White House employs curious ‘Do No Harm’ strategy with Biden ahead of midterms: report

If you’re a Democratic candidate and you’re fighting to win this Tuesday in a key battleground state, it appears the last thing you want is for President Joe Biden to show up and offer his “help.”

The White House seems to know this, even if Joe doesn’t.

While the President has shown up for candidates like Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman, Philadelphia “is a true-blue city,” according to The Hill, “and the president is largely staying absent from the big Senate battlegrounds in Georgia, Ohio, Nevada and Arizona.”

And Biden’s final campaign stop at a rally in Maryland for Democrat Wes Moore isn’t expected to inspire any new votes, as Moore “is a sure bet to win his race for governor.”

Said one strategist, the White House has adopted a “do no harm” strategy, and it’s aimed at keeping Biden’s dismal poll numbers and unpredictable gaffes from dragging down Democratic candidates and inspiring conservatives and independents to race to vote Republican.

“He’s not going to do any harm to Wes Moore,” the strategist said. “But he would potentially hurt some of these other candidates who don’t need a reminder of the 80-year-old president with the bad economy beside them.”

“He wants to be part of the 2022 conversation with as little impact as possible that he can be blamed for,” the strategist added.

Considering that Biden has yet to say he will step aside in 2024, it doesn’t bode well for the Democratic party, which would rather have former President Barack Obama as their cheerleader.

In the weeks leading up to the midterm, Obama has been the one to pump up the crowds in battleground states, including Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, Arizona and Nevada.

“No one wants to talk about it, but he should be doing more of the Obama stops and he can’t,” a second strategist told The Hill. “I don’t think it paints a good picture of what’s in store in 2024.”

And while the left may wish to keep the President tucked safely away in the basement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has been left to defend his schedule.

Arguing that Biden’s speeches are widely televised and covered, Jean-Pierre claimed the President is a help to Democrats no matter where he is.

“It goes beyond just the state that he’s in, it goes beyond just the people he’s speaking in front of, and we think that matters,” she said on Thursday.

When pressed on Biden’s choice to only travel to decidedly blue locations, she pointed to those places other Dem officials are visiting and weakly explained that “this is an — if you will — all of government, kind of, process here.”

That may be true, but the fact remains that no one could do more harm to Fetterman’s campaign in Pennsylvania than Fetterman does every time he opens his mouth, and when it comes to taking on a Republican candidate like, say, Herschel Walker, who stands a good chance at beating Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and flipping an all-important Senate seat, they don’t send Biden.

It was Obama who went in to try and drag Warnock over the finish line.

And while it might be easier to just admit that Democratic candidates want Biden’s help about as much as they want a colonoscopy, other strategists are busy attempting to paint Biden’s absence in the most pivotal races as totally normal.

Brandon Neal served as a political adviser to both Obama and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and used to be the DNC political director.

He claims there’s nothing suspicious about keeping Biden out of the nation’s hot spots.

“You can’t go to everything all at once. I think it’s a matter of identifying who will be the most appropriate person, deploying the top surrogates,” he said. “I think having former President Obama go in his place is equally fine.”

To make his point, Neal pointed to former President Bill Clinton who went on the road for Democratic candidates when Obama was president.

“It’s normal in presidential campaigns or just campaigns, especially in midterms,” he said. “If you are in a place that’s considered conservative or considered not necessarily a blue state, then some states would rather have a former president versus an existing just by way of who’s in the White House.”

As for Biden’s expected trip to Maryland, Neal argues that it’s strategically smart for the President to end the campaign season there, so he can “seal the deal” for the man Democrats believe to be a rising star.

“I think that Wes Moore brings a certain energy and certain excitement back to Maryland, very similar to what President Obama gave when he ran for president in 2008,” Neal said. “I also think it’s a state that is close, it’s not far geographically, so it’s easy to go in and seal the deal.”



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