President Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, visited Michigan to strengthen support among minority groups, including Arab, Palestinian-American, Hispanic, and Black communities.
The visit was part of an ongoing effort to engage with local Democratic officials nationwide and address their concerns for the reelection campaign. However, the trip faced challenges due to heightened dissatisfaction with Biden’s Middle East policy, particularly regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Rodríguez planned to meet with various leaders in Michigan, focusing on concerns beyond the Middle East policy. Despite some Arab-American and Muslim leaders declining invitations, Rodríguez proceeded with other meetings, as reported by the Detroit News. The Biden campaign did not provide comments on the situation.
Michigan’s Democratic primary is scheduled for Feb. 27, and recent polls indicate a decline in Biden’s popularity compared to former President Donald Trump, particularly among liberal voters, including the state’s substantial Arab American population. The dissatisfaction stems from perceived support for Israel during the Gaza conflict.
Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, not part of the planned meetings, criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the war, expressing frustration that concerns have been ignored. Hammoud declined a meeting with the Biden campaign.
State lawmaker Alabas Farhat, who represents Dearborn, echoed concerns about the gravity of the situation and felt the Biden campaign was not taking the matter seriously enough. Farhat emphasized the need for a ceasefire before engaging in political conversations.
In summary, Rodríguez’s visit aimed to build support in Michigan, but deep-seated discontent over the administration’s Middle East policy, particularly regarding Israel, posed challenges. Some leaders declined meetings, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the ongoing crisis in the region.
The Biden campaign did not comment on the specific situation, and concerns persist among Michigan’s Arab American population, potentially impacting the upcoming Democratic primary.