DANIEL VAUGHAN: Biden Launches Campaign Hail Mary At Trump Trial

 May 29, 2024

The Democratic freakout has reappeared. When Politico, the top source for establishment thinking in the Democratic Party, reports on meltdowns, you can be assured that they're giving the positive version of things. The state of the race is clear, even for Democrats: Trump is winning this race.

Politico titled their piece, "Dems in full-blown 'freakout' over Biden." It's one of those pieces that's easy to predict: Democrat sources close to the White House, but speaking anonymously, are sounding the alarm over Biden's electoral chances. It turns out the confidence in the White House, as depicted by Axios, is a show for the cameras.

The analysis isn't difficult. In 2016 and 2020, Donald Trump rarely, if ever, led Hilary Clinton or Joe Biden in the polls. In the RealClearPolitics average, Joe Biden led for the entirety of the 2020 race, and Trump had to overperform to get the race close. In 2016, Trump closed the gap late on Clinton.

In 2024, Trump is just flat leading. He's had an uninterrupted lead in the RealClearPolitics average since September 11, 2023. The size of the lead has varied, but the story is the same, from national to state polls: Trump is leading Biden, sometimes outside the margin of error of individual polls.

Is it possible for these polls to be wrong? Of course. Biden could pull off victory, and it wouldn't surprise anyone. But it's clear at this point that Biden is less popular than Trump was at this point in his Presidency, and voters are looking at Trump's term with fondness as they endure inflation under Biden.

Pete Giangreco, a Democratic strategist who worked on the Presidential campaigns of Clinton, Gore, John Edwards, and Barack Obama, was blunt to Politico: "There's still a path to win this, but [the Biden campaign] don't look like a campaign that's embarking on that path right now ... If the frame of this race is, 'What was better, the 3.5 years under Biden or four years under Trump,' we lose that every day of the week and twice on Sunday."

Politico published that piece, and the same day, the White House held a press conference in front of the New York City courthouse where final arguments were being held in one of Trump's cases. The Biden campaign put on the event, sponsored it, and announced it, but also tried to hide Biden-Harris signage.

Aside from being untoward for a sitting President to hold a campaign rally during his opponent's trial, there are also serious questions about whether the rally violated current Supreme Court law that protects defendants from media circus shows.

It's the kind of act that a Presidential campaign grasping for straws does. Biden trotted out old celebrities to read off insults to Trump and mock the court proceedings. In the process, Biden provided Trump's legal team with a new arrow on any potential appeal. And Biden fell right into Trump's charges that the entire case against him is a partisan witch-hunt.

If Trump beats the case, he can claim he defeated a partisan process set up by Biden. If Trump loses, he can just as quickly claim Biden set it all up and point to the White House making the trial a political event. Democrats may point to Trump's action at the trial with press conferences - but Trump is the one on trial. He has the right to talk and bring others to speak, as in any high-profile case.

Karl Rove was on Fox News calling it a "stupid mistake" by the Biden campaign. You can almost hear James Carville shrieking across the country for Democrats to change their messaging. Setting up an impromptu campaign press conference outside Trump's trial is not the shift in messaging the Biden campaign needs. It's the move a terminally online campaign does while ignoring the issues sinking them in the polls.

Democrats are having meltdowns and freakouts because the Biden campaign is floundering. Whatever actions Biden needs to take to correct his campaign aren't happening. He's backing out of debates and avoiding large, national media exposures.

It's a campaign playing prevent defense, but he's already losing. You can't play prevent defense when you're losing on the scoreboard. The question now is, "What's next?"

The Biden campaign has put all its eggs in the basket of Trump's legal cases, and the press conference reveals that for everyone to see. The White House desperately needs these cases to deliver guilty verdicts. Failing that, the Biden campaign appears to be dead in the water. It has no momentum, plan, or strategy to win back the voters it's losing to Trump.

In short, Democrats are right to panic. The White House is putting all its hopes into multiple Hail Mary shots.

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