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Don’t Run Everything Through the White House – HotAir

Yikes! Barack Obama is so freaked-out with how Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is going that there was a leak in the press that things must change right now.

Democrat panic is real, y’all, and everyone is worried that Biden isn’t able to win re-election. During a previously unreported private lunch meeting with Biden, Obama spoke directly about the structure of Biden’s re-election campaign. He told aides and allies of the president that they need to be empowered to make decisions without clearing them first with the White House.

Three people familiar with the lunch meeting said that Obama grew “animated” as he discussed the 2024 election and the possibility of Donald Trump’s return to the White House. He suggested that more top-level Biden advisers become involved at campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. If not there, the campaign must use people already in place. Obama didn’t recommend specific people but he did mention David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, as an example of a senior strategist that is needed at the Biden campaign.

It is reported that Biden uses Obama as a sounding board. (Many of us think Obama is more powerful that that in the Biden administration. Biden’s term is thought to be Obama’s third term.) Biden invited Obama to this lunch and they discussed many things, including the 2024 election. Obama spoke about the success of his re-election campaign structure in 2012. Some top aides left the White House to run the re-election campaign in Chicago, including Jim Messina and David Axelrod. In contrast, Biden has kept his closest aides with him at the White House even though they are making key campaign decisions.

That tracks, doesn’t it? No one around Biden can be confident that he’ll be able to handle the job without the seasoned pros from Obama’s administration that now surround Biden. Obama even recommended that Biden “seek counsel” from Obama’s own former campaign aides. Biden officials claim that have done that.

Think about it – Biden has 50 years experience in elected office and he’s leaning on Barack Obama for advice on re-election. That is quite an admission. I’m old enough to remember that at many times throughout the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney looked like he would win the election. Obama’s cockiness over his campaign in 2012 may need to be checked. He ultimately won, that is true, but he doesn’t really score points as a guru on campaign advice.

What this does is point to Democrat desperation. They are calling in the heavy-hitter, the still-popular Barack Obama to help out Biden.

Obama is even more explicit with people close to Biden. He wants the campaign to be more aggressive because he said Trump looks like he will quickly finish the Republican primary as the nominee. He stresses that campaigns have to be agile in competitive races. No one thinks Biden is agile.

The truth is that Obama understands that Trump is a strong competitor against Biden and Trump can win the election. In a different lunch last summer, Obama said that Trump is a stronger candidate than most Democrats realize. He cited three reasons – Trump’s loyal following, Trump-friendly conservative media, and a polarized country.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, is based at the campaign headquarters in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, while the president’s top political advisers — Anita Dunn, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mike Donilon and Steve Ricchetti — work more than 100 miles away at the White House. That means any important move by the campaign is run by the White House first, prompting concern among some Democrats as they head into a turbulent contest that is likely to require immediate responses to fast-moving developments.

Axelrod said Friday he could not speak to Obama’s discussions with Biden, but that each president approaches his reelection differently, and Biden’s campaign structure may yet evolve.

“Jim and I started building the structure in Chicago in the spring of ’11. President Biden has chosen to keep many of his key political advisers in the White House,” Axelrod wrote in a text message. “But by necessity, I would expect several of them will move fairly soon to the campaign itself.”

Obama is also worried about fundraising. He has helped the Biden campaign to raise $4M in small-dollar donations.

The relationship between Obama and Biden – the bromance- is exaggerated, according to those who know. They worked well together during the Obama administration and their families were friendly with each other but most accounts of the relationship are exaggerated. Some Biden allies are still angry over Obama supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 instead of Biden. They are somewhat dismissive of Obama’s campaign structure advice now.

The mention of Plouffe in particular irritates some longtime Biden aides, because it was Plouffe whom Obama dispatched to warn Biden that he faced long odds if he decided to seek the presidency in 2016. “The president was not encouraging,” Biden wrote in his memoir, “Promise Me, Dad.”

The Biden aides note bitingly that Clinton, despite Obama’s support, lost to Trump in 2016, a defeat that remains traumatizing for many Democrats. Plouffe declined to comment but has told friends he is retired from active campaign work.

Biden knows that his campaign is in trouble. Many polls have come out that show Trump beating Biden. When asked about that, Biden told the press that they were looking at the wrong polls and they need to report the stories better. Biden has lost support in all the major demographics, except maybe black women, so it is hard to imagine him pulling it out by election time. It’s possible, there is plenty of time for him to change course. He can’t change his age, though, and his mental and physical decline. Will bringing out Dark Brandon help? He did that in the speech in Pennsylvania, declaring that Trump and MAGA Republicans are a threat to democracy. Are American voters going to fall for that? Voters want a positive message that looks forward. They want to know what the candidates will do and what their platforms are, not dwelling on the past. Biden’s in a tough spot because he has no policy successes. He has to go negative and make it personal against Trump and his supporters. How did that deplorables thing work out for Hillary?

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