Home Editor's Picks More than just a ‘bad episode’: Biden is struggling to convince donors and voters

More than just a ‘bad episode’: Biden is struggling to convince donors and voters

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President Joe Biden faced a mounting crisis of confidence among allies, donors, and party members, following a debate performance that raised questions about his fitness for office and ability to lead.

The president’s acknowledgment of his physical and oratorical decline did little to quell concerns, as strategic missteps and a retreat from public view only exacerbated the situation.

Recent events have left his candidacy on shaky ground, with some Democratic strategists considering support for Vice President Harris and calls for Biden to step aside growing louder.

Biden’s efforts to project resilience and vibrancy at a North Carolina rally were overshadowed by a snowballing crisis. Despite a planned comeback narrative, private doubts among his inner circle and public polling indicated a loss of confidence in his presidential capabilities.

The president’s subsequent low-profile approach, including teleprompter-reliant appearances and minimal public commentary, failed to address the concerns directly.

The internal turmoil within the Democratic Party became more apparent as independent strategists began to develop plans to bolster Vice President Harris. Alarmed advisers and staff voiced their concerns about the “deafening silence” from the president, while elected and former leaders openly questioned his ability to continue in the race.

Biden’s late response to the unfolding situation, including a declaration of self-confidence and a dismissal of polls, did little to stem the tide of skepticism.

The debate mishaps and subsequent fallout have drawn scrutiny to Biden’s campaign strategy and his physical capability to endure the rigors of a presidential race.

The president’s late arrival to the CNN studio, lack of preparation for key camera angles, and faltering responses during the debate have only intensified the scrutiny.

Allies and donors expressed disappointment at his brief and soft-spoken appearances at fundraising events, further fueling doubts about his stamina and communication skills.

With the House set to return to session on Monday, Senator Mark R. Warner and other senators are poised to rally for a change, signaling a critical juncture for Biden’s presidency and the Democratic Party’s future.

So far, 5 House Democrats have called for President Biden to withdraw from the race. This number could ger much higher in the coming days and weeks. 

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