Biden’s Announcement is Imminent; Will He Run Opposed? Plus, Reports of U.S. Friction with Canada
Author: Greg Valliere
April 21, 2023
THE KEY IS “SERIOUS” — which would not apply to the campaigns of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or Marianne Williamson; neither activist seems to have a chance of winning the nomination, and probably would not be included in any debates with Biden. But they could soften him up for the general election, as Patrick Buchannan did to President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
THE MANCHIN THREAT: The one candidate who could win widespread media attention is Joe Manchin, the West Virginia maverick who’s despised on the Democratic left but has a knack for generating publicity — as he did once again yesterday.
MANCHIN HAS MADE IT CLEAR that he isn’t shy about blasting the White House. He slammed Biden’s “deficiency of leadership” and praised House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for producing a budget proposal (even though it has no chance of enactment). Manchin said “we are long past time for our elected leaders to sit down and discuss how to solve this impending debt ceiling crisis.”
MANCHIN, 75, IS THE CLEAR UNDERDOG to win re-election in West Virginia, but he wants to stay in the limelight. That leaves one obvious option — running for president. His chances would be slim in early primary states, but he could soften up the shaky incumbent president.
BIDEN, MEANWHILE, WILL CAMPAIGN on the theme of “finishing the job,” even though most voters don’t like the job he has done. He gets no credit for low unemployment or the decent economy (the Atlanta Fed GDP now is predicting 2.5% growth this quarter).
THE ECONOMY IS ALWAYS A CRUCIAL ISSUE, but we think age will be the dominant theme. Biden’s roll-out next week will have to project vitality; if it doesn’t there are other challengers itching to run.
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“CANADA LEAVES ALLIES UNEASY” was the headline in a front-page article in yesterday’s Washington Post. Citing the enormous leaks of secret U.S. government files, the article says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “has told NATO officials privately that Canada will never meet” the alliance defense spending target of 2% of GDP.
THE ARTICLE ALSO ASSERTS THAT CANADA’S “WIDESPREAD” military deficiencies are “harming ties with security partners and allies.”
OUR TAKE is that U.S.-Canada relations will stay solid, despite occasional trade disputes, with Trudeau offering strong rhetorical support for the U.S. and Ukraine. But the issue of Canada’s defense spending will become an increasing irritant between Washington and Ottawa — and almost certainly would become a very contentious issue if Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee.
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