OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
As the debacle that is the Afghanistan evacuation continues Joe Biden has some other things on his mind, like helping his fellow Democrats.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Wednesday that Biden would still be campaigning for California Gov. Gavin Newsom in his recall election.
“The Vice President is going to be campaigning for Governor Newsom on her way back from Asia. Previously, President Biden expressed at least an interest in campaigning for him,” a reporter said as Pskai responded “Yeah.”
“You know, with everything going on, I’m wondering if that’s still on the table. And, secondly, whether you all feel any sense that this recall is in some ways a referendum on democratic policies, including the handling of coronavirus amid this Delta surge?” the reporter said.
“Well, I would say, first, I can confirm the President does still plan to go and campaign for Governor Newsom in California. I don’t have a date for you at this point in time, but that is still, certainly, his plan. And I will leave the analysis on the roots of the recall to others,” she said.
On Thursday at least four United States military members were killed in terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan so it remains to be seen if Biden will continue with this plan or if Newsom would even want him to campaign for him.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who is currently leading Republicans as the potential replacement for Newsom, said he is not certain that Biden would be coming to California to campaign for Newsom in an interview with Breitbart News.
“I’ll believe it when I see Joe Biden come here. I’m not sure he’s going to. I understand he’s supposedly going to come here to campaign on behalf of Gavin Newsom. His popularity now is in the low forties — I think I saw 41%. Most Americans don’t even believe he’s home — that somebody else is in charge. So it’s going to backfire,” he said.
“But let him bring it in. Let him have him come in, and try to defend Gavin Newsom’s record on crime, and on homelessness, and on the outrageous cost of living, and on the way he ignored science and shut down the state to the point where a third of small businesses are gone forever. Let Joe Biden make that case for him.
“I want him to come here. Let him do it. And out of all the major political figures in America, Gavin Newsom’s one of the few who’s praised the way he handled the Afghan crisis. And it has been a disaster after a disaster, one of the worst foreign policy mistakes America has ever made. So if Joe Biden wants to come here and lend his presence to California, I welcome that opportunity. But I don’t believe he’s going to do it,” he said.
Kamala Harris is set to campaign for Newsom on Friday.
Harris intends to leave Washington, D.C., to campaign for Newsom as he’s currently in arguably the biggest fight of his political life.
“I am excited to join my friend and our Vice President next week,” Newsom said in a statement. “The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher.”
“The former California Senator, attorney general, San Francisco district attorney and longtime ally of Newsom answered a question from The Chronicle in the affirmative as she was leaving the Capitol, turning back to ensure her ‘yes’ was audible,” Politico reported.
A visit by Harris could also help rally California Democrats to fill out their ballots, particularly the critical Democratic voting bloc of women of color. While Harris’ poll numbers have slipped in recent months, she retains deep support in the Bay Area, where she launched her political career as a prosecutor.
With millions of mail ballots now in voters’ hands, Newsom’s campaign has shifted to a turn-out-the-vote strategy that seeks to galvanize Democrats in the face of soaring Republican enthusiasm. Voters have weeks to fill out and return their ballots through a Sept. 14 election date.
A CBS News/YouGov poll revealed that 48% of likely California voters favor a recall of Newsom and 52% are opposed to his removal.