If, as expected, Joe Biden meets Donald Trump again, his chances of a second term in office are high.
Since the beginning of 2024, the outgoing president has seemed to be all about demonizing an opponent whose problems with the justice system are historic. This strategy has borne fruit in 2020, but it has its limitations.
A stubborn approach to the southern border
The numerous trials against Donald Trump and the abortion issue will represent a handicap for the Republicans. Joe Biden and his people already see the problems at the southern border in the rearview mirror.
The month of December 2023 broke all records. American border services have intercepted around a quarter of a million immigrants who crossed the border illegally.
So far, Joe Biden and Democratic congressional leaders have said they reject Republican calls for tougher measures. Republican elected officials have even indicated that they would reject any additional budget for Ukraine if they did not receive concessions from the president.
If he thinks beyond his usual support, Joe Biden should give in to certain Republican demands. Not only would it provide much-needed funds to Ukraine, but the independent electorate could also respond to tougher policies. The issue of immigration is worrying and divisive.
On a political level, the risk here seems moderate to me. If we anger the most progressive elements, perhaps they could limit their criticism if Joe Biden does not give in to longer stays of migrants on humanitarian grounds. The devil is in the details…
Defending the indefensible: the Israeli friend
The 46th president's other big concern should be managing his support for Israel. Both on the international stage and in the United States, Israel's sympathy capital is crumbling.
While the Hamas terrorist attack was condemned almost unanimously, the Israeli response is now seen as disproportionate.
Joe Biden and Antony Blinken give the impression that they don't play a big role. If they claim to be negotiating discreetly with Netanyahu, Bibi doesn't seem to want to cooperate.
This issue is a veritable Pandora's box, but by insisting on not achieving a ceasefire or moderate Israeli enthusiasm in the West Bank, the American president is being directly linked to the humanitarian crisis.
This conflict between Hamas and Israel is dividing Americans and also affecting unity within the Democratic Party at the start of an election year.
Democrats who supported Biden in the Hamas v. Israel will not turn to the Republican Party. The risk is that, like some in 2016, they will also stay at home in November 2024.
With all polls clearly showing Biden failing to inspire enthusiasm, he must do everything he can to ensure the mobilization of his troops and independents. It is no longer enough to demonize Trump, he must act, and quickly.