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    The Reason People Aren’t Telling Joe Biden the Truth

    They entered with courage and exited as cowards. In the past two weeks, several leaders have told me they arrived at meetings with President Biden planning to have serious discussions about whether he should withdraw from the 2024 election. They all chickened out.I don’t know whether Mr. Biden should drop out of the race. It’s impossible to predict the outcome with certainty. My concern is about the decision process. There’s a gap between what people say behind the president’s back and what they say to his face. Instead of dissent and debate, they’re falling victim to groupthink.According to the original theory, groupthink happens when people become so cohesive and close-knit that they put harmony above honesty. Extensive evidence has debunked that idea. The root causes of silence are not social solidarity but fear and futility. People bite their tongues when they doubt that it’s safe and worthwhile to speak up. Leaders who want to make informed decisions need to make it clear they value candid input.Mr. Biden has done the opposite, declaring first that only the Lord almighty could change his mind and then saying that he’ll drop out only if polls say there’s no way for him to win. That sends a strong message: If you’re not an immortal being or a time traveler from the future, it’s pointless to share any concerns about the viability of his candidacy.The president is in a tough spot. Even conceding privately that he might consider stepping aside could crush the confidence of his advisers and risk a leak to the press. But a little humility could go a long way: “I believe I’m the best qualified to govern, but I don’t know for sure. I think I can win, but I might be wrong.” Along with inviting dissent, these acts of receptiveness might make Mr. Biden more persuasive. People put more faith in a balanced argument and a leader who wants to learn.Showing openness can raise people’s confidence, but it’s not always enough to quell their fear. In our research, Constantinos Coutifaris and I found that it helps for leaders to criticize themselves out loud. That way, instead of just claiming that they want the truth, they can show that they can handle the truth. If he hasn’t already, Mr. Biden could do that by gathering his family and advisers to watch a video of the debate with him and then kicking off a candid discussion by talking about what he thought he did wrong. Reviewing the game tape together would demonstrate that he’s willing to take an honest look in the mirror.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    A Female President? Big Deal.

    In her concession speech to President-elect Donald Trump in November 2016, Hillary Clinton declared, “We have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”There was lots of talk about gender in politics then. Many of us thought that Clinton lost in part because of both hard-core misogyny and a softer unconscious bias that led just enough voters to think of presidents only as guys in suits.I’ve been thinking lately of that glass ceiling because of a conversation we’re not having — one about the gender of the Democratic nominee if Joe Biden takes advice from so many of us to drop out of the presidential race.If Biden withdraws, his most likely successor is a Black woman, Vice President Kamala Harris, who polls a bit better than Biden against Trump. Some of us have urged instead that Democrats nominate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, believing that she would be the nominee most likely to defeat Trump. And a few of us have mentioned the talented Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, a former governor and a star of the Biden cabinet.Our argument isn’t a feminist one about the significance of elevating women. It’s not even an argument that these politicians would perform better than Biden as president. Astonishingly given our history, it’s that they would also be more electable.Perhaps even more intriguing, gender has largely gone unmentioned. I’ve had people push back at my recommendation of Whitmer on the basis that she’s untested nationally, that choosing her over Harris would antagonize Black voters, that her name recognition is weak. All fair objections. But I haven’t heard anyone scoff: But Whitmer is a woman. We tried that in 2016, and it got us Trump.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Republicans Will Regret a Second Trump Term

