Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), 80, could seek the presidency one more time in 2024 if President Joe Biden decides not to run for a second term, according to a leaked memo by one of his senior advisors.
“In the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president, so we advise that you answer any questions about 2024 with that in mind,” the memo by Faiz Shakir read.
The Washington Post reported that it had obtained the memo from an unnamed Democrat operative close to Sanders, and had confirmed its authenticity with another operative.
Sanders was reportedly frustrated that the memo had leaked, but his spokesperson did not deny its contents.
“While it’s frustrating this private memo leaked to the media, the central fact remains true, which is that Senator Sanders is the most popular officeholder in the country,” said Sanders spokesman Mike Casca, when asked for comment.
Sanders said in May 2020 after Biden became the nominee that the chances he would run for president again were “very, very slim.”
The details of the memo propose ways for Sanders to answer questions about a future presidential run: “Sen. Sanders is focused on helping Joe Biden have a successful presidency. As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, no one fought harder for the president’s policy agenda than Bernie. He traveled to Republican Congressional Districts last summer to promote Build Back Better. Unfortunately, that legislation was stopped by corporate Democrats.”
Biden plans second term
In contrast, Biden has said repeatedly that he plans to run for a second term, but did give the caveat that his plans could change if the circumstances change.
He had “never been able to plan 3½, four years ahead, for certain,” he said.
A Biden second term looks unlikely right now as his approval ratings have hit the low 30s and continue to fall, and at least part of the reason is that Biden seems to be following Sanders’ policy prescriptions, particularly with the economy.
Americans are not likely to go for another candidate who will likely want to print money and raise taxes, making inflation worse.
Sanders’ age may be another impediment as far as Americans who have watched Biden flounder and decline mentally.
The memo advises Sanders supporters to “embrace the attacks” they may encounter for supporting Sanders.