President Biden
President Biden walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 15. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger

Well, I didn’t mean that literally. There’s been no change to the earth’s gravity as of yet, except, perhaps, to the gravity of the next presidential election.

It’s been a week of events that are likely to have a strong impact on the 2024 expected contest between Trump and Biden. The latter, despite impressive leadership and accomplishments thus far in his first term, has struggled to gain traction for his run for a repeat.

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The opposition this past week has been piling on. First there were the ludicrous moves to impeach Biden, presumably for misdeeds that have been implied, but not verified. This was quickly followed by the indictment of Hunter Biden, the troubled son of the President — for gun charges that are verified and acknowledged.

If these historical behaviors were not enough to sink a candidate, Biden is also under suspicion for the mortal sin of aging. 

Meanwhile, the other old guy is putting up a strong fight, albeit in his atypical confrontational style. As the subject of an in-depth interview by Kristen Welker, newly anointed moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, it appeared that Welker was pinning Trump down. Welker was thorough and tough and stuck to her talking points. But Trump would not back down and was a reasonable foil to Welker’s probing jabs.

Trump scored well in the round on abortion issues. He clearly refuted his own party for advocating extreme restrictions on abortion. He blasted Florida Gov., DeSantis for his promotion of a six-week cut-off with no exceptions for rape, incest, or mother’s medical situation. Trump repeatedly supported the exceptions and suggested that all parties should come together to legislate a reasonable cut-off (about 15 weeks) as well as the aforementioned exceptions.

Trump resisted taking a position regarding federal or state control of abortion law, although repeatedly being pushed for a response from Welker. 

Overall, Trump seemed energized and sure of himself. Surprisingly, his make-up people failed to disguise the fact that even the macho man was showing his age. Baggy eyes and a sagging chin suggested a burden of age, as well, possibly, the result of indictment on 93 charges.

My personal take-away from the interview is that Trump’s position on abortion might hurt him a bit with his evangelical base, but would more than compensate for that by making himself acceptable to the many conservatives who are pro-choice.

It’s going to be a tough slog through the mud toward November 2024. But this past week, with a few points gained by Trump and with the Bidens under fire, I fear that a Democrat win is far from assured.

Harvey Levine is a Rancho Bernardo resident and frequent contributor to San Diego publications.