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Jun 23, 2024  |  
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Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist


NextImg:White House Report Card: Losing on most issues, Biden targets MAGA in reelection

We begin the new year with a White House report card that finds President Joe Biden brushing aside all that has happened in the last three years to focus exclusively on a familiar bogeyman in his reelection bid: MAGA.

In Pennsylvania yesterday, Biden presented his target for 2024 when he opened an angry speech marking the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

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“Today the topic of my speech today is deadly serious, and I think it needs to be made at the outset of this campaign,” he said.

“The choice is clear. Donald Trump’s campaign is about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power. Our campaign is different. For me and Kamala, our campaign is about America. It’s about you. It’s about every age and background that occupy this country. It’s about the future we’re going to continue to build together,” he added.

For 33 minutes, he ranted about Trump and his MAGA supporters in laying out a reelection campaign theme void of other domestic or international policy issues.

In grading the president with a “C-minus” this week, Democratic pollster John Zogby said the president has achievements to brag about but that “the sales force is just not there.”

Conservative analyst Jed Babbin opened his 2024 grading with an “F” and said, “This was another week in which Biden & Co. would have earned a grade lower than ‘F’ if there were one.”

John Zogby
Grade: C-

President Joe Biden starts the year of his reelection campaign in a very weak position.

The economic numbers all look good. The GDP rate of growth is annualized at 5.2%, and the unemployment rate is 3.7%, making it two full years where it has been under 4%. Some 173,000 new jobs were created for a total of 2.3 million new jobs this year. Wages are staying ahead of inflation. Stocks are soaring, and the FBI reports that crime is down.

But Biden is stuck at an average approval rate of 40% and is in a dead heat against former President Donald Trump.

The president does not seem to be able to get on message. He lacks the inspirational hook he had during the 2020 campaign: the empathy, gravitas, steadiness of his experience.

The Democratic National Committee has stacked the deck for his nomination, but I don't see surrogates running around the country making a strong case for his reelection. Former President Bill Clinton was always good at that, but let's forget about him, especially this week while he is being linked to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Former President Barack Obama was also a great surrogate, but his relationship with Biden has evolved from ‘frenemies’ to enemies.

The economy is actually still hot. Crime is down. But the sales force is just not there — at least this week.

Jed Babbin
Grade: F

It’s hard to say which has gone worse for the Biden White House over the past two weeks, foreign or domestic policy. There’s a lot of competition with the Biden-created border crisis, the Biden-created national debt, the Biden-created naval coalition to fight Houthi terrorism in the Red Sea, and the Biden-invited slap in the face by the Iranians who are accelerating their nuclear enrichment.

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the tidal wave of illegal immigrants coming across our southern border is the result of climate change. That’s complete nonsense. There are now more than 10,000 illegals coming across every day. Since Joe Biden became president, 8 million illegals have probably entered, which doesn’t count the “gotaways.” Meanwhile, Biden is begging Mexico to do something about the flow. Why should it? There’s a lot Mexico could do but won’t. It doesn’t want all those potential welfare recipients staying on their side. And Biden claims that the Republicans are not giving him the money he wants for border security. He doesn’t want it for border security, but merely to process more illegals into the country.

Meanwhile, thanks to Biden’s outrageous spending, the national debt has soared to more than $34 trillion. To understand how big a number that is, the Earth’s circumference is about 25,000 miles. If you put $100 bills end to end, you would go around the earth about nine times before you reached $1 trillion. To put it another way, every individual American owes more than $110,000.

Biden’s foreign policy isn’t any better. Biden warned us that we might get into a shooting war with Russia over Ukraine, which is, even for him, a terrible idea. Biden’s international coalition of nations supposed to bring naval forces to bear against the Houthis carrying out drone strikes and ship hijackings on the Red Sea fell apart before it even began. Several nations, including France, said they would only operate under NATO or European Union command.

Biden has been dreaming of reviving the Obama 2015 nuclear weapons deal with Iran ever since he came into office. Iran, in a slap directed at Biden, said it was accelerating its uranium enrichment to get more of it to 60% enrichment, which is only a few days or weeks away from 90% weapons grade.

And let’s not forget that the administration is “forgiving” tens of millions in student loans despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled he doesn’t have the power to do that. Why not buy votes if you can’t get them any other way?

To top it all off, Biden urged the International Olympic Committee to allow the “Haudenosaunee Confederacy” — the Iroquois group based in northern New York and Canada — to compete under its own flag rather than the American flag. If they’re too self-important to march under the Stars and Stripes, to hell with ’em.

This was another week in which Biden & Co. would have earned a grade lower than “F” if there were one.

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John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Survey and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His podcast with son and managing partner, pollster Jeremy Zogby, can be heard here. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @ZogbyStrategies.

Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on X, @jedbabbin.