Only in a liberal Democrat pundit’s wildest fantasy could a 79-year-old career politician be labeled a “comeback kid”.
But that’s precisely what happened the other day when Fox News’s most outspoken left-leaning defender of senile president Joe Biden suggested (in an op-ed at The Hill) that the chief executive was primed for a federal midterm election comeback of epic proportions later this year. Juan Williams wrote glowingly of Biden’s State of the Union speech last week and of the man’s “leadership” during the American-weakness-inspired crisis in Ukraine and also how the totality of the good vibes from the economy would miraculously turn folks’ impressions around and transform a bumbling old mentally slipping goat into a hero of the people.
By employing the “Comeback Kid” scenario, Williams was perhaps insinuating Biden’s reversal of fortune would mirror the multiple political restorations and resurrections of former president Big Bubba Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Recall how the bulbous nosed philandering Oval Office dweller of Monica Lewinsky blue dress fame did indeed enjoy unanticipated success in his second term midterm election in 1998 (after getting drubbed in 1994). Of course now is not 1998 and Joe Biden is no Bill Clinton, neither in terms of youthful vigor or political skills. Clinton nicknamed himself “The Comeback Kid” after he managed an unexpected second place finish (to Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas) in the 1992 New Hampshire primary. Practically everyone had abandoned the lip biting ethics challenged clown as political driftwood after a tabloid story of extramarital dealings emerged before Granite State Democrats were set to go to the polls that year. To most people, it was like Gary Hart all over again.
Clinton and wife Hillary’s appearance on a Super Bowl Sunday version of 60 Minutes is now credited with helping save his reputation. The Democrat power couple lied through their teeth about Bubba’s wandering eyes and loose zipper. But finishing in second in New Hampshire was apparently enough to get Bill back on track. The rest is history.
Clinton enjoyed a number of comebacks in his eight-plus years in national politics. Curiously, Juan Williams didn’t even mention the original Democrat “Comeback Kid” in his editorial, preferring to tout senile Joe’s improving (at least according to Juan) prospects for a miraculous popularity about-face before Americans weigh-in on his first two years in office this November.
Is Juan simply delusional or is he on to something here? Williams wrote at The Hill earlier this week:
“A friend surprised me last week. President Biden’s low poll numbers, he said, are the springboard for a story Americans love — the Comeback Kid. That’s the total opposite of today’s conventional wisdom that Biden is about to fall into a political hellhole of big losses in the midterms…
“With no agenda of their own, Republicans have attacked Biden and Democrats by tying them to the fringe left chant of ‘Defund the Police.’ But Biden told the massive audience for the State of the Union speech, ‘The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.’…
“The more I watch Biden, the more I agree that Democrats have a chance in the midterms. It starts with party messaging that defines Biden as the right man to lead the nation at this moment: a can-do pragmatist successfully handling Russia, COVID-19, jobs, and inflation. By November, President Biden may be the latest Comeback Kid.”
In other words, basically rewind the tape back to two years ago when Biden was struggling to wrap up the Democrat presidential nomination even though he was the race’s longtime frontrunner and he had the full backing of the party establishment behind him. Democrats figured all they had to do was package Barack Obama’s veep as a good guy “moderate” pragmatist who knew how to heal the divided nation after years of the brash-talking uncouth lout, Donald Trump.
In penning this overly optimistic piece of Democrat make-believe, Williams completely ignores reality and instead imparts his own reasoning process and impressions of Biden into the minds of voters, which is a very dangerous thing for a political observer to do. His hypothesis -- that senile Joe is on the precipice of becoming the liberal party’s latest “comeback kid” -- is wrong on so many fronts that it’s hard to know where to start.
First and foremost, hardly any persuadable voters even watched the State of the Union address last Tuesday and therefore, there won’t be any great groundswell of opinion movement after the March 1 speech.
I don’t have hard numbers to back up my claim -- and liberal commentators are gloating over the post-SOTU address ratings -- but Fox News was the most-watched network for the one-hour-plus Biden babble session and the Republican response. Therefore, it’s probable that just as many viewers watched Biden to see how dramatically he’d screw up as actually meant to listen to what he had to say. The same goes for every president, so the phenomenon is not unique to senile Joe alone. It’s just the way it is in today’s morbidly curious political circus environment.
The State of the Union is to politics what the Academy Awards’ red carpet is to Hollywood stars. People watch to see what the pols are wearing, which is why Kamala Harris bombed more than usual this year with her hideous brown suit that perfectly matched the color of her chair.
Second, there’s a war going on and the media and the entirety of the political class -- including both parties -- are doing their level best to infer that the United States is smack in the middle of it even if American military personnel aren’t firing bullets (or being fired at) and there aren’t any Pentagon higher-ups giving daily briefings on the war’s progress like was done twenty years ago during the initial phases of the post-9/11/01 campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's only natural that Joe Biden used his first SOTU address to talk about Ukraine and civilian suffering and human rights violations and solidarity and how Americans are joining with our NATO allies to face off against the arch-fiend Vladimir Putin. For weeks, administration mouthpieces added to the emotional buildup of the situation by predicting impending action. When Putin finally gave the go ahead it was as though the establishment media was right there with the Ukrainian defenders.
Now that the Ukrainians look like they’re putting up a pretty spirited resistance to the Russians, Biden is taking credit for the fact that Russki tanks didn’t just roll straight into Kyiv and hang President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by the nearest tree. Zelensky has become a Winston Churchill-like resistance leader in this “us vs. them” scenario, just like George W. Bush did when he stood up to the “Axis of Evil” (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) twenty years ago.
Oddly enough, many Republicans are right alongside Biden in beating the war drums. The Ukraine/Russia issue has almost become “bipartisan”. Didn’t many members of both parties wear Ukrainian pins last week? It’s all a grand distraction from the real contentious political scrums of the day.
How long will it last? Here’s thinking the Ukraine war has a very limited shelf life in the public’s estimation. Every war does. It’s only a matter of time -- and wait until things start turning ugly there.
Lastly (there are many more), Biden’s domestic woes aren’t likely to recede or be perceived like Williams suggests they will. Senile Joe did try to borrow or steal several important aspects of Donald Trump’s MAGA agenda -- border enforcement, trade protection, support for law enforcement, economic growth, etc. -- but Americans aren’t stupid. Voters won’t forget the disaster at the southern border, the supply chain snags under the current president, the rampant, runaway inflation and Biden’s utter failure to keep his promise to end COVID lockdowns and deaths.
Likewise, there won’t be any going back on senile Joe’s horrific, economy crashing energy policies that have led to record gasoline price increases and, indirectly or directly, to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The cat’s out of the bag on oil imports from Russia. Heck, the average person now probably even knows about Germany and the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which the Biden administration gave its okay to complete upon entering office.
Gone are the Trump days when America was a net oil exporter as well as being almost completely energy independent. Gas prices were reasonable. Goods were plentiful. Inflation was under control. Economic growth was steady. Folks in the lower earning categories were seeing big wage gains.
All of this is gone in the span of a year. And who’s responsible for it?
The only “comeback” Joe Biden will be making is his return to his Delaware beach house after he retires or is kicked out of office in 2024. This November, voters won’t even remember his national speech last week, but they can’t forget the expensive and deadly results from his policies. No amount of spin or messaging will get around the facts. Poor senile Joe.
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