Home Politics Will the Special Counsel Report Affect Joe Biden’s Aspirations to Be Reelected?

Will the Special Counsel Report Affect Joe Biden’s Aspirations to Be Reelected?

by Scott Kacsmar
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Joe Biden

NEWSFLASH: Joe Biden is old.

Voters knew this when they elected him in 2020, making him the oldest United States president at the start of his term by almost 8 years. The person he beat, Donald Trump, held the previous record as the first U.S. president to start his term in his 70s. Biden will be almost 82 come the November election.

Voters kind of had to know a potential Biden-Trump rematch was always a strong possibility for 2024.

If you know how aging works, candidates do not get any younger. And, if you know how the top political betting sites work, these numbers might not get any better either.

Maybe the dissatisfaction with that reality is finally catching up with people, but there is a strong pushback currently going on after the release of a special counsel report last Thursday that questioned Biden’s mind and ability to remember things such as the date of his son Beau’s death.

Biden pushed back in a heated press conference last Thursday night, and a barrage of conversation and think pieces have since been pouring in that express real doubt in Biden’s chances to win reelection in November against Trump.

Can Biden overcome this, or do the Democrats need a last-minute change of plans if they want to keep the most powerful job in the world?

CandidatePartyBetOnlineBetAnySportsBookmakerBovadaEverygameHeritage Sports
Donald TrumpRepublican-105-125-104+110N/AN/A
Joe BidenDemocrat-105-110+114+120N/AN/A
Michelle ObamaDemocrat+2200+2000+2750+2500N/AN/A
Robert Kennedy Jr.Independent+2200+2200+2800+3000N/A+1400
Gavin NewsomDemocrat+3300+3000+5300+4500N/AN/A
Kamala HarrisDemocrat+3300+3300+6500+7000N/AN/A
Any Other Party+2900

The Hur Report

The recent controversy started on February 8, 2024, when Special Counsel, Robert Hur, concluded no criminal charges would be filed against Biden in regards to his handling of classified documents.

That was the good news for Biden.

However, in the 345-page report were some bombshells that questioned Biden’s memory, including his ability to remember the date his son Beau died. The other stinging line was that if put on trial, “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” reads the report.

As an unbiased observer, that might be hard to dispute for Biden at this stage of his life. Yet, his impromptu press conference that Thursday night to respond to the report was fiery and contentious, especially when he was questioned repeatedly by CNN White House correspondent MJ Lee.

Biden got some points across, including his thoughts on even being asked about his son Beau’s death. “Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business,” Biden said.

However, moments after defending his memory, Biden made another gaffe where he referred to the president of Egypt as the president of Mexico. That wasn’t good and that too was pounced on by the media afterwards.

Some have probably felt all along that Biden should be a 1-term president due to his record-setting age, but the gloves seem to be coming off from many political pundits now.

Paul Begala is a Democratic strategist and worked for Bill Clinton’s campaign. “Look, I’m a Biden supporter. And I slept like a baby last night. I woke up every two hours and wet the bed. This is terrible for Democrats. And anybody with a functioning brain knows that,” said Begala on CNN last Friday.

Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville also slammed Biden, who concluded his bad week by turning down the Super Bowl interview, an annual tradition where the president gets a huge national audience to answer what are usually softball questions and have his voice heard.

Biden turning that down in an election year is an especially bad look.

“It’s the biggest television audience, not even close, and you get a chance to do a 20-, 25-minute interview on that day,” Carville started. “And you don’t do it? That’s a kind of sign that the staff or yourself doesn’t have much confidence in you. There’s no other way to read this.”

Carville continued on Biden when it comes to debates. “And he’s not going to do debates,” Carville said. “He is old, I know what it is because I’m almost as old as he is, and it’s never going to get better.”

Jon Stewart made his return to The Daily Show on Monday night and also roasted Biden (and Trump) on his age.

As Stewart suggests, if all of these people, including vice president Kamala Harris, can attest to Biden being sharp on the job, then why not film that and show it to the people? Instead, Biden finished his weekend by his staff posting a TikTok where he jokes about eating Donna Kelce’s chocolate chip cookies.

