plan of Trump consists of & does he still want to roll SS fund into the General Fund. Congress needs to quit kicking SS plan down the road to future administrations & start shoring up this fund for future benefits. And pay back the money they have borrowed from SS fund & not find a way to hide this in a dark hole. I am watching this & I hope others are also.

q

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Sure we’re used to low achievement. We have watched our education system rot for 50 years and have sat back and done nothing. We have given our industry to the Chi-coms. We have strapped the taxpayer to a deficit that will never be paid and the world knows it. We have spent trillions to
protect NATO and have been paid nothing. etc. etc..etc. Its amazing that the US has held itself
together for this long while abusing itself. Many of us hate what we are. The problem is that
the haters would stay here and b_i_t_c_h instead of doing anything (like work) rather than leave. About 1/3 rd of our nation dosen’t deserve to be here. How do I know that ? Because I say so and thats good enough for me.

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