Biden Fighting Battles on All Fronts — The Old Man Is Capable of Even More

At 81, the U.S. president is navigating his way through a brutal election campaign and international crises from Ukraine to Gaza — that’s impressive!

Under normal circumstances, Joe Biden would likely have celebrated his landslide opening victory in the South Carolina primary in the state. And he probably would have done so in idyllic Charleston, together with the African American community there, who once again threw him a lifeline, as they did in 2020. The circumstances did not allow it.

Biden’s daily agenda is jam-packed. The domestic (border chaos/illegal immigration) and foreign policy (Middle East, China/Taiwan) crises are piling up. In Congress, the Democratic president is dealing with a Republican opposition that is focused only on obstruction. With nine months until the presidential election, the public views Biden as being on a downward path despite the fact the economy remains strong. Biden’s reelection remains questionable at the moment — South Carolina does not change that.

Biden’s Agenda Would Push Younger Leaders to Their Limits

Biden’s structural disadvantage is that, unlike his presumed challenger, Donald Trump, he does not have the option of being vainly absorbed in his own affairs 24/7, giving one meaningless soapbox speech after another.

In addition to the election campaign, the U.S. president, who has suffered badly in polls, has a highly complex agenda that would push much younger heads of state to their limits.

The fact that Joe Biden, at 81, has managed this workload so far and the way he’s done so deserves respect. It’s true that Biden stumbles, wobbles and gets muddled (too) often in the public arena. However, the picture that even his critics paint is that behind the scenes, the oldest president of the United States is alert, fully functional and still eager to go on the offensive, as the crude remarks he made privately about Trump illustrate. The Republicans’ hate-fueled narrative of a grandpa in the early stages of dementia who has long stood back while others pull the strings has always been “fake news.”

The fact that foreign policy is dominating the U.S. agenda — be it the war in Ukraine or Israel’s war in Gaza and the broader consequences in the Middle East — in the run-up to the election of the 47th U.S. president is both an opportunity and a risk for Biden. His initially unequivocal support for Israel and its military response to the atrocities committed by Hamas has the potential to become explosive at home, given the 27,000 Palestinians who have been killed, including many women and children.

Polls show that half of Americans no longer approve of Israel’s actions in Gaza and nor of White House declarations of support for the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Young voters, African Americans and the progressive, left-leaning section of the Democratic Party in particular are calling for a course correction in support of the Palestinian civilian population. Biden can’t afford to ignore these demands. If he does, he will get his comeuppance in key states such as Michigan, which has a significant Arab population, in November.

This is the context in which we must understand Biden’s enormous efforts to achieve an imminent ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all Israeli hostages with the help of Saudi Arabia.

Only then will there be a chance that the proxy wars launched by Iran via the Houthis in Yemen and Islamist militias in Syria and Iraq will come to an end. Only then will the risk of American retaliatory strikes against these groups, tipping the dominoes in the Middle East toward catastrophe, diminish.

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About Kirsty Low 76 Articles
I am a German to English translator from Scotland with a passion for all things related to language and translation. I have experience translating texts from diverse fields and enjoy taking on new challenges.

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