NYT columnist says Biden is taking a page from George W. Bush's playbook

 November 25, 2023

A poll aggregator maintained by the website Real Clear Politics shows President Joe Biden trailing former President Donald Trump by an average of 2.3%.

In a surprising move, some observers are now suggesting that Biden needs to emulate former President George W. Bush if he hopes to survive next year's elections. 

Bush went on offense rather than defending

One of them is New York Times contributor Adam Nagourney, who authored a piece earlier this month that looked back to the election of 2004.

In it, Nagourney recalled how then-President Bush was facing "voter distress over the war in Iraq and over the economy — two issues he had once hoped to ride to a second term."

The journalist explained how campaign strategist Karl Rove sought to shift focus from Bush and onto Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, someone who was portrayed "as a flip-flopper, unreliable on national security and unfit to lead a nation."

"We saw a weakness we knew we could exploit to our advantage in what was going to be a close election," Rove was quoted as saying.

Unlike Kerry, Trump is a known quantify for voters

However, Nagourney admitted that Biden may find replicating that approach more challenging when it comes to facing off against Trump.

He noted how whereas John Kerry had relatively little national exposure prior to running, "there is not much" about the former president that voters "don't already know."

"And Mr. Trump has, so far at least, not paid a political cost for the kind of statements — such as when he described his critics as 'vermin' — that might have previously derailed a more conventional candidate," the writer continued.

What's more, Nagourney stressed that Trump's experience of getting "indicted on 91 criminal counts in four cases has, so far, only solidified his support."

President faces awful poll numbers

Evidence that Biden is attempting to zero in on Trump rather than the president's own record could be seen in a recent Atlantic magazine article.

Published on Friday, it stressed that the president's campaign is busy portraying Trump as a threat to abortion and America's democratic system.

That makes sense given how a recent NBC News poll found that Biden's approval rating has fallen to just 40%, which is the lowest score that NBC News has recorded thus far.

Meanwhile, another survey carried out earlier this month by The Economist and YouGov reported that only a quarter of voters want Biden to seek another term.

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