It Is Not Going Well for Joe Biden

With his approval rating in hot water, President Joe Biden is keeping his sights on 2024, but his party is already thinking about his succession.

The problems Biden faces in the Middle East this week are huge, but they must seem small compared to the challenge of resurrecting his popular approval rating, which is languishing at the same low levels as his predecessor’s.

Although Biden says he is determined to run for a second term, his supporters are less convinced. He would probably do well to listen to them.

Unavoidable Problems

Joe Biden is not doing a bad job under the circumstances, but factors beyond his control have turned much of the public against him, and there is little he can do about it.

His policies to bring the country out of the pandemic and the recession were not bad, but like everywhere else in the world, the virus lingered. And in the eyes of the public, inflation wiped out the gains of the stimulus.

International crises do not help. In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Biden championed the strengthening of NATO, but he has fallen short when it comes to the impact of the war on energy and food prices. He is also not responsible for the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, but he will suffer the consequences as Iran resumes its nuclear program.

Biden also faces the frustration of the Democratic partisan base. Despite the success of his post-pandemic stimulus programs and infrastructure bill, his inability to pass large parts of his agenda is fueling perceptions of weakness.

An Inescapable Reality

Biden is also facing negative perceptions regarding another factor beyond his control: his age. It is a matter of image, but image is unforgiving. Although it’s clear that he has a good grasp of the issues, all his hesitations and physical and verbal blunders are being blown out of proportion.

It is well known that being president of the United States ages a man quite quickly, and there is little chance that Biden will be able to counteract these perceptions by November 2024.

Mission Accomplished?

For Biden, the incentive to persevere is strong, especially if Donald Trump insists on staying in the picture. Moreover, a president who would give up on running again so early in his term would normally seem very weak.

Nevertheless, there would be nothing dishonorable about not seeking a second term at his older age. His mission was to spare his country and the world a second Trump term and to emerge from an unprecedented pandemic. He accomplished it, and that is no small feat.

If Biden foregoes a second term, the candidates seeking o succeed him will be able to sing the praises of his successes rather than play up his weaknesses, which could help him maintain authority over his party after a tough midterm election.

In his place, Democrats will have to find a candidate who will inspire their partisan base without scaring off the more frightened voters in the center. Who will be that rare gem? This far in advance, it’s hard to call.

About this publication

About Mollie Lippett 43 Articles
I am a British freelance translator and subtitler based in the UK. I have a BA in Modern Languages and Translation from the Univerity of Nottingham and am currently studying for an MA in Translation Studies. I work as a professional translator and subtitler working from both French and Spanish into English.

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