Sunday, April 14, 2024

People close to Biden are urging him to put up a stronger fight. The State of the Union is the perfect opportunity for him to do just that

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A few Democratic governors went to talk to President Joe Biden last month about something they’ve been saying quietly: he needs to fight harder.

During a private meeting with governors, when Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte handed Biden a letter demanding more action on the southern border, the Democrats told Biden to show more determination. Biden, with a smile, responded, “State of the Union,” teasingly.

This fighting spirit is expected to be evident in Thursday’s speech, where the president is anticipated to criticize corporations for exploiting consumers and making excessive profits. With concerns about rising prices affecting the economy, Biden is stepping into a role he has avoided to redirect the anger reflected in the polls.

Leading Democrats feel it’s long overdue.

Around two dozen top Democratic officials and operatives told CNN that they are tired of hearing reports about Biden venting about Donald Trump and others behind closed doors. They want to see his passion and determination publicly to dispel concerns about his age.

Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, said, “People wonder, ‘Is he tough enough to take these things on?'”

Moreover, showing this side of Biden could address worries about his age, according to Walz. “Punch [Trump] a little bit. He earned it.”

While some Democrats are cautious about speaking too much about this publicly, they express a desire to see more passion and pride in public. They believe it’s crucial at a time when exhaustion with the political process is widespread.

The upcoming State of the Union is seen as a critical moment for Biden, especially as polls show many Democrats questioning his reelection. Biden and his team are aware of the speech’s importance and are carefully considering every word and gesture.

The advisers acknowledge the need for Biden to appear stronger and more assertive. However, they recognize the challenges, including the ongoing effort to pass important bills through Congress.

Biden’s inclination to maintain a calm demeanor clashes with the desire for him to be more assertive in public. While he has enjoyed needling Trump, his efforts to inject civility into politics have led to criticism from some core Democrats.

For now, Biden’s campaign relies on carefully crafted statements and videos to highlight specific issues. The campaign is cautious about going too hard too soon, understanding the need to peak at the right time.

In the end, the challenge lies in finding the balance between being assertive and avoiding potential backlashes, especially as the campaign unfolds over the next eight months.

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