Following Polls Is Not Leadership

April 15th, 2024 1:09 PM

In the mid-‘90s, President Bill Clinton hired famed pollster Dick Morris to triangulate Clinton’s path to victory in 1996. Morris told Clinton that polling is not designed to tell someone what to do. Rather, polling is designed to tell one how to sell what they want to do. President Joe Biden has forgotten that lesson and now, instead of leading, he is being led around by his polling.

Eighteen percent of Michigan Democratic voters refused to vote for Biden on Feb. 27. Thirteen percent voted "uncommitted." The loudest of the uncommitted were Hamas supporters in Michigan who have demanded Democrats stop supporting Israel. Despite most Americans recognizing Israel’s right and need to eliminate Hamas and recover its citizens held by Hamas, a slim majority of Democrats and a large majority of progressive Democrats disagree.

Over the past month, since the Michigan primary, Biden has slowly walked away from Israel and handed Hamas, a terrorist group that also wants to kill Americans, a victory in the press. Biden first allowed an anti-Israel resolution to pass the United Nations Security Council. Then he began more public criticisms of Israel. Now, the President demands Israel unilaterally stop fighting Hamas.

Tragically and ironically, had Israel stormed into southern Gaza, destroyed Hamas and leveled Rafah quickly, the war would be over and public opinion would not have shifted so decisively against Israel. But the Israeli government attempted to humor Biden, move slow and minimize civilian casualties. That just bought Biden time to sell out Israel to placate American antisemites whose votes he needs.

In Ukraine, Biden has been slow to deliver on every promise. He was slow to deliver planes. He was slow to deliver missiles. He was slow to deliver tanks. When he did deliver tanks, he supplied Ukraine with tanks so heavy they are getting stuck in the mud. Biden has conveniently blamed Republicans who have dragged their feet on funding Ukraine. But well before funding was an issue, Biden’s team never seemed in a hurry to do more than make unfulfilled promises.

Now, to slow down the Russians, Ukraine has started blowing up Russian oil refineries and fuel storage facilities. The result has stymied Russian advances. Russian personnel carriers, tanks, planes, and other vehicles cannot get fuel. Instead of helping, American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has asked Ukraine to stop. He publicly said he was concerned about what Ukraine’s attacks could do to global fuel prices.

This has everything to do with Joe Biden’s reelection chances. High fuel prices will impact food prices, which will drive inflation, which will drive down Biden’s popularity. Far be it for Ukraine to stymie the Russians when doing so could cost Joe Biden an election.

Now, in this country, just the other day Joe Biden went on Univision to announce he would attempt to unilaterally secure the southern border without Congress passing new legislation. The President who thinks he can unilaterally forgive student loans does not seem to think he has the power to secure the border unilaterally, despite prior presidents, including Donald Trump, doing so.

Going to Univision to make his case is a telling sign that, again, Biden is being led by polls. A growing body of polling data shows Hispanic voters are seriously concerned and upset about illegal immigration. Biden needs them in his coalition to stop Trump. He must crack down on illegal immigration to get their votes. So he must now do what he has insisted he could not do. He will issue executive orders to secure the border, something he could have done all along, even before the polling turned against him.

So desperate to keep a non-white coalition together to stop Trump, Biden is even pausing a ban on menthol cigarettes. The ban, proposed by the FDA, would have gone into effect before the election. Black Americans are the top consumers of menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products, both of which would have been banned. Now, the products are safe, at least until Biden wins reelection.

Leadership is doing what’s right, regardless of the consequences. Biden is not leading. He is being led and that makes him easily manipulated by progressive constituencies.