Showdown in Chicago: Biden vs. Kennedy in Dueling Events

(Julia Nikhinson/Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Julia Nikhinson/Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

President Joe Biden and Democratic challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will each appear at campaign events Wednesday in Chicago — though Biden and the Democratic National Committee refuse to allow a debate.

Biden will be delivering a speech on “Bidenomics,” a term the White House has embraced in an effort to claim that the U.S. economy is doing well, despite high inflation, high interest rates, and low consumer sentiment.

Kennedy will appear just hours later in a nationwide televised town hall hosted in Chicago by NewsNation, and featuring questions from voters in South Carolina and New Hampshire, the first states to vote in the primary.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to consider debates thus far, attempting to award the party’s nomination by default to Biden, whom party insiders pushed to the top of the heap in the 2020 race.

Biden lost badly in the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary, and Nevada caucuses before scoring a decisive win in South Carolina, thanks to an endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and the black electorate.

Sen. Bernie Sandes (I-VT), a socialist, had won all of the prior contests, and threatened to capture the party’s nomination before leaders, donors, and rival candidates united behind Biden to defeat Sanders’s takeover bid.

In 2024, the party is determined to prevent any possible insurgency. But Kennedy is surging, with 35% of Democratic Party primary voters saying they think he can win the nomination, in a recent Rasmussen poll.

The two candidates will be appearing in different parts of the city — Biden at the Old Chicago Main Post Office at noon Central Daylight Time (CDT), and Kennedy at the NewsNation studio on the north side at 8 p.m. CDT.

The city will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, after Biden chose it over alternate venues in swing states. Critics questioned that choice, given Chicago’s ongoing problems with crime and economic decline.

Chicago also has a checkered history in Democratic Party politics, serving as the scene for riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, months after the assassination of insurgent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Sr.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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