President Joe Biden faces unprecedented political pressure as he prepares for a critical solo news conference at the conclusion of the NATO summit. The president's reelection bid is under intense scrutiny, with mounting concerns about his ability to govern effectively for another term. This scrutiny comes on the heels of a poorly received debate performance against former President Donald Trump on June 27, which exposed vulnerabilities and sparked doubts about his cognitive abilities.

In the days leading up to the news conference, influential figures within the Democratic Party, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have signaled that Biden should reconsider his candidacy. Pelosi's comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" suggested that the decision to run should ultimately be Biden's, but her remarks were widely interpreted as a push for him to step aside. Other lawmakers have echoed similar sentiments, with Representative Ritchie Torres expressing concern about a "political suicide mission" and Representative Pat Ryan urging Biden to fulfill his promise of being a bridge to a new generation of leaders.

The discontent within the party is fueled by fears that Biden's determination to run for a second term, despite his apparent diminished capabilities, could jeopardize the Democratic Party's chances in the upcoming election. Senator Peter Welch became the first Democratic senator to publicly call for Biden to withdraw, arguing that while Biden saved the country from Trump once, he may not be the best candidate to do so again.

The situation is further complicated by the financial implications of Biden's continued candidacy. Actor and Democratic mega-donor George Clooney, who recently hosted a fundraiser for Biden, expressed his concerns in a New York Times op-ed. Clooney noted a stark difference between the Biden he supported in 2020 and the current president, asserting, "We are not going to win in November with this president." Clooney's remarks underscore the personal and political challenges Biden faces, as his health and cognitive abilities become topics of public debate. A Democratic strategist told CNN that fundraising efforts are stalled as donors await the outcome of Biden's news conference and subsequent interviews.

As Biden mingled with world leaders at the NATO summit and led discussions on the Ukraine crisis, political developments back home threatened to undermine his position. Top Biden campaign officials are set to meet with Democratic senators to bolster the president's case, but it remains uncertain whether they can assuage the concerns of a growing number of party members. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has communicated these concerns to Biden, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

The pressure on Biden is not limited to his party. Public polling indicates a decline in support, with concerns about his ability to win against Trump mounting. Representative Elissa Slotkin, who is locked in a tight Senate race in Michigan, revealed that Biden is trailing Trump in private polling in her state. If Biden cannot carry Michigan, as he did in 2020, his path to the 270 Electoral Votes needed to win the White House becomes negligible.

The deepening crisis within the Democratic Party is offering Trump and Republicans a bottomless source of attack ads against Biden if he's confirmed as the nominee. Individual candidates can also expect to be skewered over why they are supporting a party figurehead who many Democrats have declared is unfit to serve a second term. Two weeks of agonizing over Biden's age and mental faculties, combined with a clumsy mitigation effort by the White House and the campaign, have taken the heat off Trump and deprived Democrats of the comparison with the ex-president's lawlessness and volatility that many had originally believed would help Biden hold the White House.

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, warned that Democrats needed to end their feuding and get behind the president before it was too late. As Biden's political standing continues to rapidly deteriorate, the question is becoming how much longer he can insist he's the only Democrat who can beat Trump.

Biden's upcoming news conference at the NATO summit is a critical moment, potentially determining his political future. Any slip or display of cognitive weakness could exacerbate the crisis within the Democratic Party and bolster Trump's chances of a comeback. Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science expert, highlights the significance of such press conferences, noting that they allow the public to assess the president's command of policy and politics. As Biden steps up to the podium, he faces the challenge of reassuring his party and the nation that he is still fit to lead.