Joe Biden struggles to convince of his ability to campaign

Joe Biden struggles to convince of his ability to campaign

Nothing seems to be able to stop his rise among Republican Party voters. Court convictions, new indictments, repeated provocations on the future of NATO or the death of Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, incoherent comments, nothing helps. Donald Trump, 77, won a landslide victory over his latest rival, Nikki Haley, in the South Carolina primary on February 24. And Super Tuesday, Tuesday March 5, the day when fifteen states hold their primaries, promises to be a coronation for the ex-president who took control of the party machine.

In contrast, the situation of outgoing President Joe Biden, 81, seems more fragile than ever. His shaky gait and his repeated signs of confusion are now fueling the debate on the physical and mental capacity of the Democrat to campaign, to confront his opponent in front of the cameras in the coming months and, a fortiori, to lead, if he were re-elected. , a second term at the end of his term.

Described in a recent judicial investigation report as “an elderly man with a failing memory”, unable to remember the date of his vice presidency in the Obama era (from 2009 to 2017) or even the death of his son Beau (died in 2015), Joe Biden is considered too old to run for office by 86% of Americans, according to an Ipsos-ABC poll. His public speaking engagements, already limited, are, it is true, worrying. In the space of a week, he confused Mitterrand and Macron, Kohl and Merkel, the Egyptian and Mexican presidents, and he no longer remembered the name of Hamas.

An outgoing president in the United States almost always starts as a favorite, especially, as is the case today, when the economy is recovering (sustained growth, continued job creation, falling inflation, etc.) . However, Joe Biden, in his face-to-face with Donald Trump, is poorly placed in the polls on voting intentions, at the national level but especially in five of the six states whose swing will decide the election.

A lack of alternatives

From Woodrow Wilson, weakened by a heart attack in 1919, to Ronald Reagan, who admitted after leaving the White House to suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, each American president has maintained secrecy about his real state of health. Joe Biden is no exception to the rule. If he could not maintain his candidacy, the Democratic Party would have the capacity until the last moment to choose an alternative candidate. But who ?

Vice-President Kamala Harris, 59, declared herself two weeks ago in an interview with Wall Street Journal , “ready to serve” but, lacking charisma and convictions, the public is incapable of identifying her with a precise political line. Governors Gavin Newsom, 56, and Gretchen Whitmer, 52, at the head of California and Michigan respectively, do not hide their ambitions but are perhaps too marked on the left to attract independent voters. In all hypotheses, the Democratic candidate’s campaign promises to be more complicated than expected.

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