Amid disastrously low poll numbers at this point in his first term, rumors have begun to surface about prominent Democrats discouraging or talking down a Biden-Harris ticket in 2024–either Biden, Harris, or both, depending on who you talk to.
The New York Times published an op-ed last week talking for the first time of “Democrat whispers of ‘no'” regarding whether President Joe Biden should run again in 2024.
While elected officials have not come out officially against Biden yet, the Times got Democrat consultants, advisors, and regular voters to at least question whether Biden should be the nominee again in 2024.
No one had any ill will toward Biden, the Times was clear to point out. Democrats were universally grateful to Biden for somehow ousting former President Donald Trump, but some are now skeptical that he could do it again.
Age is a “major issue”
David Axelrod, the chief strategist for both of Barack Obama’s successful campaigns, said, “The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue.”
Steve Simeonidis, a Democratic National Committee member from Miami, was even more direct. “To say our country was on the right track would flagrantly depart from reality,” he declared, adding that Biden “should announce his intent not to seek re-election in ’24 right after the midterms.”
And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) may still be nipping at Biden’s heels, even though hes’ roughly the same age as Biden. Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, said there is a pervasive perception of weakness about Biden that many others have also noticed.
In April, Shakir circulated a memo that said Sanders “has not ruled out” running in 2024 if Mr. Biden does not, although Shakir said he thought Biden could beat Trump again in a rematch. If someone new and younger like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis runs, however, that would be a whole different story for Shakir.
Most of those interviewed by the Times for the piece did not back Vice President Kamala Harris as Biden’s likely successor, although a Politico piece last month claimed she had solid support from Black voters and was better positioned than others to step into the top candidacy.
Her approval ratings have typically even lower than Biden’s, however. Turns out it’s a bad idea to pick your running mate by race and gender rather than ability and likeability.
The rumors that she might not even make it onto the 2024 ticket if Biden does run are more vague, according to Conservative Brief.
But clearly, there are many questions to be settled before the 2024 election because of Biden’s terribly low ratings.