Pelosi's Comments on Biden's Candidacy Ignite Widespread Speculation

A ringing endorsement of Joe Biden for President this is not. Biden has already decided to stay in the race, and sent a rather emphatic letter to Congress on Monday to that effect. Or at least someone at the White House did, under his signature, although Biden had said the same publicly for several days prior to that as well.

Either Nancy Pelosi literally didn’t get the memo, or she didn’t like the decision. Appearing on Morning Joe earlier today, Pelosi emphasied that she supports whatever Biden decides about the 2024 race. When confronted by the fact that Biden has already decided to stay in, Pelosi continues to endorse … Biden’s ability to decide whether to stay.

Huh?

The translation appears to be: I will fully support whatever decision you make as long as you make the decision I can support. Whatever Pelosi actually meant with this word salad, she clearly doesn’t mean that she supports Biden staying in the presidential race. She wants to leave the decision window open even after hearing Biden’s declaration to retain his party’s nomination. 

What does that tell you about Democrat enthusiasm heading into the Chicago convention?

Fox & Friends did their own translation shortly afterward, via Mediaite:

JONES: I tell you at I think it means, no one more precise with words than Nancy Pelosi. She knows exactly what she’s saying.

KILMEADE: Even when she slurs them.

JONES: The translation is: ‘We have encouraged him behind the scenes to step aside but whatever he wants to do, if he’s staying in it, we’re with him.’ And that is what’s been happening behind the scenes. This is cover for the Democrats that have been causing a stir.

Even Politico got caught off-guard by Pelosi’s dodge. What happened to “full confidence,” they wondered:

Pelosi previously expressed “full confidence” in Biden, and she spoke glowingly of his record in office on Wednesday morning.

It briefly seemed like Biden’s team had weathered much of the political storm on Tuesday — Senate Democrats were mum after a ‘family discussion’ on the president’s viability, and no flood of new calls for the incumbent to step aside materialized from the House side.

But Pelosi’s comments come after Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) went public with his private concerns late Tuesday, telling CNN former President Donald Trump could win this fall in a “landslide” and that the Biden White House has done “nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.”

Seven House Democrats have called on Biden to withdraw, and haven’t changed their position since. Biden’s firm declaration appears to have stanched the bleeding, even while not impressing Pelosi, but that may also be temporary. The Wall Street Journal reports that more are waiting to see any more evidence of incompetence:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), who said in a private call of Democratic leaders on Sunday that he would like Biden to be replaced, said Tuesday that his concerns remain but that those are “beside the point” now.

Still, Democratic lawmakers who are sticking with Biden acknowledge they are somewhat stuck on a hamster wheel, potentially facing more moments of Biden stumbles throughout the campaign. Biden has acknowledged he had a bad debate performance, and subsequent interviews and conversations haven’t put an end to worries that he will falter again.  

Two people familiar with internal House Democratic discussions said they expected the number of people calling for Biden to step down to soon increase. 

Stay tuned for Biden’s upcoming “big boy press conference,” presumably either tomorrow or Friday. With the NATO representatives in town, that may get pushed into next week, but the events around the conferees might provide a glimpse of how well Biden’s keeping up even without relying on pressers. The clock is ticking on any replacement strategies, though, so time is not on the side of Democrats.

Update: Pelosi’s response was so vague that ABC News reporter Rachel Scott tried to get Pelosi to clarify. Pelosi finally got fed up and said, “Am I speaking English to you?”

No, actually Pelosi has been speaking Gobbledygook all day. But it’s nice to see the media treat Democrats the way they usually treat Republicans. Too bad Pelosi isn’t used to it.

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