On Sunday's This Week, Politico campaign chronicler and columnist Jonathan Martin announced that it was "imperative" that President Biden somehow talk all his potential third-party opponents out of running against him. The Democrats are for Democracy, unless you're running against them.
On Monday, he expanded on that in an article titled:
Here’s How Biden Can Turn It Around.
Top Democrats agree that the president needs more aggressiveness, more help from his friends and a few more friends. Liz Cheney, Rahm Emanuel and Mitt Romney can help
Journalists love being campaign strategists, telling candidates how to win. He proclaimed Democrats should be "concerned but not panicked about Biden's re-election prospects. He said "I spoke with dozens of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans," and despair was in the air:
The level of despair was striking. Since beginning this column a year ago, I’ve written repeatedly about the chasm between what Democrats say in private versus public about Biden. Yet perhaps not since Trump’s 2016 election have the party’s leaders and lawmakers been so alarmed.
What’s notable is both the uniformity of these anxieties — there’s no faction in denial — and how they mirror the discontent of the broader public….
Far from being merely the stuff of “Beltway chatter,” as Biden’s aides dismiss any criticism, there’s no divergence between Democratic elites and the electorate. That’s because the main causes for concern are clear as day: Biden’s age and the cost of living.
How bad is it? This is the passage that had all the anti-Biden forces on Twitter spreading around:
2024 will be an extraordinary election, and it demands extraordinary measures.
That’s in part for reasons Biden refuses to accept: his capacity to do the job. The oldest president in history when he first took the oath, Biden will not be able to govern and campaign in the manner of previous incumbents. He simply does not have the capacity to do it, and his staff doesn’t trust him to even try, as they make clear by blocking him from the press. Biden’s bid will give new meaning to a Rose Garden campaign, and it requires accommodation to that unavoidable fact of life.
You almost don't need to read the rest of the article after that. Biden can't "govern and campaign," he "doesn't have the capacity"? And that's now, not in 2028, when he would still be president.
But Martin says there's no way Biden is stepping aside, so get over that idea. The stakes are high: "The former president is an exiled strongman who’s taken over a traditional political party and is attempting to reclaim office to consolidate power and punish his enemies with little regard for the Constitution."
Biden's Justice Department has indicted Trump and more than 1,100 Trump supporters who came to the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Somehow, this isn't defined as "punishing enemies."
The rest of Martin's advice is pretty standard, that "he must smother Manchin with kindness and keep him in the Democratic tent. While he’s at it, the president and his top aides should also woo Manchin’s Republican friend (and third-party temptress) Mitt Romney." And seek the support of Liz Cheney, as his headline suggested.
It's just amazing that Biden aides have to "block him from the press," when so many of them have been dismissing Biden's obvious fragility in public. But he has the tendency to either create gaffes or get angry with reporters when they confront him with bad polls.