Midterm elections offer Biden hope in defeat

Midterm elections offer Biden hope in defeat

Instead Biden stands to emerge in much better shape than either of his Democratic predecessors, Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, who both took a hammering at the midterms.

Nevertheless, Biden will be headed into choppy waters if the House flips.

In a country whose divisions run deeper than ever, even a longtime senator and moderate Democrat like Biden will likely struggle to find common ground with a Republican-led chamber.

Large parts of his legislative agenda could utterly stall as a result.

Another open question is whether a new Republican leadership would keep its promise to aggressively hold the president to account – which even a slim House majority gives it the power to do.

That could easily translate into endless congressional investigations targeting Biden, his record and his family.

One of the loudest voices, far-right Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, has already promised stepped-up scrutiny of Biden’s son Hunter, who Republicans accuse of exploiting his father’s connections to do business with Ukraine and China.

EYES ON 2024

With control of the House, Republicans would also be able to apply considerable budgetary pressure on the president — with the potential to cut funding to the federal government.

As for the Senate – which confers greater powers – its fate still hangs in the balance.

But beyond, the big question facing Biden – and his Democrats – is who will carry the party’s colors into the 2024 White House race.

Until now the US president has consistently said he intends to seek a second term, and any suggestion to the contrary would have immediately undermined his authority.

But there is little appetite among the US public – or within his own party – for a second White House run by an octogenarian commander in chief.

Biden leaves Friday on a diplomatic marathon taking him from the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, to Cambodia for an ASEAN summit, and on to Indonesia for the G20 gathering.

The veteran Democrat may keep America guessing some time yet about his intentions for 2024.

But with the president far from US shores, his rival Trump will be pressing ahead – promising a big reveal, widely expected to be a new White House run, next Tuesday in Florida.

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