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Biden’s got 3 make or break tests this week and Democrats are completely clueless

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday, March 8 will be a make-or-break moment. It could very well be the president’s last opportunity to turn around his dismal standing with the American people which, according to a recent New York Times/Siena poll, is mired at the lowest point yet of his presidency. After all, it’s not often that Biden’s handlers allow him to appear before a national audience. 

Biden has three critical missions. One is to look like a robust, energetic man who can capably govern our country for the next four years, and not a doddering and confused 81-year-old. The vast majority of Americans – 86% in one survey– thinks he is not up to the task. His job is to prove them wrong. 

Second, Biden must convince the 82% of voters (in the Times poll) who say his policies haven’t helped them that they are confused and that, in fact Bidenomics has been a smashing success. Ditto the 73% in a new Fox News poll who rated economic conditions today ‘only fair’ or ‘poor.’ 

Third, and possibly most important, Biden has to convincingly blame someone else for the unholy mess at the southern border. He will tell the public that his hands have been tied by Republicans, and that he is powerless to fix it. He’ll hope voters forget that Trump managed to close the border all on his own.

These are nearly impossible challenges. The Times survey shows the incumbent Democrat losing to Donald Trump by 5 points, and trailing with Hispanic voters. His advantage with Black voters has narrowed significantly and he has lost ground also with young people, many of whom are unhappy about the president’s support for Israel and have been checking ‘uncommitted’ in Democratic primaries.

For all these reasons, this SOTU looms large.  

Can Biden turn around his sinking ship? Bragging about cracking down on ‘junk fees’ or going full nuclear against ‘shrinkflation’ will not suffice. Touting his climate agenda or his student loan forgiveness plans is risky – working class Americans, whom the president is desperately courting, don’t like either. He can promise to save democracy, but since he and his party are feverishly trying to bankrupt, imprison and remove from the ballot his foremost opponent Donald Trump, such claims ring hollow. 

Those hoping for a reset, the kind of pivot to the middle that arguably saved Barack Obama’s presidency, will likely be disappointed. Obama, too, was unpopular at this point in his first term, but after receiving what he described as a ‘shellacking’ in the midterms, he edged towards the middle and managed to boost his standing. By all accounts, the Biden team thinks the campaign is going hunky-dory, no reboot necessary.

The number one issue for voters is immigration and the border, and rightly so. Biden and Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas continue to argue that they are blameless, even as the death toll from our open border continues to mount. 

The gruesome murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley allegedly by a Venezuelan migrant in the country illegally brings home the danger of our immigration fiasco. But so do the 112,000 deaths from fentanyl poisoning that took place in 2023 alone. And let’s not forget the hundreds of migrants who have died in their desperate effort to cross into our country between points of entry.  

The open border is also weakening our nation’s security; tens of thousands of military-age Chinese men have poured into the U.S. for the first time ever and hundreds of individuals on the terror watch list have tried to enter the country as well.  

The White House has responded to voter fury about the collapsed border by blaming Republicans. If only the GOP would have passed the immigration plan Biden proposed early in his presidency, they claim, we would not have this problem. That is bunk; Biden’s ‘U.S. Citizenship Act’ did little to protect our border and instead prioritized legalizing people in the country illegally. (The name gives it away.) The bill was such a dud that even Democrats ignored it during Biden’s first two years, during which they controlled both houses of Congress.  

The White House now blasts the GOP for ongoing inaction, even as voters know that Biden through executive action could restore the safeguards put in place by Donald Trump and then jettisoned by Biden during his mindless effort to obliterate his predecessor’s policies.  

Don’t expect Biden to apologize for allowing at least 7 million people to enter the U.S. illegally since he became president. Democrats are happy to welcome these ‘newcomers,’ as they now call them, whom they hope will become lifetime supporters of their party.  

Biden will also try to convince Americans voters that the economy is working for them, even though only a quarter of voters in a new Fox News poll say that is so, while 48% say his policies have hurt them.  His claims about the economy are so dishonest that even the friendly New York Times felt compelled recently to offer a fact-check. 

While unemployment is low and the economy continues to grow, inflation remains a huge problem for Americans living paycheck to paycheck. In particular, people are incensed that the cost of food is up more than 20% since Biden took office, while wages have only increased 15%. People are falling behind and they know it. 

Biden will again accuse ‘greedy’ food companies like Pepsi or Kraft Heinz of profiteering after the pandemic; he will try to blame them for rising prices. Don’t believe it. These companies’ profit margins plummeted after the COVID shut-downs; they have been scrambling ever since to cover increased labor and materials costs and, for the most part, are still underwater. This is another Biden lie.

Biden’s biggest challenge will be to look like a man in charge – a man that can be trusted to lead our nation for the next four years. 

That will take magic, not an hour reading from a Teleprompter.

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