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Clooney’s Critique and Democratic Defections Rock Biden’s Re-election Bid

The most devastating argument against Joe Biden’s re-election bid may have come not from a politician or a pundit, but from a film star. George Clooney, in a stinging New York Times opinion piece, has added his voice to a growing chorus of Democrats questioning the president’s ability to steady his campaign this week – or ever.

This wave of criticism comes just as it appeared that Biden had turned a corner, with the influential Congressional Black Caucus and key liberal members of Congress recently voicing their support for him. However, the ground has shifted once again, all amidst a high-profile NATO summit with US allies in Washington.

On Wednesday evening, Peter Welch of Vermont became the first Democratic senator to openly call on Biden to withdraw “for the good of the country,” as he wrote in a newspaper op-ed. This drumbeat of defections raises the stakes for Biden’s press conference at the end of the NATO summit on Thursday afternoon, marking his biggest unscripted test since his botched debate two weeks prior which triggered this crisis.

Biden is also scheduled for a sit-down interview with NBC News presenter Lester Holt on Monday. A fumble or misstep in the days ahead could reinforce all the damaging assertions made by Clooney, a top Democratic fundraiser, in his New York Times piece.

In his op-ed, Clooney writes that the president’s decline is not an illusion; it’s real. He references a Los Angeles fundraiser he hosted for Biden last month, stating, “The Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe… of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Clooney argues that Biden is not up to the task of beating Donald Trump in November and calls the Biden campaign’s claim that he is the choice of Democratic primary voters “disingenuous, at best.” Perhaps most devastatingly, Clooney notes that every prominent Democrat he has spoken with knows this – whether they’re willing to publicly admit it or not.

“We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November,” he writes, “or we can speak the truth.”

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