What Will Joe Biden Do With His Political Capital?
Author: Greg Valliere
November 29, 2022
victories; without it, opponents circle like sharks. For Joe Biden — after a solid
second half — the issue is how he will spend his new political capital after the
Democrats’ decent showing in the Nov. 8 elections.
WITH POLITICAL CAPITAL, Biden can afford to alienate his allies in organized labor; yesterday he essentially told Congress to intervene and end the railroad strike threat.
WITH POLITICAL CAPITAL, Biden can afford to anger human rights advocates by staying relatively quiet on the protests that are sweeping through China. Biden does not want to jeopardize chances of better relations with Xi Jinping.
AND WITH POLITICAL CAPITAL, Biden can push for a spending package in December that may resurrect the child tax credit, raise the debt ceiling and provide $40 billion or more in new aid to Ukraine.
THERE ARE SOME ISSUES — banning assault weapons, for example — that are
unattainable. But Biden can demand action on guns. with public support. He also can speak out forcefully against the murderous ayatollahs in Iran, but that’s another
issue where Biden’s capital is limited.
BIDEN’S BIGGEST ASSET may be the looming GOP chaos in the House of Representatives, where Republicans will have a tiny majority. And the GOP is now consumed with a controversy over Donald Trump’s dinner with a Holocaust denier.
BIDEN’S LEGISLATIVE SUCCESSES this year reportedly have made him more inclined to run for a second term. He’s known for extensive deliberations before making a decision, so it could be late winter before Biden decides on whether to run again.
IF HE DECLARES THAT HE’S RUNNING, Biden probably won’t have to worry about a serious challenge from any Democrat, most of whom have declared that they won’t run if he does. This includes California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said over the past weekend that he will not challenge Biden.
WITH A SOLID RECORD of legislative wins and a Democratic Senate, Biden may be tempted to overlook the elephant in the room — his age. If he won re-election, Biden’s second term theoretically would end with him at 86 years old. An 86-year-old president is inconceivable to us; it’s a very stressful job, even with political capital.
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