Philadelphia radio host: ‘The questions [for Joe Biden] were sent to me for approval’

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Unbelievably, this keeps getting worse. If you want to show Joe Biden is able to engage in the normal give-and-take of conversation, that his top aides haven’t been hiding a case of dementia,[1] this is precisely what not to do:

Joe Biden’s team provided a list of questions to a radio host who interviewed the president this week in the aftermath of his debate performance, the host told CNN.

“The questions were sent to me for approval. I approved them,” Andrea Lawful-Sanders, host of “The Source” in Philadelphia, said during an interview Saturday with CNN’s Victor Blackwell on “First of All.”

Lawful-Sanders told Blackwell she personally selected questions from the campaign-provided list. “I got several questions, eight of them, and the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved,” she said.[2]

Some of this probably is unfair. To quote Biden,

I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president – first Black woman – to serve with a Black president, proud to have been involved with the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.[3]

It is indeed clear enough that he refers to Vice President Kamala Harris and to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. But his syntax is garbled in such a way that one can choose to see it as incoherent.

And I should be clear: My objection to Joe Biden is principally my objection to genocide—this makes it impossible for me to vote for him. I do not myself make any claim as to any age-related impairment, but recognize that those who have already judged Biden to be “too old” will only be further persuaded by his debate performance.

President Joe Biden had been trailing former President Donald Trump for months, but by the eve of the debate, he had narrowed that gap. Several recent national polls showed him even or slightly ahead (though within the margin of error). The forecasting site 538 actually gave Biden a very slight edge in probability of victory.[4]

As bad as the genocide is, it’s the debate performance that’s hurting Biden with voters who couldn’t care less about Palestine or Palestinians, let alone the genocide. He blew it.

For the sake of argument, let’s grant the new premise: Say that within a couple of weeks, the race has returned to the status quo ante. That still puts Biden in a position of trailing Trump nationally, and lagging behind him in key swing states that Biden will need to win to have a chance in November. Even cherry-picking the most favorable polls offers an only slightly rosier view: roughly a coin-flip chance that a man who tried to steal the last election, and whom most Democrats view as a threat to democracy, will go back to the White House in 2025.

In other words, even if the campaign is right and the race remains stable, it’s insufficient for Biden. The president’s hopes seem to rest on him remaining perfect in public appearances from now until November, and on everyone forgetting what they saw last Thursday. Inertia is a powerful force, but it’s not a campaign strategy—at least not when you’re already losing.[5]

And sometimes mistakes are fatal.

Eugene Daniels, Rachael Bade, and Ryan Lizza, “Team Biden tries to quell Dem panic,” Politico, June 30, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/06/30/team-biden-tries-to-quell-dem-panic-00165945

Tyler Pager, “Biden aides plotted debate strategy for months. Then it all collapsed,” Washington Post, June 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/30/how-biden-debate-prep-led-to-damaging-event/

Maeve Reston, “Black men helped power Biden’s 2020 Georgia win. Some are wavering,” Washington Post, June 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/30/black-voters-georgia-election-biden-trump/

Alex Thompson, “Top aides shielded Biden from staff, but couldn’t hide the debate,” Axios, June 30, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/30/top-aides-shielded-biden-white-house-debate

John Heilemann, “Bidenworld’s Darkest Hour,” Puck, July 1, 2024, https://puck.news/should-biden-stay-or-should-he-go/

Matthew Choi, “Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to withdraw from presidential race,” Texas Tribune, July 2, 2024, https://www.texastribune.org/2024/07/02/lloyd-doggett-joe-biden-withdraw-election/

Liz Goodwin et al., “Manchin threatened to break with Biden before senior Democrats intervened,” Washington Post, July 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/02/joe-manchin-biden-debate-democrats-drop-out/

Peter Hamby, “Biden Plunges in Swing States in Leaked Post-Debate Poll,” Puck, July 2, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-plunges-in-swing-states-in-leaked-post-debate-poll/

Jared Mitovich, “Democrats begin attacking Biden’s performance and campaign,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/democrats-biden-debate-fallout-00166208

Eli Stokols et al., “‘We’ve all enabled the situation’: Dems turn on Biden’s inner sanctum post debate,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/biden-campaign-debate-inner-circle-00166160

Prem Thakker, “Every Democrat Other Than Joe Biden Is Unburdened by What Has Been,” Intercept, July 2, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/07/02/biden-polls-democrats-alternative-candidates/

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/


  1. [1]Alex Thompson, “Top aides shielded Biden from staff, but couldn’t hide the debate,” Axios, June 30, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/30/top-aides-shielded-biden-white-house-debate
  2. [2]Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html
  3. [3]Joe Biden, quoted in Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html
  4. [4]David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA
  5. [5]David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

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