Opinion: Why Biden Is Lying Low Ahead Of 2024


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Opinion: Why Biden is lying low ahead of 2024

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Editor’s note: Julian Zelizer, CNN political scientist, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author and editor of 25 books, including the New York Times bestseller:Myth America: Historians debunk the biggest lies and legends about our past(Basic books). Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. See more opinions on CNN.



In one of the best scenes in the fourth season of HBO’s Legacy, Logan Roy, a conservative media mogul played by Brian Cox, unexpectedly joins his four grown children at a karaoke bar to try and salvage a deal the three of them have made. undermine. He also says that he came to apologize to them. (HBO, like CNN, is owned by W*rner Bros. Discovery.)

But when the ensuing conversation does not go according to his plan, he lashes out at them, declaring: “You are not serious figures. I love you, but you are not serious people.”

The line is powerful – and may simply reflect how President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are approaching the announced and expected GOP candidates ahead of the 2024 campaign.


For months it it seemed unclear whether Biden will run for a second term. And while he finally confirmed this week that he plans to run, the president said he’s “not ready to announce it yet.”

Deciding to lay low while the Republicans prepare for 2024, Biden is using his version of what has come to be known as “Rose Garden Strategy” whereby the incumbent campaigns with a focus on being president and shows voters that he is the responsible figure in the race.

The President’s Understated Strategy Gives Republicans an Opportunity wreak havoc, tear each other apart And make unforced errors while doing so, he stays above the scrum as long as possible. This strategy puts the GOP at the center of the election, allowing Biden to amplify his 2020 message: Do voters need someone to govern and act seriously, or do they want a circus?

Among Republican candidates, former President Donald Trump was the first to announce his campaign five months ago. But Trump has dominated the media airwaves in recent weeks — and not for the reasons many Republican voters might hope for. An indictment in New York on charges of falsifying business records raised more questions about his commitment to the rule of law, or lack of it. And this lawsuit is one of many. From a civil lawsuit based on allegations of rape and defamation to a case in Georgia centered on his attempt to cancel the presidential election, Trump may just be running for the presidency in the greatest legal danger ever. (Trump has denied wrongdoing in all cases.)


Given that Trump loves to pit himself against his opponents and use conflict to his advantage, he is maintaining his outlaw image rather than trying to move away from it. Recently he said he wants refuse to issue even if he is on trial.

Meanwhile, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina are both trying to claim the non-Trump streak while Republicans watch and wait for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to make his move.

While DeSantis is by far the best chance of challenging Trump in the primary, he is also bolstering the image of a party that is more focused on fueling outrage by taking radical positions in the culture wars than on the big issues of the day. And, having recently signed into law a six-week abortion ban in Florida, DeSantis, along with many other Republicans, is taking an extreme stance on reproductive rights that can cause huge electoral resonance.

Biden and Harris seem to be betting that in the coming months, Republicans could hurt themselves much more than Democrats by opposing them. Let Republicans be Republicans and show, in Roy’s words, that they are “non-serious people.”


In their opinion, this could create space for a campaign that will show Biden and Harris as adults in the room. And if the nation is rocked by uncertainty—whether in the form of rising geopolitical tensions, economic turmoil, or a natural disaster—a majority of voters could support Biden, believing it’s best not to change ships midway, especially when the other ship looks like it won’t be able to sail very much. for a long time. While Trump is pursuing court case after trial, Biden is working on policies such as increase in sales of electric vehicles and Harris strengthens ties with African countries.

To be sure, the “rose garden strategy” has failed before—Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Republican and Democrat, used the tactic in 1976 and 1980, and both lost their re-election campaigns.

But times are different now, and this is a different Republican Party. The more chaos the Republican Party remains front and center, the more independent and moderate voters will wonder if the party can be trusted to regain the reins of power in the West Wing.

Biden may be boring and under the radar most of the time, but it was the image of normality that helped him win in 2020. Well, help him get a second term in 2024.


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