Joe Biden’s Ardent Supporters Believe the Rest of America Has Gone Insane



Andrea Russell and Kathy Staller are fervent supporters of President Joe Biden. Despite his current lack of popular support among Democratic primary voters, with only 23% expressing enthusiasm for his candidacy, these women support his integrity, record, and transformative potential. Critics note Biden’s lack of energy and movement as a candidate, but his fans argue his strength lies in his management skills and his capacity to get things done.

Andrea Russell, an unwavering supporter of President Biden, thrives in South Philadelphia. Her house on Earp Street, where she has lived for 45 years, is often filled with neighbours as her 16-year-old cat George relaxes on the television tuned to cable news.

77-year-old retired legal secretary, Russell, believes Biden would fit seamlessly into the Earp Street community. She identifies with him, admiring his integrity, record and eyes. Kathy Staller, also 77 and Russell’s friend, shares a similar eagerness to vote for Biden, likening her excitement to when she voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Russell and Staller are part of a dedicated group of Democratic voters who see Mr. Biden as a transformative president deserving another term.

In contrast to candidates like Obama or his likely 2024 rival, Donald J. Trump, Biden, now 81, doesn’t inspire the same level of excitement. He’s more proficient at connecting one-to-one than rousing crowds with speeches. Recent polls depict a difficult landscape for him, with 43 percent of respondents indicating they’d vote for him if the election were today, compared to 48 percent for Trump.

The Biden campaign remains resilient despite the numbers, citing strong Democratic performances in recent elections and highlighting Republican divisions and financial issues.

Interviews with two dozen staunch Democrats reveal a range of emotions from defensiveness to confusion. Despite the resistance, these supporters applaud his first-term achievements, such as passing an infrastructure bill, canceling some student loan debt, and backing Ukraine’s independence.

They also praise his personal qualities, such as his devotion to his family and working-class roots. Nevertheless, some express concern for him amidst the political pressure.

Even some younger Democrats count themselves as Biden supporters, citing his managerial skills and accomplishments above his lack of wide-reaching charisma.

Philadelphia-native Julie Platt, 34, serves as a committee member in the city’s Second Ward. Despite having friends who criticize President Biden for not being progressive enough, she maintains her enthusiastic support. “I couldn’t be more honored to vote for him,” she said.

Ms. Platt keeps a list of Biden’s accomplishments on her phone, remarking: “He’s done so much. It’s driving me crazy that people don’t see it.”

Massive support for Biden can also be found in Philadelphia politics, with Jim Donnelly, leader of the 58th Ward, being a vocal supporter. “Everybody I talk to loves Joe Biden,” he emphasized.

Despite the criticism, Biden’s supporters remain steadfast, with Russell even suggesting a small change to improve Biden’s image: getting rid of the flip of white hair on the back of his neck. “It drives me nuts,” she said. “Just trim it!”

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