Biden world feels relief, and vindication, as election results roll in

The Senate majority appeared to rest with Nevada and a likely runoff in Georgia. But administration officials and their allies saw the results as validation of Biden’s political successes and his bet that a broad focus on Republican extremism would help push back voters, despite the fact that Democrats in many of the tougher races are looking to get away from the president and vice president themselves.

“What was true in 2020 is also true in 2022 – that voters seek normalcy and that their representatives restore the rule of law, respect our democracy and tackle the issues that plague them daily, such as high costs and the infractions. on their rights. And that’s what President Biden and the Democrats did,” said Stephanie Cutter, a longtime Democratic operative. “The winds of history always meant there would be casualties, but the red wave everyone predicted was blunted due to sound politics and respect for our institutions.”

For others, the moment recalled Biden rising from the political grave midway through 2020 and later seeing his legislative agenda — including massive spending plans — resurrected and eventually passed by Congress.

The startling results represented one of the best midterm elections for a ruling party in nearly a century. Yet while he has given the White House a considerable psychological and political boost, he does not exhaust the questions facing the president and his team. For starters, the House is still at risk of falling to Republicans, forcing the administration to drastically curtail its ambitions. And losing the Senate, even by the narrowest margins, would hamper their ability to appoint judges and other crucial people.

Beyond that, Biden’s political future remains deeply uncertain. The president has spent the end of the midterm campaigning largely in deep blue enclaves and staying away from most of the close races that have fought their way, or may yet do so. . Instead, he raised funds behind the scenes or hosted official events — sometimes at the insistence of Democratic campaigns who feared his presence alongside them at rallies — and attempted to steer the national narrative with a series of Washington speech. Biden, who is about to turn 80, will have to make a choice about whether he will run for office again. Allies say they expect Tuesday’s results to bolster his belief that he deserves a second term.

“He has every reason in the world to race again,” Elrod said. “And there are a lot of Democrats waking up today – and not just Democrats for that matter, independents – saying, ‘I hope he runs again, because look at the night we had. ‘”

Biden began watching the election unfold from the residence, before heading to Roosevelt Room where he was joined by his advisers. He then retreated to the resort’s dining room to make a battery of congratulatory calls, ending with an early morning text to John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who beat TV celebrity Mehmet Oz in a state that emerged as a first proxy war between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Among officials and close allies, the history defying midterms has been internalized as a repudiation of Trump and his movement, which despite Biden’s unpopularity, stubbornly high inflation and growing fear of crime, have faltered in many places the White House cares most about. Along with a number of suburban House neighborhoods that have been prioritized by administration and party officials, they have been particularly encouraged by big wins in the Rust Belt gubernatorial races – states that will again be crucial to be held in 2024.

It’s been exactly half a century since Biden entered politics, and mid-terms threatened to seriously weaken the president’s position. Advisers insisted Biden, who has said he intends to seek re-election, will not be swayed one way or another by the November results. But Democrats have said they foresee a war on the right over how much blame Trump should receive, which in turn would relieve some of the pressure on Biden that would have boiled over had the races served as a referendum on the current president. rather than the latter.

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