President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is in trouble. He likely won’t be the Democratic nominee, but he’s likely determined to put the Democratic Party through quite a roller-coaster ride before he and the party reach that conclusion. Most voters believe Biden should step aside and let someone new run — an AP-NORC poll out Tuesday found just 12% of Democrats want Biden to lead their party.
Until now, Biden has been allowed to avoid any serious media questioning. He did almost no interviews, answered questions sporadically and survived on the basis of the country’s close partisan split that held fast even as many in his own party questioned his leadership.
It wasn’t the surge in crime, rampant inflation, unchecked migration across the southern border or rising fuel prices that put Biden in trouble. Somehow even as those problems mounted during his presidency’s first two years and he was blamed for much of it, Democrats stuck together.
Instead, the administration’s first real questioning came over Document-gate, classified material that had been sitting in his offices and homes contrary to law for years. CBS News broke the story that classified documents were found in Penn Biden Center offices before the midterm elections — but was kept from the public.
What followed was the first real media frenzy Biden has had to face since he dropped out of the 1988 presidential race after plagiarizing his speech from a British politician. Biden has said in explanation basically nothing beyond the fact his Corvette was stored along with the documents later found at his house.
Who really found these documents? What are the documents? Do they tie into anything of interest to Hunter Biden? Why was the information withheld from the public until broken by an investigative reporter? Who else had access to these documents? Why did the vice president keep these particular documents? None of these questions has been answered.
Given all the big problems of his presidency, it’s ironic this almost-irrelevant matter has opened up larger questions about Biden and his fitness for re-election. Nor are questions about the documents the real queries that merit an independent counsel.
For more than two years, we’ve known the president’s son and brother were running an influence-peddling business selling the Biden name. These two had absolutely nothing to sell but influence with Joe Biden, yet they received millions of dollars from Ukrainian energy companies, Chinese-government-tied investors and shady Russian figures. The only time Biden was questioned about all this was when President Donald Trump raised it in the presidential debate, Biden dismissed it as Russian disinformation, and the moderator moved on. Biden simply lied.
Since President Dwight Eisenhower founded NORAD in 1958, we’ve never had to shoot down anything over our skies. All of a sudden we had to shoot down four objects, including the Chinese spy balloon. Perhaps it’s because China knows it can get away with things because it has so much on the Biden family with all the business dealings between them.
Almost every major news organization has certified as real the evidence on the Hunter Biden laptop, raising serious questions about both Bidens. Did Hunter commit crimes such as tax evasion and lying on a gun-permit application? Did Joe lie when he said he never discussed his son’s business with him? Was Joe the “big guy” in the proposed fee share? Did Hunter split his income with his father? Was Joe involved with the influence-peddling business?
Was the Penn Biden Center paid for with Chinese donations? Did the Bidens solicit those donations for the University of Pennsylvania? These are serious questions, and Attorney General Merrick Garland should have investigated them. They’re also questions Joe Biden is unlikely to have very good answers to — or he would have answered them. Now that Republicans have retaken the House, they will seek the answers.
Having prosecuted Trump officials for defying congressional subpoenas, Garland is bound to do the same for the Republicans or face impeachment himself. And independent counsels have a habit of expanding their jurisdiction as they uncover new evidence.
More and more, Biden is also facing questions about his age and his fitness to hold on to the presidency well into his 80s. Gaffes are becoming more frequent, and the hope he would again face Donald Trump seems to be fading. Against a new Republican nominee, Biden would be forced to run an actual campaign compared to the cloaked effort in 2020 in which tech companies, debate commissions and the media made favorable decisions to end Trump’s reign.
In 2020, Democrats picked Biden because he was needed to keep the party from naming someone too far left to win. Now the party will need someone who can take on a next-generation Republican. That Democrat is not Joe Biden.