He’ll need a cold Ensure to wash those down.

Biden’s Approval Rating

Biden is no doubt taking a hit as we speak, but his approval ratings have been poor for several months now. According to data from FiveThirtyEight, Biden’s approval rating on his 1,122nd day in office is just 39.1%.

Biden Approval Rating 16_02

Biden has been under 40% since late October, so this has been an extended decline. We saw Trump dip even lower during his presidency, but he was able to stay above 40% in the final year of his term, which was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the last 7 presidents to serve at least one full term going back to Jimmy Carter all had an approval rating of at least 42.9% on their 1,122nd day in office:

  • Joe Biden, 2021-24: 39.1% approval
  • Donald Trump, 2017-21: 42.9% approval
  • Barack Obama, 2009-17: 48.4% approval
  • George W. Bush, 2001-09: 49.7% approval
  • Bill Clinton, 1993-2001: 48.9% approval
  • George H.W. Bush, 1989-93: 44.2% approval
  • Ronald Reagan, 1981-89: 54.4% approval
  • Jimmy Carter, 1977-81: 56.6% approval

Biden’s disapproval rating currently stands at 56%, tied for the highest during his presidency. He is going to need something big to turn this around.

How Can Biden Counter This?

The good news for Biden is that his rival, Donald Trump, also has major concerns over his historic age and his mental state.

Facing 91 criminal charges, Trump has a lot more on his mind these days than just the election. He has been caught saying crazier things than usual at his rallies, including constant mix-ups of Nancy Pelosi with Nikki Haley, taking out magnets with water and baselessly claiming the state of Pennsylvania will change its name if he loses it in November.

In this battle of sundowners, it seems that Biden only gets criticized for his gaffes and memory struggles. At this point, Trump could literally do anything and his base will still vote for him.

But it is hard to imagine any reasonable independent voter is going to vote for Trump over Biden because of things like age and memory. They share that problem equally. The scare for Biden is that enough independent voters simply no longer care enough to pick either and turnout is low in November.

The Democrats need a high turnout in November to win this election.

Maybe the way to achieve this is something that was joked about as a Super Bowl conspiracy when right-wing pundits believed Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce faked their relationship just so she could endorse Biden at the Super Bowl with over 120 million watching.

That obviously did not happen, but Kelce’s Chiefs did win the Super Bowl, and Biden’s social media team made a funny tweet to reference this:

This means the Chiefs will visit the White House this summer. What if Swift accompanies Kelce and does make some kind of political statement at that event?

She doesn’t even necessarily have to endorse Biden. She could just implore her huge fanbase to register to vote this November, which might be enough to sway things in some battleground states, especially if she helps tap into that new block of voters who turned 18 since the last election.

Biden can’t get any younger, but Swift actually can help him get younger voters and that might be enough.

Do the Democrats Need Another Plan?

Frankly, the Democrats should have had a contingency plan in place years ago given Biden’s age and the fact that Kamala Harris is not well-liked. She is not a legitimate replacement option to run for president in case they don’t want to run Biden after all.

Kamala Harris Approval Rating 16_2

However, there is precedent for the sitting president to pull out of his reelection bid this late in the process.

In 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson could have run for a 2nd full term, but on March 31, he announced to the nation that he was not seeking reelection anymore. The reasons varied from the failure in the Vietnam War to younger voters getting behind Robert F. Kennedy to Johnson’s failing health. Johnson’s approval rating went from 36% to 49% the next day after his announcement.

Kennedy was assassinated in June, but Johnson rallied the party to get behind Hubert Humphrey, who received the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in August. Humphrey lost to Richard Nixon in the 1968 election.

Nixon-Campaigns-in-Chicago1

So, there is precedent for a Democrat stepping down and a new nominee taking over at the convention in the summer.

Everyone from the New York Times to Politico has a plan now for Biden to step down. However, it has to be his decision and there has to be a worthy replacement for him. Do the Democrats have that person in mind?

If they did, it probably would have already happened.

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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