Democrats Unhappy With Biden’s Absence In New Hampshire

Source: David Lienemann, via Wikimedia Commons

Presidential primary season is ramping up, and all eyes have been on the Republican ticket to see who will ultimately win the nod of being the GOP’s primary pick. The Democratic nomination is important too, though, and some people have had opinions about the incumbent president, Joe Biden.

The Incumbent Takes the Nomination

In an election, it’s assumed that the incumbent will always take their party’s nomination. In 2020, Trump was the assumed nominee for president due to the fact that he was the incumbent.

Source: Michael Stokes, via Wikimedia Commons

This practice is because, historically, the incumbent typically has an advantage over any newcomer in a presidential primary race. Name recognition as well as the ability to run on history makes it so that often, for voters, it’s an easy choice.

Joe Biden’s Unique Challenges

2024 is not the first year that there has been criticism of an incumbent president, or the first time that there have been people who wanted him to step down and let someone else have a shot at the title of President.

Source: The White House, via Wikimedia Commons

Joe Biden has faced unique challenges ahead of the 2024 primary season, with many in both parties questioning his age and mental acuity in relation to his fitness for office. There’s no evidence that Biden is losing his mental faculties as the years wear on, but it’s a popular talking point.

Biden Has Been Doing the Job of President

Additionally, global and domestic events have made it so that Joe Biden has been very occupied doing the job of being president. The conflict in the Middle East has been engaging a good deal of the president’s time, meaning that he has had less availability to actively campaign for reelection like some of his predecessors.

Source: David Lienemannvia, via Wikimedia Commons

While this is an understandable dilemma, it’s one that his opponents and fellow Democrats alike have seized on. Many people have stated that as the first octogenarian in the White House, Biden is simply too old to do the job. Others have latched onto how busy the man is, using that to point out perceived discrepancies.

Biden’s Opponents Circling

Two of Biden’s opponents in particular have used his absence from the campaign trail as a tactic to point out that he is no longer fit, in their eyes, to do the job as president.

Source: Matt Johnson, via Wikimedia Commons

Both Marianne Williamson – in her second bid for the White House – and Representative Dean Phillips, have been campaigning in New Hampshire ahead of the primary, and both have pointed out Biden’s absence as a moral failing on his part as the incumbent president.

Are Other Opponents More Qualified?

Both Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips are relatively unknown as far as political circles go. Marianne Williamson is not a politician at all, though this is her second bid for the White House. She’s made a name for herself with her rather out-there views, on everything from spiritualism to vaccines.

Source: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Dean Phillips is a representative who has represented Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district since 2019, and he believes that his experience in both running for office and representing the people of his district makes him more uniquely qualified to run against Biden than, sat, Williamson.

Why Isn’t Biden Around?

Both candidates latched onto the fact that Biden did not campaign in the Granite State at the start of primary season, as well as the fact that he didn’t shown up for any debates.

Source: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

“But, to not do a single debate? Why? To not answer the questions of the press? Why? To not show up in front of voters? Why? To not do a town hall? Why? I think it’s time to answer the question,” Dean Phillips said ahead of a group of potential voters in New Hampshire.

Williamson and Phillips Both Trailing Badly

Despite their aggressive talking points, both Williamson and Phillips have an uphill battle when it comes to winning the nomination of the Democratic party.

Source: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Recent polling data has the President well ahead of the other candidates in this campaign. A poll from Emerson College has Biden taking 61% of the vote, while Phillips only polled at 16%, and Williamson polled at a mere 5%.

Dean Phillips is Determined

Despite the uphill battle that both candidates are facing in their quest for the Democratic nod, it has not curtailed either of their campaigns.

Source: DC News Now

In his closing comments in a recent speech in New Hampshire, Dean Phillips assured the onlookers that he wasn’t going to close his campaign merely because he was compelled to. “You can propel me to make this a legitimate competition,” he said.

Williamson Taking a Different Strategy

Marianne Williamson is equally determined in her quest to take the presidency, though she’s taken a different tack than her opponent. Rather than relying on the weight of her nonexistent political experience, she has relied on getting out there and speaking to average Americans.

Source: Marianne Williamson Campaign

When asked about her strategy in comparison to the incumbent president, she stated, “You don’t waste a minute even if you are just walking down the street passing out palm cards, meeting people.” She clearly has a people-oriented approach, rather than a policy-oriented approach.

Conflict Ahead of the Primaries

This Democratic primary season is unique in that the DNC and state officials disagreed on the official order of the expected primaries. The DNC wanted South Carolina to go first, in a change to a schedule that has been in place for decades.

Source: OpenStreetMap via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire officials were insistent on having their state go first in the primary race, though. New Hampshire has been the first in the Democratic primaries for decades, and though there is some merit to the idea that shifting demographics should necessitate a change, tradition is a difficult thing to break.

An Uproar

The attempt to change the primary schedule caused significant uproar among candidates and voters alike. Andrew Yang, former candidate for president, addressed a crowd and accused the DNC of trying to suppress competition.

Source: Abhiram Juvvadi, via Wikimedia Commons

“You are all being punished for holding a primary that you are required to hold by state law,” he said to the crowd of New Hampshire voters. States are in charge of hosting their own elections, even in federal races, and the implication that voters were being disenfranchised by the DNC created quite a stir.

Changes to the Primary Calendar

In reality, the primary calendar that the country has followed has remained stagnant for decades, and there are many who think that a change to the calendar has been long overdue.

Source: Michael.worley, via Wikimedia Commons

The uproar with the proposed slate of primaries – which was recommended by President Biden and his administration and overwhelmingly approved by the Democratic National Committee – was that it would have wiped Iowa from the early voting season altogether, and moved other early contenders later in the season in favor of South Carolina, which would have taken first place.

Pressure from Outside

The pressure to change the primary slate came from both inside and outside the administration, with many wanting to see greater diversity in the primary slates. Iowa and New Hampshire are notably homogenous as far as diversity goes, and there were some voters who wanted to see greater diversity in the early days of choosing a primary candidate.

Source: The White House via Wikimedia Commons

The push to change the primary calendar has faced significant hurdles, though. Republican-led legislatures in both New Hampshire and Georgia have put their foot down when it comes to adjusting the primary schedule, which is why Iowa still voted first in the 2024 primary season. There are many unhappy with this slow adjustment, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Primary Season Off With A Bang

Primary season is well underway, and despite what candidates like Phillips and Williamson have said, the job of president doesn’t stop simply because people think that Biden should be on the campaign trail.

Source: The White House via Wikimedia Commons

Whether his absence from campaign events and primary rallies will hurt his chances of remaining president remains to be seen. His chances, of course, also hinge on the ultimate choice for the RNC-endorsed candidate, and until firmer numbers are announced, everyone is lying in wait.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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