Witcover on Politics: Biden’s 2024 Playbook May Result in Victory 

President Joe Biden has hit the ground running. Instead of heading for cover as his presidency encounters uncommon political challenges from a growing field of potential Republican opponents to his reelection next year, he has decided to focus on the presidency he already holds.

The president has engaged in much foreign and domestic traveling, demonstrating his political style and energy, building more support from voters who up until now have seemed to denigrate his experience and skills, and above all his personal authenticity as a national and world leader. That experience is an unusual example of his on-the-job-training, developed in his 36 years in the Senate and his vice-presidency.

In writing the first and comprehensive biography of Joe Biden as vice president and now as president, I have traveled extensively with him in Delaware and retain an essential source in his sister and long-time campaign manager Valerie Biden Owens. His ambitious plan called Bidenomics includes creating 13 million jobs and cutting inflation in half, improving the economic infrastructure while maintaining price controls.

After the 6-3 Supreme Court decision ended affirmative actions in college admissions, Biden declared that discrimination by race still exists in America. The Court also struck down Biden’s plan providing student loan forgiveness. He has pledged to install “a new path” to achieve the same objectives. “I’m never going to stop fighting for you. We’ll use every tool at our disposal to get you the student debt relief you need,” he declared.

Biden will also replay his successful strategy of 2020, casting himself once again as the alternative to the man he disparagingly calls “the former guy.” The country has experienced a sea change in attitude since the days when Donald Trump was president. A president can set the tone for the country, holding it to a higher standard, filtering down to society as a whole.

For Biden, being the best person he can be is almost a religion for him. Whereas the former president offered derisive remarks that led to polarization, this president sees himself as a unifier who refuses to tolerate bullying.

While Biden’s age is cited as a deterrent to a second term, he is also considered safe. “This is a guy just coming to work every day, calling it as he sees it, with no self-interest,” says David Plouffe, the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign manager. The burden of high office, like all else in his life, Biden said, “is my responsibility, and I’ll meet it. I’ll always believe governing, quite frankly, and life for that matter, is about connecting with people. That won’t change.”

Biden is proud to be a reliable safe haven for voters who have seen Trump to be a threat to the American election process with his attacks of a “rigged” process. Once again, not being Donald Trump may well give Joe Biden a second term in 2024. Now it will be up to the news media and members of the journalism profession to handle the upcoming battle with steadiness and accountability as the nation makes its choice between polar opposites.

Longtime Georgetown resident Jules Witcover has been writing from Washington on politics and history since 1954, first for the Newhouse Newspapers, then the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun and later as a syndicated columnist. His 20 books include “Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption.” 





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