“On the Holmes Front,” with Frank Holmes
President Joe Biden appreciates U.S. history because he’s lived through so much of it—and a new poll just triggered an episode from his distant past that may be giving him sleepless nights.
It’s dredging up something that happened when Biden was only 26.
Biden is on edge because of a new poll that shows he’s hemorrhaging voters to a name from his past.
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It shows a longshot candidate who has gotten zero favorable coverage has a huge chunk of Biden’s voters behind him.
A phone survey shows 14 percent of Democrats who voted for Biden last time are now supporting anti-vaccine activist Robert F, Kennedy Jr.
RFK Jr. officially announced his candidacy for president in Boston this week. When someone pulled the fire alarm in the middle of his speech, just as he was about to discuss China, RFK Jr. showed off a little of the legendary Kennedy wit. “Nice try!” a smiling Kennedy quipped.
Someone Pulled the Fire Alarm as @RobertKennedyJr Started to Expose the Failures of the Military Industrial Complex
"Nice try!!" 🤣 pic.twitter.com/styQP23Ns0
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) April 19, 2023
Kennedy then headed directly to New Hampshire, where local media say he plans to camp out, hoping for an early primary victory.
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“We have a middle class in this country that doesn’t exist anymore,” Kennedy told Granite State, voters.
When asked about his “controversial” statements on vaccines, RFK Jr. said, “The First Amendment protects conspiracy theories.” The way to find out the truth about the side effects of vaccines, or any other issue, is “not cutting people off,” he said.
He’s also aimed at the ruling class that Biden serves, promising to destroy the “corrupt merger between state and corporate power.”
Those are messages similar to this father’s—and the young Biden’s 1988 campaign—and that’s keeping the president up at night, because of his long memory.
Sinking incumbent Democratic presidents seems to be a Kennedy family tradition. Robert F. Kennedy’s father lost his life after Lyndon Johnson withdrew from the presidential race in 1968.
Fast forward 12 years later, when Senator Ted Kennedy saw incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s falling poll numbers and challenged him in the primaries. Ted’s sordid history and inner demons kept him from cinching the nomination—but his challenge helped put Carter on the road to a landslide defeat.
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The phone survey that showed Kennedy with 14 percent also revealed that nearly as many Biden voters lined up behind another candidate: undecided.
Rest assured, both of those numbers have Biden pacing the Oval Office.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.—a never-elected activist with a severe speech impediment, who is constantly smeared by the media as an extremist—stands little chance of becoming the next Democratic presidential nominee. But he might relive his father’s history differently.
In 1968, 55 years ago, his father watched as a little-known Minnesota senator named Eugene McCarthy entered the Democratic primaries against a sitting president of his own party, Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1964, LBJ promised to keep America out of Vietnam, saying, “We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”
But by 1968, he escalated the war to its highest point, with 500,000 U.S. soldiers fighting in another country’s civil war. When McCarthy campaigned on bringing them home, hippies from around the country poured into New Hampshire, cutting their long hair, wearing ties, and getting “clean for Gene.” To everyone’s shock, McCarthy won 42 percent of the vote—not enough to win, but holding Johnson to 48 percent of the vote.
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No one believed McCarthy could beat Johnson—but the election showed that less than a majority of Democrats supported President Johnson. LBJ later gave an address saying he would “not seek, nor accept, another term as your president.”
That’s when the president’s old rival, Robert F. Kennedy, saw his chance: When LBJ bailed out of the race, RFK jumped in, and he was well on his way to winning the Democratic nomination when an assassin’s bullet cut his life short.
Five decades later, could RFK Jr.’s strong showing encourage another Democrat to openly challenge President Biden? Gavin Newsom has all but openly declared his campaign. Kamala Harris has been measuring the drapes since the 2020 election.
Biden’s approval rating cratered to 39 percent this month, “nearing the lowest level of his presidency,” a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
The party wants him gone—and RFK. Jr. might just be the Trojan horse that brings a regiment of other candidates into the 2024 primaries.
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Most likely, the Democratic presidential candidate won’t have RFK Jr.’s support for working people, the backbone of the old Democratic constituency.
But if history is any guide, the next president might not have the surname “Biden,” either.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”