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Mayor of Dearborn Commits to the “Uncommitted” Effort in Michigan Primary – HotAir

The Biden campaign is very worried about Michigan. Michigan is one of the important swing states that will determine the presidential election in November. 

The re-election campaign isn’t going so well if the polls are correct. The Michigan presidential primary is scheduled for February 27. Biden is sending a group of foreign policy and political advisers to Michigan today to try to tamp down some of the growing anger over deaths in Gaza. 

Team Biden is very concerned about a loss of support from the Muslim and Arab-American population in the state. So far, Biden has been unable to win back the support that he lost by supporting Israel after the massacres of October 7 and the Israel-Hamas war that began afterward.  

The delegation, led by deputy national security adviser Jon Finer and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, follows a January visit by campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez, who was publicly rebuffed by the mayor of Dearborn, Mich., and other local Arab-American elected officials. 

The 2020 census was the first one to specifically solicit Middle Eastern or North African ancestry responses. The U.S. Census Bureau report shows that people of Middle Eastern or North African ancestry make up the majority of Dearborn’s population, 54.5%. This is why Biden is concentrating on cities like Dearborn. They typically vote Democrat and Biden wants to keep their votes.

The first Arab American Mayor, Abdullah Hammoud, was elected in 2021. Dearborn has the largest Muslim population in the United States. 

This trip isn’t just about soothing outraged Arab Americans. It is all about politics. If you believe the polls, Trump leads Biden in Michigan. Biden won Michigan in 2020 by nearly 3 percent, or about 150,000 votes.

A group of more than two dozen local officials has launched “Listen to Michigan,” an effort to get voters to vote “uncommitted” in the primary election. Biden doesn’t have any real competition on the primary ballot but this is an action that local leaders are using to pressure the White House for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. They are holding Biden accountable.

Mayor Hammoud has joined the other Dearborn officials and says he will vote uncommitted in the primary. 

Abdullah Hammoud, the mayor of Dearborn, tweeted that he was joining the “uncommitted” effort and said the Biden administration had “failed to act to protect the lives of innocent men, women and children.” Hammoud is expected to meet with the White House officials, according to people familiar.

Hammoud was among those who rejected the meeting with Chávez Rodríguez, saying he didn’t think it would address the substance of the community’s criticisms around administration policy.

“This is not about electoral politics,” he said in a recent interview. “What does it take for our humanity to be recognized by this administration? That’s the conversation we want to have and that can’t be had with a campaign official.”

Biden went to Detroit last week but didn’t meet with Arab Americans. He called Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from Air Force One. She is the only Palestinian American member of Congress. She has accused Biden of genocide against Palestinians. 

Biden is expected to return to Michigan before the primary election. Next week Kamala Harris is going to travel to Grand Rapids. It’s all hands on deck to save Joe Biden in Michigan. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn’t confirm the Biden team’s meetings on Thursday in Dearborn but she said that the Biden administration was continuing to reach out to Arab and Muslim Americans. “We’re going to listen and hear what leaders of that community have to say. We are open to that, having a real honest dialogue.”

Pro-Hamas protesters interrupt events with Biden and Kamala Harris as they demand a cease-fire. Will this outrage last until the November presidential election? That part isn’t clear but for now, Arab Americans are determined to make their demands of Biden clear. 

Mayor Hammoud said he didn’t meet with Julie Chávez Rodríguez in her earlier visit because he didn’t think a meeting would address the community’s criticism of administration policy.

“This is not about electoral politics,” he said in a recent interview. “What does it take for our humanity to be recognized by this administration? That’s the conversation we want to have and that can’t be had with a campaign official.”

The uproar in the Arab American communities against Biden’s support of Israel is reported to be the reason he is seen as going wobbly in his support of Israel’s efforts to fight its war against Hamas. He is beginning to put his desire to win re-election over doing the right thing and fully supporting Israel. 

We’ll see how it goes for the policy advisers during their trip to Dearborn. Something tells me it won’t make much of an impact. I think they would rather address Biden directly, not his team of advisers.

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