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Trump V. Biden – Die is Cast

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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20 Comments
Trump vs Biden 2024 Election

The die seems to be cast.  Above any waterfall, the current quickens, making escape difficult. You get to a point of no return. Likewise, a broad river becoming a narrow gorge speeds up – the same volume and force but a smaller cross-section; escape is hard. Elections are like that, especially presidential ones.  This is almost certain to be Trump versus Biden, like it or not.

Right now, as candidates prepare to shoot the rapids of Super Tuesday, the current is racing. In practical terms, despite anti-Trump money initially keeping Nikki Haley in the mix, her candidacy is over, the chief concern of Republicans is how to stay unified, focus the message, and get through the eye of the needle.

In the same way, Democrats are – their August convention notwithstanding – nearing a point of no return with Biden’s candidacy. On March 5, 15 states vote in the door-jam we call Super Tuesday.

Assuming Biden – and Trump – take most (or all) of the delegates awarded, the chances of any candidate, right, left, center, or third party overtaking them for their respective party nominations is astronomical.

As a matter of record, a sudden swap-out of one candidate for another at a national convention is almost unheard of, the only exceptions being a nominee with the thinnest of delegate margins or outing himself.

In 12 presidential nominating conventions a candidate has failed to win on the first ballot. These included Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 Republican convention, where he had only 22 percent of the delegates – yet was nominated; neither of his two rivals had a majority and each needed fewer votes than Lincoln to win; but mutual dislike gave it to Lincoln.

Democrats – supporting slavery – were worse in 1860, Kentucky’s John Breckenridge was selected by southern Democrats over Stephen Douglas, whom Lincoln had debated for a Senate seat he lost. This time, Lincoln won the presidential election decisively, with Mainer Hannibal Hamlin as his running mate.

While we do live in ideologically torn times, they do not compare with the violent hatreds that roiled – and ultimately destroyed – the Union in 1860.  There is some consolation in that, despite much danger.

We live in times many consider existential (at least for representative democracy), rising to “end time” status. This election may decide if America remains a republic of laws, honest language, respect for the Bill of Rights, free markets, speech, worship, press, and freedom from oppression by concentrated power – or goes the other way, giving up our compass and future to Marxism, unaccountable oppression.

But that is different from 1860, when the inevitability of a massive armed conflict, one that took 620, 000 American lives and remade the nation by force, was a dark shadow. We must pray such a development never returns, as it would be multiple more dangerous, Communist China, ruthless Russia, and a potentially nuclear Iran just waiting.

Similarly, other surprise conventions grew out of mass uncertainty about the candidates and nation, a level sufficient to disrupt all expectations, producing a contested convention, a different ticket.

James Polk in 1844 was the ultimate dark horse, not one delegate to his name on the first ballot, but victor by the 9th, as big issues loomed.  Good choice, he had no Trump (or Biden) delegate count to overcome.

Another contested convention was in 1880, with six contenders with delegates, all losing to compromise candidate and Civil War hero James Garfield. But again, no clear delegate winner.

In 1924, Democrats were sorely divided, never found unity, and picked one side on the 103rd ballot. That convention is a solemn lesson in how division produces more heat than light – and loses the big fight.

That year, the Democrat nominee – who faced Calvin Coolidge and lost – was John Davis. Ever heard of him? No wonder. Interestingly, even FDR himself needed four ballots in 1932.

Other examples of close nominating fights include 1976, when Ford edged Reagan, and 1980, when Carter edged Ted Kennedy, those conventions loud bell buoys, warning about how you hit things in a political fog. Ford was soundly beaten by Carter in 1976, and Carter was soundly beaten by Reagan in 1980.

1968 offers a strange comparison to 2024, but only barely – and not in ways that suggest lead horses will change before, at, or after the conventions. That year, Lyndon Johnson was president. He bowed out at in March, which Biden could do – but conditions today are far different.

Johnson was forcefully challenged by left-leaning, anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy and former AG Robert F. Kennedy, whose brother John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated only five years before.

Emotions were high, higher when RFK – father of this year’s independent candidate RFK Jr – was also assassinated, along with Martin Luther King. Political violence surged, and Democrats chose Johnson’s VP, Humbert Humphery, and Maine Senator Ed Muskie for their ticket. They lost to Nixon-Agnew.

The key for Johnson, what prompted his withdrawal, was gross mismanagement of the Vietnam War, which raged on, and a weakening economy.  Johnson, unlike Biden, barely won NH and was about to lose Wisconsin.

The biggest factor, beyond abandonment by his party, was that Johnson himself saw the handwriting on the wall, and the likelihood that his errors would defeat him, so he quit. Biden and his wife, not to mention his vice president, Kamilla Harris – hardly a Hubert Humphery – do not want to go, and will never quit.

Reality: The 2024 current is now fast. Barring calamity, neither Trump nor Biden will be replaced, or that is what history suggests. The current is already fast, too late for that.  This creates a rematch that will make history, oldest two candidates, the highest negatives and on Trump’s side positives, in recent history, and huge issues – indeed, the whole future – in the balance. The die seems cast.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
1 month ago

I’m going to roll the dice here and wager the Dems will not run with Biden. I highly suspect they will parachute someone in at the last minute.

Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
1 month ago

New Trump bumper sticker… “Hang On!… I’m coming!” And boy do I have a big can of whoop-ass to show you!

granky
granky
1 month ago

I doubt Biden will be the candidate in November, I will be amazed if he finishes this term.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

Yes it is cast but also tampered with

Harold
Harold
1 month ago

Good job, that’s a well-researched article. However, I still believe that at the Democratic National Convention, Biden will stumble through a teleprompted speech in which he cites his health as the reason he is stepping aside. Then Michelle Obama enters from stage left.

Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
1 month ago

I would bet my last dollar… this will never happen. The polls won’t allow it (The DNC live and die by the polls) and there is no way Biden does a “after sundown” debate with Trump.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

I think they’re going to quietly force him and Kamala out at their convention when they realize even cheating or fascist prosecutors can’t save him. Newsome is spending a lot of air time lately. Think Biden was bad? Imagine the Pommade Kid in the WH…

Rich
Rich
1 month ago

Reading just the headline, it’s “Americans vs. communists.”

John Shipway
John Shipway
1 month ago

I saw the name “Biden” and “DIE” in the headline and started seriously partying…….then I read down a bit and got really bummed.

SoldiersCross
SoldiersCross
1 month ago

Robert B. Charles did you use ChatGPT to write this article? Humbert Humphery? Kamilla Harris?

Rita Needham
Rita Needham
1 month ago

Great analysis! Thank you.

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