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SAUNDERS: Earth to Biden White House interns: Nobody cares what you think

Updated January 25, 2024 - 12:59 pm

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden spoke at a Virginia campaign rally Tuesday billed as a talk about abortion and “reproductive freedom.”

Pro-Palestinian activists in the audience, however, had other plans. They heckled Biden at least 10 times, calling the president “Genocide Joe” and shouting “Free Palestine.”

The Biden faithful tried to shout down the hecklers. “Four more years,” some chanted. And: “Let’s go, Joe.”

“This is going to go on for awhile,” the president shrugged. “They’ve got this planned.”

This is going to go on for awhile — and that could pose a problem for an incumbent Democrat who has been trailing former President Donald Trump in major polls.

To win in November, the 81-year-old incumbent needs young and minority voters, some of whom have made public their intent to not vote for Biden in November because they sympathize with the terrorist group Hamas in its war against Israel. A December Harvard Harris Caps survey of more than 2,000 registered voters found that Americans support Israel more than Hamas by a huge margin of 81 to 19, but that voters ages 18-25 are evenly split.

Last month, NBC News reported on a letter to the president signed by 40-plus White House and executive branch interns. The Letter urged Biden “to call for a permanent ceasefire now, a release of all hostages including Palestinian prisoners, and to support a diplomatic solution that will put an end to the illegal occupation and the Israeli apartheid.”

Be it noted, Biden would not use terms like “Israeli apartheid” or refer to Israel’s military campaign against Hamas as “genocide.”

Biden supports Israel and is keenly aware that the death and destruction happening in Gaza fall on Hamas.

The interns did not sign The Letter by name. Instead they identified themselves as “Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Christian, Black, Asian, Latine, and Queer,” but they identified the offices in which they work.

So they care enough to badmouth their boss, but not so much that they want to put their names on it. Courage.

Also, these kids clearly don’t understand the first rule for political staffers: Never forget that nobody elected you.

When you’re job hunting, look for elected officials who share your politics. Later, if you disagree, you remind yourself that voters put them in office, not you. If you don’t like it, resign.

If Biden is getting dissed by his own interns, what does that mean for his re-election effort?

Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told me the issue could work in Biden’s favor.

“The polling suggests that the majority of Americans support Israel over Hamas and these numbers skew even more favorably for Israel among older voters most likely to show up on Election Day,” Dubowitz wrote in an email. “While the election won’t turn decisively on this issue, the data reveals that it won’t hurt Biden and may even help him attract support from the moderate Democrats, independents and disaffected, anti-Trump Republicans who are even more pro-Israel than the average voter.”

Could someone please alert the nameless White House interns who somehow believe “the pleas of the American people have been heard and thus far, ignored?” They are so clueless they think they’re in the majority.

Worse, they don’t see that Biden’s support of Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks represents his finest hour.

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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