Will He, Or Won’t He? Biden Says He Will Run Again, But Some Democrats Have Their Doubts.

Photo: Joe Biden 3 years ago. More recently he has looked frail in public appearances and there are questions as to how effective he can be as a chief executive.
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U.S. President Joe Biden has repeated that he has no doubt that he is running for re-election and will campaign for another four years in the White House.

Some of Biden’s Democratic colleagues are not sure he can defeat Donald Trump, however, and they are treating his decision to keep campaigning as a question that is still up in the air.

There are really two questions: #1 Is Biden mentally and physically fit enough to effectively campaign for office between now and November, and #2 Is Biden capable of acting as the leader of the free world for another four years in an era of international turbulence?

Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker of the House of Representatives and still an influential voice in Democratic circles, on Wednesday was the latest to express less than certainty that Biden will be the Democratic standard bearer in the November 5 election.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” Pelosi told MSNBC. “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short. He’s beloved, he is respected, and people want him to make that decision. Not me.”

A news anchor noted that Biden “has made the decision. He has said firmly this week he is going to run. Do you want him to run?”

Pelosi responded, “I want him to do whatever he decides to do, and that’s — that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides, we go with.”

Biden has vowed to stay in the race, saying that only “the Lord Almighty” asking him to end his campaign could force him out and urging Democratic lawmakers earlier this week to quickly get behind his campaign and end the drama over whether he might drop out.

At least nine of the 213 Democrats in the House of Representatives and one senator, Peter Welch of Vermont, have called on the 81-year-old Biden to withdraw from his campaign, with Vice President Kamala Harris possibly replacing him as the Democratic presidential nominee.

But many more Democratic lawmakers have voiced concern about whether Biden has the mental acuity and physical stamina to defeat Trump a second time, let alone serve for another four years as president, after stumbling badly and often losing his train of thought in their late June debate. Trump has edged ahead of Biden in national polling and in key political battleground states that are crucial to both candidates.

Actor George Clooney, who co-hosted a massive Hollywood fundraiser for Biden last month, on Wednesday was the latest Democratic supporter of the president to call for him to end his run for a new term in the White House starting next January, saying in a New York Times opinion piece that Biden had declined physically and mentally.

Saying “the dam has broken,” Clooney wrote, “We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth.”

“Top Democrats — Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi — and senators, representatives and other candidates who face losing in November need to ask this president to voluntarily step aside,” Clooney said.

Democratic senators and House members met separately behind closed doors on Tuesday, some voicing support for Biden staying in the race, a handful in the House calling for him to end his candidacy. Many expressed concerns about his campaign, especially since a losing Biden campaign could also sharply diminish Democrats’ chances of maintaining their slim Senate majority or retaking control of the House from Republicans.

Some of the Democratic lawmakers adopted a wait-and-see stance on Biden continuing in the presidential race as he hosts the NATO summit this week in Washington and on Thursday holds a rare solo news conference, a sure-to-be watched event to see whether Biden can authoritatively answer reporters’ questions.

“Right now, President Biden is the nominee, and we support the Democratic nominee that will beat Donald Trump,” a House Democratic leader, Representative Pete Aguilar of California, said Tuesday. “Let’s see. Let’s see the press conference. Let’s see the campaign stops. Let’s see all of this, because all of it is going to be necessary.”

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado told his Democratic colleagues he did not think Biden would win the election, later telling CNN he thinks Trump is on track to “maybe win it by a landslide and take with him the Senate and the House.” But he declined to say Biden should step aside.

Representative Julia Brownley of California said Biden “has to make a decision. You could say he’s already made a decision. Is that a final decision? If it is, then I don’t think there’s another alternative.”

George Stephanopoulos, the ABC News anchor who interviewed Biden last Friday about his fitness for the presidential race, was caught on camera Tuesday indicating that he doesn’t think Biden can serve another four years.

Stephanopoulos, walking in gym clothes on a New York street in a video published by TMZ, was asked by a passerby: “What do you think, do you think Biden should step down? You’ve talked to him more than anybody else has lately. And you can be honest.”

Stephanopoulos, then just off camera, is captured on fuzzy audio responding that he doesn’t think “he can serve four more years.”

In a statement late Tuesday, Stephanopoulos acknowledged that he was the person seen in the video, saying, “Earlier today I responded to a question from a passerby. I shouldn’t have.”

An ABC spokeswoman said that Stephanopoulos “expressed his own point of view and not the position of ABC News.”

Source: VOA.
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