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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Biden's GOP Outreach Failure

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.

 Jonathan Martin at Politico writes that Biden has not reached out to Chris Christie.

It’s political malpractice. And Christie isn’t the only anti-Trump Republican or independent waiting for their phone to ring.

Prominent former GOP officeholders, from George W. Bush to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, also haven’t been contacted.

The same goes for former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who, like Christie, flirted with a No Labels run. Asked in January if Biden ever contacted him, perhaps about an ambassadorship, Hogan said no. As if to drive home the point, Hogan, whose wife is Korean American, happened to mention that he has a nickname in South Korea that translates to “son-in-law.” About two months later, Hogan announced his candidacy, as a Republican, for the Senate.
I reached out to every current Republican lawmaker who has refused to commit to Trump in the general election. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) Mitt Romney (Utah), Todd Young (Indiana), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) all said the same: they’ve not heard from Biden.
“It is surprising,” Collins told me. “It’s especially surprising because President Biden does understand the Senate, he has personal relationships with some of us.”


The point, though, isn’t for Biden to turn all these figures into his campaign surrogates. Perhaps some will do that, former Rep. Liz Cheney being the most likely prospect to embrace that sort of Stop Trump mission. But the more realistic goal, certainly with GOP senators, is to soften their criticism of him and make them feel more comfortable denouncing Trump.

Would figures such as Romney or Collins still be uneasy with Biden’s immigration policy if the president had them and their spouses to Camp David or a private White House dinner? Of course. Yet would the senators be somewhat more restrained in their public judgment of Biden? Well, it’s a people business.