Joe Biden was satisfied, as was Donald Trump – and last but not least this paradoxical unity of the proven antagonists makes one doubt whether it is actually a matter of real joy. Or rather an attempt to interpret the matter to one’s own advantage.

Because neither the Democrats around President Biden nor the Republicans around their former President Trump can be pleased with the election results so far in the important congressional elections.

For some (Democrats) the majority in the House of Representatives will probably be lost, possibly even in the Senate. And for the others (the Republicans), the question arises as to what ultimately went against the high expectations – after all, many had expected a spectacular landslide victory by the Grand Old Party.

President Biden also referred to this, with considerable satisfaction. “Although we don’t know all the results yet,” he said in the White House on Wednesday, one thing is known: “The press and experts predicted a huge red wave, it hasn’t happened.”

Although not all the ballots have been counted, it is now almost certain that the Democrats will suffer far fewer losses than expected, while the Republicans have not won nearly as many seats as the initial situation had promised: the approval ratings for President Biden are low , inflation in the country is high and it is an unwritten rule of the so-called “midterms” that the party that nominates the president has to lose a lot of feathers.

But what should have been the perfect storm for the Republicans – hence there was talk of a “red tsunami” – turned out to be more of a storm. That was enough for Biden to express a little self-praise.

Although some have been angered by his “obsessive optimism,” he said on Wednesday, he has always remained confident. Sure, every lost seat hurts. But his party “exceeded all expectations” and “lost fewer House seats than any Democratic president in his first congressional election in 40 years.” Biden also claims this for himself, having had to hear all too often in the past few weeks that he is a burden for the Democratic election campaign: too old, too unpopular, not enough of a driving force.

Donald Trump also read a victory from the election results, spoke of a “GREAT EVENING” and, last but not least, had a four-page memo distributed in which his allegedly “unprecedented” achievements in 2022 are spelled out.

It makes special mention of the supposed successes of his hand-picked candidates, whom he placed and supported in the Republican primary, apparently hoping they would win for him too on Tuesday.

Well, his support hasn’t proven to be a guarantee of success. Many Trump-sponsored candidates who spread his lie about the stolen 2020 presidential election or other conspiracy stories failed at the polls, even in places that were believed to be safe like Pennsylvania.

As a result, Trump foamed with anger, as not only the “New York Times” claims to have learned from those around him: while he was celebrating a victory in public, Trump is said to have “yelled at everyone” behind the scenes, according to CNN, and ” blamed everyone but themselves,” reported CBS News. It was probably not such a “GREAT EVENING” after all.

Neither Trump nor Biden have any strong tailwinds to speak of from the election results so far, so they appear to be trying to give themselves some boost. After all, it is also about their own political future.

In ten days, President Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday, and he is already the oldest sitting president in US history. His often brittle and at times confusing rhetoric always offers Republicans a target for attack. Last but not least, Biden has always been fighting against poor popularity among the population, while skepticism is palpable in his own ranks: In July, 75 percent of Democrats and their supporters spoke out against Biden’s renewed candidacy, according to a CNN poll.

Biden said on Wednesday that he wants to decide whether he will also run as a presidential candidate in 2024 at the beginning of next year. “I think everyone wants me to run, but we’ll discuss it.” He is in no hurry and will not make a decision dependent on what his predecessor is doing, he said, referring to Trump.

It is doubtful that this should not play a role in his decision. Biden should wait and see how the situation develops for his predecessor, who would also like to be his successor. For months, Trump fueled corresponding speculation, recently called his candidacy “very, very likely” and announced a “very big announcement” for the coming week.

But now, after the meager results for his protégés in many places, Trump is considered battered. First allies are already advising him to wait before announcing his candidacy. This is not least due to Ron DeSantis, who is considered a possible rival in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The 44-year-old was confirmed in office in the midterm elections with a clear majority – and thus emerged stronger from the big election day. The “Trump with a brain”, as the southpaw is also called, could endanger the original (read why here). Apparently so does Donald Trump, who after DeSanti’s historic election victory somewhat unimaginatively threatened to reveal “not particularly flattering” things about him should he run for the presidency.

At least Biden was happy that Trump could have competition in his own camp. When asked on Wednesday against whom he thought he had a better chance, Biden laughed. And said, “It would be fun to watch them go at each other.”

Sources: White House, CNN, New York Times, CBS News, New York Magazine, CBS News, with DPA news agency footage