Joe Biden is facing a surprise primary challenge from an obscure Democratic congressman.
Dean Phillips, of Minnesota, is one of a handful of Democrats willing to candidly acknowledge that Biden is too old for his job.
Phillips had previously resigned from a leadership post in the party and apologized for causing “discomfort” by talking out of turn.
But it appears Phillips has changed his tune.
Phillips is expected to kick off his campaign in New Hampshire on Friday at the statehouse in Concord. Friday happens to be the last day for primary candidates to get on the ballot in the state. Better late than never, as they say.
Biden will not appear on the ballot in New Hampshire’s primary because of conflicts between the state’s Democrats and the DNC, which adopted a new Biden-endorsed calendar knocking New Hampshire from its traditional first-in-the-nation spot. Biden said the state’s mostly white population wasn’t “diverse” enough.
Instead, South Carolina, a state with a large black population that paved the way for Biden’s nomination in 2020, will go first.
A campaign bus for Phillips was spotted on the road this week in Ohio, fueling speculation of a campaign announcement.
Most Democrats have opted to downplay concerns about Biden’s age, despite broad public skepticism of his fitness for office. Biden is also facing dismal approval ratings as voters struggle to keep pace with the rising cost of living, despite Biden’s boasts about “Bidenomics.”
The crisis in Israel presents Republicans with more fuel to attack Biden’s handling of world affairs as weak and destabilizing. And despite four indictments of Donald Trump, the former president’s poll numbers have Democrats concerned.
Given his low name ID, it seems unlikely that Phillips would present a serious challenge to Biden who enjoys the more or less monolithic support of his party and the liberal media.
But with many Democratic voters expressing a desire for change, Phillips says it’s good for democracy to give people options.
The chair of New Hampshire’s Democrats, Ray Buckley, was dismissive of his chances.
“Of course, we would be gracious hosts, as is our tradition, but both polling and grassroots interactions in New Hampshire reveal a high level of support for President Biden among the likely voters. It would be a tough challenge for Phillips or anyone. But sure, c’mon on up!”