    Now is the summer of Republican content.The G.O.P. is confident and unified. Donald Trump has held a consistent and widening lead over President Biden in all the battleground states. Never Trumpers have been exiled, purged or converted. The Supreme Court has eased many of Trump’s legal travails while his felony convictions in New York seem to have inflicted only minimal political damage — if they didn’t actually help him.Best of all for Republicans, a diminished Joe Biden seems determined to stay in the race, leading a dispirited and divided party that thinks of its presumptive nominee as one might think of a colonoscopy: an unpleasant reminder of age. Even if Biden can be cajoled into quitting, his likeliest replacement is Vice President Kamala Harris, whose 37 percent approval rating is just around that of her boss. Do Democrats really think they can run on her non-handling of the border crisis, her reputation for managerial incompetence or her verbal gaffes?In short, Republicans have good reason to think they’ll be back in the White House next January. Only then will the regrets set in.Three in particular: First, Trump won’t slay the left; instead, he will re-energize and radicalize it. Second, Trump will be a down-ballot loser, leading to divided and paralyzed government. Third, Trump’s second-term personnel won’t be like the ones in his first. Instead, he will appoint his Trumpiest people and pursue his Trumpiest instincts. The results won’t be ones old-school Republicans want or expect.Begin with the left.Talk to most conservatives and even a few liberals, and they’ll tell you that Peak Woke — that is, the worst excesses of far-left activism and cancel culture — happened around 2020. In fact, Peak Woke, from the campus witch hunts to “abolish the police” and the “mostly peaceful” protests in cities like Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis that followed George Floyd’s murder, really coincided with the entirety of Trump’s presidency, then abated after Biden’s election.That’s no accident. What used to be called political correctness has been with us for a long time. But it grew to a fever pitch under Trump, most of all because he was precisely the kind of bigoted vulgarian and aspiring strongman that liberals always feared might come to power, and which they felt duty bound to “resist.” With his every tweet, Trump’s presidency felt like a diesel engine blowing black soot in the face of the country. That’s also surely how Trump wanted it, since it delighted his base, goaded his critics and left everyone else in a kind of blind stupor.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Fact-Checking Biden’s News Conference at the NATO Summit

    The president omitted context or exaggerated in making claims about polling, migration at the border and attacks on his opponent.President Biden fielded questions about foreign policy and his age and fitness for office during a high-stakes news conference on Thursday in which he made clear that he had no intention of leaving the race.The nearly hourlong appearance, coming at the end of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Washington, was his first solo news conference in eight months. Under a dozen reporters pressed him on his candidacy, China and the conflict in Gaza, among other topics.Here’s a fact check of some of his remarks.What Was Said“He’s already told Putin — and I quote — do whatever the hell you want.”This needs context. Mr. Biden leaves out a crucial caveat in characterizing the remarks of his Republican rival, former President Donald J. Trump.Mr. Trump, in a campaign rally in February, repeated his misleading claim that some members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “owed” money to the alliance, referring to informal commitments made by member nations to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on their own militaries.In Mr. Trump’s telling, after he had delivered a speech urging members to “pay out,” the president of “one of the big countries” asked whether the United States would come to its defense if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia invaded, but it had failed to meet that 2 percent target.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Biden Digs In as Democratic Fears Deepen

    The president put on a competent showing at his pressure cooker of a news conference, but it remained in doubt if he could stem the bleeding of Democratic support.Days after President Biden said only the “Lord Almighty” could drive him from the race, he laid out a far more earthly scenario at his closely watched news conference on Thursday night: His advisers would have to prove to him that he was headed for certain defeat.But leaning into the microphone and whispering to dramatize his defiance, Mr. Biden made clear that he did not foresee this happening.“No one’s saying that,” he said. “No poll says that.”He seemed to open the door to an alternative, then swiftly shut it. Sure, “other people can beat Trump,” he said, but it would be too hard to “start from scratch.”The president’s first news conference since the debate amounted to a competent presentation, if not a compelling performance. But it remained in doubt whether it was enough to stop the bleeding of Democratic support that has threatened to hemorrhage. Minutes after he left the stage, the drip-drip-drip of Democratic members of Congress calling for him to step aside continued unabated.“I believe I’m the best qualified to govern,” said Mr. Biden, who has for decades pointed to naysayers to fuel his own comeback narratives. “And I think I’m the best qualified to win.”The high-stakes, mostly unscripted hour — Mr. Biden’s longest since the debate that sent his candidacy into a tailspin — came as some of those around him have talked about how to persuade him to drop out, and as his campaign has commissioned a survey to test the strength of Vice President Kamala Harris in a matchup he has insisted will never come to pass.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    The Strongest Case for Biden Is His Resilience in the Face of the Onslaught

