If President Joe Biden was expecting a massive display of support from New Hampshire Democrats when he announced his re-election bid, he was sorely disappointed Tuesday. With few exceptions, Granite State Democrats greeted Biden’s announcement with silence — or worse.
“After careful consideration and in stark contrast to the State Employees’ Association affiliate, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), we want to make it clear that we are not endorsing Joe Biden for re-election in the upcoming presidential race at this time,” the union said in a statement just after the Biden video was released.
“Following a robust analysis of the current political landscape, we have come to the conclusion that our members and New Hampshire voters deserve a competitive Democratic Primary. While we respect President Biden’s decades of experience in public service and his commitment to public policy, we believe that his record and actions during his first term as president do not merit an automatic re-endorsement.”
Three of the four Democrats in the state’s federal delegation have been notable by their silence: Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Chris Pappas. They refused to respond to requests for comment, and they didn’t post any encouraging messages for Biden on their social media. The New Hampshire state Democratic Party didn’t release a statement, either.
The exception was Rep. Annie Kuster, who did take to Twitter to show her support for President Biden.
“Joe Biden is the leader our country needs in this critical moment. The first two years of his presidency have been some of the most productive in history. But, more work remains to cut costs, keep families safe and protect our freedoms,” Kuster wrote. “Joe Biden’s the leader to finish the job.”
Ask if this means she plans to write Biden’s name in when she votes in the First in the Nation primary next January — Biden says he won’t participate or allow his name on the ballot — Kuster refused to answer.
And all of the state’s federal Democrats have expressed their support for Biden in the past.
New Hampshire GOP state chair Chris Ager was happy to speak out.
“Joe Biden abandoned Granite Staters. Time for him to be retired,” Ager said. “And we see where the New Hampshire Democrats’ loyalties lie: Biden first, New Hampshire and the First in the Nation primary second.”
Polls show Biden’s approval rating hovers around 40 percent, and more than 70 percent of Americans say they don’t want him to run again. That number includes 51 percent of Democrats.
Asked about Biden’s relatively low poll numbers, former ambassador and long-time friend of the president Terry Shumaker says Biden has always benefited from low expectations.
“Polls today about the 2024 presidential election are meaningless,” Shumaker said. “Joe Biden is like Eisenhower: Always underestimated and underrated. Many were unenthusiastic about his candidacy when he announced four years ago today, but he has proved to be a very good and effective president in troubled times “