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    Biden goes into make-or-break weekend with more gaffes


    WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden is entering a make-or-break weekend with his political future and legacy hanging on an interview and two public rallies through which he will try and disprove the growing belief nationwide that he’s is too old for a second stint in the White House.
    Biden is sitting down for an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in course of campaign events in Wisconsin on Friday and chat is expected to be broadcast at 8pm east coast time.The platform is expected to be fair but tough on the President, with direct questions about his age and mental acuity. Stephenapoulus is a former Democratic Party advisor and served as the White House communications director and later as senior advisor to President Bill Clinton.
    Any flubs in the unscripted interview (where there will be no teleprompters) and in rallies (where there will be teleprompters) could close the door on the President’s bid for a second term, with many Democratic operatives critical of his insistence on staying in the race, already leaning against it.
    Events on Thursday in the run-up to the interview were not encouraging for the Biden camp. The 81-year old President (he will be 82 on November 20) misspoke badly in a radio interview where he struggled to find words, at one point saying he was proud to have been “the first Black woman to serve with a Black president.” He evidently mixed up his time as Obama’s vice-president and Kamala Harris’ vice-presidency under him.
    At a separate Fourth of July White House event, Biden began talking about his predecessor not honoring military veterans, referring to Trump as “one of our colleagues, the former president” before lamely veering off with, “probably shouldn’t say, at any rate” and moving on to other matters.
    He also continued to undercut his own case by telling Democratic governors at a White House meeting that he needs to sleep more and not work after 8 p.m. — which is perfectly acceptable in normal circumstances considering many other presidents did the same, but which raised eyebrows in the current situation. Even a joke to the governors — “I’m fine — I don’t know about my brain, though” caused some supporters to grind their teeth.
    Dubbed a “bloviator” even during the Obama years for his propensity to be long-winded and voluble, Biden has always tripped over words and trailed off into non-sequiturs, with little critical attention. But his run for a second White House term at 82, at the conclusion of which — if he wins — he will be 86, has brought searing focus on whether he can do the job.
    There is growing fears in the party — both among the elites and the rank and file — that he can’t and he should quit the race. There are reports in the mainstream media about fat-cat donors holding their money from the Biden campaign to redirect it to a potential replacement, with vice-president Kamala Harris at the top of the list.
    The lead headline on CNN on Friday morning read: Democrats start moving to Harris as Biden digs in. In fact, reports are already emerging about Harris’ possible running mates, with leading Democratic governors, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper, Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, and Illinois’J.B. Pritzker in the mix.
    “Despite her efforts (to stay behind Biden), Democratic politics has started to reshape around her — as has former President Donald Trump’s campaign, which has already begun attacking Harris. Several officials told CNN they have begun chiding donors who complain that they don’t think she can win, arguing that they need to stop and get on board with her. Other officials and advisers said plans are underway to convince Biden to immediately throw his support behind Harris, release his Democratic delegates and ask them to follow his choice,” the report said.





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