Friday, 24 Mar 2023

Democrats insist Joe Bidens low midterms profile is smart strategy

Democrats insist Joe Bidens low midterms profile is smart strategy


Democrats insist Joe Bidens low midterms profile is smart strategy

Music, chants and applause filled the gymnasium of a community college in an upstate New York battleground district, where Joe Biden delivered Democrats' closing economic argument of the midterm election season.

The president acknowledged Americans' struggle to cope with painfully high inflation, while touting the progress his administration had made toward a post-pandemic recovery. He closed his remarks with a stark warning: if Republicans win control of Congress, they would create "chaos" in the economy. Then he waded into the crowd to shake hands and snap selfies.

While the visit had some of the trappings of a traditional campaign rally, it was, like much of Biden's recent travels, an official event - an understated finish to a campaign season the president has described as the "most consequential" of his political life.

In the final days before the 8 November election, Biden will ramp up his campaign trail appearances, with plans to visit Pennsylvania, Florida, New Mexico, California and Maryland to stump for Democratic candidates.

But his relatively low profile is part of a concerted strategy designed for an unpopular president in a challenging election year.

"To the extent he's less visible, and maybe even invisible, it's a plus for Democrats because it lets the candidates run their own campaigns on their own issues," Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "Out of sight, out of mind."

On the line this November is not only control of Congress. The outcome will also have far-reaching implications for Biden's presidency - and his legacy. And Biden believes the stakes are even higher for American democracy.

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