Greg Craig, a former White House counsel during the Clinton and Obama administrations, has come out publicly and said President Joe Biden should dump Vice President Kamala Harris from the 2024 presidential ticket to reassure voters that the presidency will be in good hands if he doesn’t make it through a second term.
Given the weak approval ratings of both Biden and Harris, hers being weaker than his, it makes sense to focus on Biden’s age and succession.
Biden will be 82 at the time of the election in 2024, which is five years more than the average life expectancy for a man.
It is not unrealistic to think that he could die during his second term as president, or become incapacitated and not be able to do his job. Craig thinks if the Democrat party doesn’t deal with this reality by making sure his vice president can lead the country well in his stead, he could risk losing a significant number of votes.
Should Biden let DNC pick running mate?
Craig wrote in the New York Times:
When considering who should be his running mate in 2024, Mr. Biden would do well to follow what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1944: He expressed a preference for certain candidates but turned the choice of his running mate over to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
I do not suggest that Mr. Biden’s physical condition today is as dire as Roosevelt’s in 1944. However, the risk of Mr. Biden’s death or disability in his second term is such that the selection of his running mate takes on new urgency.
The idea of letting the DNC choose a running mate for Biden is a new one.
The problem with doing so is that the Democrat party would find it as difficult as Biden does to remove the first female vice president who is also a person of color.
The party has made it clear that it values intersectionality above the ability to actually do the job, which is why only outliers like Craig have even broached the subject despite Harris’s mediocre performance so far.
Still, the party might want to consider what Craig is saying. If polls show that Harris is dragging Biden’s numbers down, it may be time to make a move.
Merit should matter more than one’s race and gender in whether they can get or keep a particular job, and it’s time for the pendulum to swing back in that direction in this country.
Craig also said that Democrats need to address the “enthusiasm gap” because neither person in the current administration “will excite or inspire a crowd.”
In today’s political environment, gut feelings can derail an election. For example, people in 2020 just didn’t like former President Donald Trump, despite the great economy (before COVID) and other beneficial policies.
A gut feeling that Biden is just too old to lead the country could derail his re-election, and it makes sense that having a really good vice presidential candidate could give him a better chance to win.