Turmoil in the White House and growing revolt from Democrats in Congress over Biden

Turmoil in the White House and growing revolt from Democrats in Congress over Biden

Axios reports:

Officials on President Biden‘s White House and campaign staffs say they’re feeling rage, sadness, frustration and resolve over his debate performance and his team’s response to it, more than a dozen White House and campaign aides told Axios.

Why it matters: Biden’s performance at the debate has left many of his own aides worried about his mental fitness, and angry about what they see as a lack of candor from Biden’s senior aides.

  • “It’s the first topic of every conversation,” one White House official said. “Senior leadership has given us nothing. To act like it’s business as usual is delusional.”
  • Another official put it more bluntly: “Everyone is freaking the f*** out.”
  • “The uncertainty after Thursday is palpable and anxiety is only increasing,” a third White House official told Axios.
  • “People are looking for leadership and direction that they were told to trust, and hoped was there, but aren’t yet feeling in what is now clearly a defining moment for this presidency.”

[Continue reading…]

Axios reports:

President Biden is struggling to contain mounting dissent from Democratic members of Congress that has culminated in a call for him to withdraw as the party’s nominee.

Why it matters: Biden’s campaign has attempted to quash concerns about the president’s political strength and fitness for office by casting doubters as overwrought, but that strategy now appears to be backfiring.

  • “Some of us don’t want to wake up on Nov. 6 kicking ourselves because we had all of these red flags and warnings and we couldn’t muster the courage to do something about it,” said one House Democrat.

Driving the news: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) on Tuesday became the first sitting Democratic member of Congress to call for Biden to step down, as did former Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Colorado congressional candidate Adam Frisch.

  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a local TV news interview on Monday that the Biden campaign should be “candid with us about his condition,” while Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said on CNN the campaign “needs to listen to us.”
  • Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), in an interview with Semafor, chastised the campaign for its “dismissive attitude,” alluding to a fundraising email last week that dismissed those with concerns as “bedwetters.”
  • Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC that it was “legitimate” to ask of both Biden and Trump: “Is this an episode or a condition?'”

[Continue reading…]

Not a one-off’: Carl Bernstein’s sources say concerns about Biden have been growing for a year:


The New York Times reports:

Like many people his age, Mr. Biden, 81, has long experienced instances in which he mangled a sentence, forgot a name or mixed up a few facts, even though he could be sharp and engaged most of the time. But in interviews, people in the room with him more recently said that the lapses seemed to be growing more frequent, more pronounced and more worrisome.

The uncomfortable occurrences were not predictable, but seemed more likely when he was in a large crowd or tired after a particularly bruising schedule. In the 23 days leading up to the debate against former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Biden jetted across the Atlantic Ocean twice for meetings with foreign leaders and then flew from Italy to California for a splashy fund-raiser, maintaining a grueling pace that exhausted even much younger aides.

Mr. Biden was drained enough from the back-to-back trips to Europe that his team cut his planned debate preparation by two days so he could rest at his house in Rehoboth Beach, Del., before joining advisers at Camp David for rehearsals. The preparations, which took place over six days, never started before 11 a.m. and Mr. Biden was given time for an afternoon nap each day, according to a person familiar with the process.

Referring to the start time, Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said “the president was working well before then, after exercising.”

The recent moments of disorientation generated concern among advisers and allies alike. He seemed confused at points during a D-Day anniversary ceremony in France on June 6. The next day, he misstated the purpose of a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine when meeting with its president.

On June 10, he appeared to freeze up at an early celebration of the Juneteenth holiday. On June 18, his soft-spoken tone and brief struggle to summon the name of his homeland security secretary at an immigration event unnerved some of his allies at the event, who traded alarmed looks and later described themselves as “shaken up,” as one put it. Mr. Biden recovered, and named Alejandro N. Mayorkas. [Continue reading…]

Axios reports:

A Democratic official talked us through the gentle approach to getting Biden to end his run on his terms. This official, who demanded anonymity for self-evident reasons, said Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden, and longtime friend, Ted Kaufman, should make this case to the president:

  • “This is not about him submitting to the will of others yelling at him that he failed. Joe Biden is too proud for that argument. He will not be dragged off the stage,” said the official, who is outside the White House and campaign.
  • “The goal is to let him walk off the stage. He came; he saw; he conquered. He wanted to get rid of Trump for the country; he wanted to prepare America for the future; and he wanted to help nurture the next generation to be a transitional president.”

“He can say to himself, in all honesty: All three have now been accomplished,” the strategist continued. “He got rid of Trump; helped prepare America through his legislation for the future; and, under his tenure, a generation of new Democrats have emerged.” [Continue reading…]

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