Amid increasing questions about President Joe Biden’s overall mental and physical health heading into the 2024 election, there have also been broader discussions among Democrats about what direction to take the party as the current crop of leaders age.

Gone are the days when so-called “blue dog Democrats” — moderates by today’s standards — were dominant within the party, which has shifted further and further to the left with each passing election over the past few decades.

Now, one of the leaders of the leftward shift may be working behind the scenes to push it even further in that direction.

Jonathan Martin, the politics bureau chief for Politico, reported Thursday that former President Barack Obama recently hosted a number of meetings with younger House Democrats which were described as “informal, but lengthy” and which “took place over cheese and crackers in Obama’s Washington office.”

It’s not clear what was discussed, however.

Martin described the meetings as “private,” but they were not entirely secretive, as “Obama’s advisers took care to alert the Biden West Wing about the conversations.”

“The gatherings were Obama’s idea, I’m told, and were designed for the now-61-year-old former president to keep current with his party’s rising stars, more than six years after he left office,” he added. “The sessions…are striking for a number of reasons.”

He noted further:

The former president was careful to avoid criticizing Biden with the lawmakers, only encouraging Democrats to be aggressive marketing their accomplishments. They should establish their own identity, he said, while allowing that the party’s fate in 2024 would be largely tied to Biden’s success.

Multiple attendees of the conversations told me it was never fully clear to them why Obama wanted to gather. The meetings were described to me a mix of get-to-know-you chatter mixed with long-winded advice, talk of best practices and curiosity about what the lawmakers were hearing at home.

Meanwhile, Biden’s popularity has been waning of late, and his now-frequent physical mishaps and near-mishaps are becoming more of a concern among voters.

Fox News host Harris Faulkner, for one, did not mince her words when she tore into Biden after he fell on stage earlier this month at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation.


During a segment on “Outnumbered,” Faulkner said Biden “looked like a bug” after his on-stage fall, arguing that he presented a “very vulnerable, capitulated view for an enemy.”

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany began the segment by showing a photo of the fall. This led to the co-hosts taking turns slamming Biden and what kind of “message” that sends to the world.

“His images often summed up a presidency and I saw his yesterday of this, he tweeted it out, and it’s just this image of the Biden presidency of him being helped up in a kind of decrepit position, and it’s, you risk an image like this defining your presidency, regardless of the sandbag, but just the questions of mental acuity and more,” McEnany offered.

Faulkner issued a similar response.

“Well, I’m just gonna say it – just before that photograph was taken, he was on the ground with his heels and the soles of his feet faced the sky and it reminded me of when he had fallen off the bike, he wasn’t clipped into the bike, but he had his feet in the clips, he wasn’t moving, he had stopped, and he tipped over and he ended up like in sort of a bug position with his heels and his hands to the- that is a very vulnerable, capitulated view to an enemy,” Faulkner said.

“And just knowing that our enemies see him like that and the soles of his feet and can’t get up on his own and that sort of thing is difficult. But having that compassion that Emily is talking about is important. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. really wants to debate this president, but he told me he was never gonna debate him. I mean, Biden can’t go do that,” Faulkner added.

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