Reviews | The Trump-Biden symbiotic relationship

No more. The White House has also gone out of its way to highlight Trump’s continued presence and vitality. Biden said the MAGA philosophy is “semi-fascism,” a comment perfectly suited to fuel debate about Trump and his supporters on cable and social media. The former president is sure to be the backdrop for Biden’s Thursday night prime-time speech on “the soul of the nation.”

Several weeks ago, Republicans feared that Trump would announce a 2024 presidential bid before the midterms. Now, that’s almost irrelevant — Democrats and the Justice Department actually announced it for him.

Whenever things aren’t going well for a White House or a political campaign, the natural advice is to try changing the subject. This often doesn’t work – the maneuver is too obvious, or the hoped-for new topic can’t compete with the unwanted old topic.

That’s not the case here. trump is something everybody wants to talk about – people who love him, people who hate him, journalists whose work gets more clicks and audiences when Trump is in the news, and of course, most importantly, Trump himself, who doesn’t never found another topic so compelling or important.

To the extent that Republican officials and candidates identify with Trump’s ravings about 2020, or get caught up in the debate over whether to defund the FBI, they create vulnerabilities or distractions where it doesn’t. there is no need, and are doing the other party a favor.

According to a new CBS News poll, 47% of voters say what they think of Trump will have “a lot” of influence on their vote. That’s not as much as saying the state of the country will have much influence over their vote – at 75% – but that’s still incredibly high for a former president who has been out of power for almost two years. years old and is nowhere on the ballot.

A third of voters say they will vote to oppose Donald Trump this year, and 21% to support him. Independents who say Trump is a factor for them are voting to oppose him by a 4-to-1 margin.

This is all good for Democrats in general and Biden in particular. To the extent that the president can define himself as the last and greatest obstacle to Trump’s return to the White House, it helps to allay doubts about him within his own party. Biden is barely above 40% approval in the polling averages, a nightmarish position that should doom his midterm party and himself in 2024, and yet he is down just 2, 2% in the RealClearPolitics average in a hypothetical rematch with Trump in 2024.

Trump is his lifeline and comfort blanket, providing a political boost based on the world’s simplest political argument – ​​“See that guy over there obsessing over fancy 2020 election theories? I may not be a very good president. But at least I’m not him.

In the meantime, the Trump phenomenon has always been a form of political jiujitsu, using the force deployed against him as a source of strength. The more Trump is called names and investigated, the better. Without wanting to shed light on it, but if the FBI had shown up at Mar-a-Lago with an armored vehicle and a few helicopters, Trump’s lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which had dwindled before rising again after the search, would be anything but insurmountable. If indicted, he might well be nominated by acclamation (maybe the effect would wear off – but that’s what it would look like initially).

If Trump is bolstered by Biden’s hostility, he also benefits from Biden’s weakness. Trump’s favorable rating is around 40%, a poor showing that would be enough to make him the underdog against any president who hasn’t crater in the past year. Trump isn’t just narrowly beating Biden in the 2024 forward-looking polls, he’s handily beating Vice President Kamala Harris. There’s luck with your enemies, and then there’s the jackpot, like Trump did with Hillary Clinton in 2016 and might again with a much-diminished Joe Biden in 2024.

So Trump and Biden make up for each other’s problems, and they work effectively together to get Trump nominated – which Trump wants because it’s the necessary precondition for winning a second term and Biden wants because Trump would be the riskiest GOP candidate in a general election.

It’s not the most uplifting relationship. Indeed, it’s a de facto partnership toward a demoralizing replay of 2020. But neither Trump nor Biden are as likely to get where they want to go without the other.


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