Does the Philadelphia Eagles loss in last night’s Super Bowl cast a shadow over the future prospects of their number one fan, Joe Biden? Only last week the Democratic National Committee held its annual meeting in Philadelphia, and the residual energy from that event was not enough to put the hometown football team over the top.
The truth is we are no closer to knowing the 80-year old president’s intentions today, just as it was hard to tell after last week’s State of the Union address whether the 46th president is indeed running for re-election or just buying time.
It was only three years ago that the seemingly endless Democratic presidential primary contest remained wide open with over a dozen candidates stumping for votes in next-door New Hampshire. A year out from the next time of choosing, the picture on that side of the aisle is fuzzier still.
Meanwhile, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is poised to make a major announcement the day after tomorrow. The logical assumption is that she is running for the GOP presidential nomination in a field – at this relatively early stage – seen as dominated by former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and former CIA director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are widely seen as considering runs, as may be several former governors, current senators and even the infamously unpopular ex-national security advisor John Bolton.
As Biden is fond of saying, (in an apparent rebuff to female Republicans), “this isn’t your father’s GOP anymore.” As is often the case with the current president, we are left to interpret that remark on our own, but what he probably meant was best outlined in a recent piece by conservative commentator Josh Hammer:
- Defense of an anti-woke agenda, as Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders laid out in her SOTU response;
- Economic nationalism versus the globalism that took flight under President George H.W. Bush and seems to have put wind beneath China’s wings, and;
- A redefinition of what America First means in foreign affairs.
But with Trump as one of various candidates on the Republican side of the aisle, it becomes more difficult for Democrats to hinge all their messaging on putting the former president in chains. America today has bigger problems.
Haley’s pending announcement means that Republicans aren’t waiting to see what Joe will do. For the next twelve months, there will be plenty of posturing, smack talk and theatrics in a show with open admission for all to see.
More given to back-room negotiations, the Democrats may well be scrambling behind the aging edifice of their current party establishment. One thing is clear, though: more than half of Democrats tell pollsters it would be better if Biden didn’t stand for a second term.
So maybe the Super Bowl isn’t the only bellwether out there after all.