    Joe Biden is still standing, refusing to bow out — he reiterated that once again in a lengthy and mostly successful news conference on Thursday night. Some may view it as selfish and irresponsible. Some may even see it as dangerous. But I see it as remarkable.Despite sending a clear message — in his recent flurry of interviews and rallies, in his stalwart address this week to members of the NATO alliance and in his letter on Monday to congressional Democrats, in which he assured them that “I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024” — there’s still a slow drumbeat from luminaries, donors and elected officials trying to write Biden’s political obituary.The talent agency mogul Ari Emanuel (a brother of Rahm Emanuel, Biden’s ambassador to Japan), recently said Biden “is not the candidate anymore.” In a post on X, the best-selling author Stephen King said that it’s time for Biden “to announce he will not run for re-election.” Abigail Disney, an heiress to the Walt Disney fortune, said, “I intend to stop any contributions to the party unless and until they replace Biden at the top of the ticket.”They seem to believe that they can kill his candidacy, by a thousand cuts or by starving it to death.But none of this sits well with me.First, because Biden is, in fact, his party’s presumptive nominee. He won the primaries. He has the delegates. He got there via an open, organized and democratic process.Forcing him out, against his will, seems to me an invalidation of that process. And the apparent justification for this, that polls, which are highly fluctuant, now indicate that some voters want him replaced, is insufficient; responses to polls are not votes.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Election Results in Europe Suggest Another Reason Biden Has to Go

    There’s a dollop of good news for Democrats from the British and French elections, but it’s bad news for President Biden.The basic lesson is that liberals can win elections but perhaps not as incumbents. The election results abroad strike me as one more reason for Biden to perform the ultimate act of statesmanship and withdraw from the presidential race.The U.K. elections on July 4 resulted in a landslide for the Labour Party, ending the Conservative Party’s 14 years in power. Keir Starmer, the new Labour prime minister, achieved this result in part by moving to the center and even criticizing the Conservatives for being too lax on immigration. He projected quiet competence, promising in his first speech as Britain’s leader to end “the era of noisy performance.”But mostly, British voters supported Labour simply because they’re sick of Conservatives mucking up the government. The two main reasons voters backed Labour, according to one poll, were “to get the Tories out” and “the country needs a change.” A mere 5 percent said they backed Labour candidates because they “agree with their policies.”British voters were unhappy with Conservatives for some of the same reasons many Americans are unhappy with Biden. Prices are too high. Inequality is too great. Immigration seems unchecked. Officeholders are perceived as out of touch and beholden to elites. This sourness toward incumbents is seen throughout the industrialized world, from Canada to the Netherlands and Japan.Frustration with incumbents was also a theme in the French election, where President Emmanuel Macron made a bet similar to the one that Biden is making — that voters would come to their senses and support him over his rivals. Macron basically lost that bet, although the final result wasn’t as catastrophic as it might have been.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    4 conclusiones de la entrevista de Joe Biden en ABC News tras el debate

    En su primera entrevista televisiva desde el debate, el presidente de EE. UU. intentó tranquilizar a sus partidarios, pero pasó gran parte de la conversación resistiéndose a las preguntas sobre sus capacidades.[Estamos en WhatsApp. Empieza a seguirnos ahora]Le restó importancia. Lo negó. Lo desestimó.La primera entrevista televisiva del presidente Joe Biden desde su floja actuación en el debate de la semana pasada se anunciaba como una oportunidad para tranquilizar al pueblo estadounidense en horario de máxima audiencia y asegurarle que aún tiene lo necesario para postularse, ganar y ocupar el cargo más alto de la nación.Pero Biden, con voz claramente carrasposa, pasó gran parte de los 22 minutos resistiéndose a una serie de preguntas que le había planteado George Stephanopoulos, de ABC News, sobre su aptitud, sobre la aplicación de un examen cognitivo y sobre su posición en las encuestas.El viernes, el presidente no tuvo dificultades para cerrar sus ideas como en el debate. Pero tampoco era el senador de su juventud que hablaba con suavidad, ni siquiera el mismo estadista mayor al que el partido le confió hace cuatro años la misión de derrotar al expresidente Donald Trump.Fue una entrevista de alto riesgo con un presidente de 81 años cuyo propio partido está dudando cada vez más de él, pero que no sonaba como un hombre con dudas sobre sí mismo.A continuación, cuatro conclusiones:Biden minimiza el debate como un error puntualLa entrevista fue la aparición sin guion más larga de Biden en público desde su vacilante actuación en el debate. El retraso había desconcertado a sus aliados en el Capitolio y fuera de él acerca de las razones que tenían al presidente en actos a puerta cerrada —o valiéndose de apuntadores— durante tanto tiempo.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More