As mounting crises continue to engulf the White House, doubts about President Joe Biden’s viability as the Democrat standard-bearer in 2024 continue to grow, and shockingly, many of those voicing a desire for his ouster are high-profile figures within his own party, as the New York Times reports.
The notoriously liberal outlet cited interviews with roughly 50 Democrat insiders and found that almost all of them are of the opinion that Biden must step aside for the party to stand any chance of retaining the presidency after his first term ends.
Panic in the party
For some time, conventional wisdom has suggested that the 2022 midterms will be marked by a sizable Republican wave, and as record-high gas prices, skyrocketing inflation, and a host of other scenarios spur increased frustration with the policies many feel are to blame for those concerns, Democrats in large numbers are hitting the panic button.
The Times piece quoted several key voices in Democrat party leadership, including that of Democratic National Committee (DNC) member Steve Simeonidis, who was unequivocal in his belief that Biden must step aside.
“To say our country was on the right track would flagrantly depart from reality,” Simeonidis declared. “[Biden] should announce his intent not to seek re-election in ’24 right after the midterms.”
Shelia Huggins, a lawyer and DNC member from Durham, North Carolina stated flatly, “Democrats need fresh, bold leadership for the 2024 presidential race. That can’t be Biden.”
Axelrod piles on
Perhaps as a way of sidestepping the elephant in the room that is the glaring cognitive decline from which Biden already suffers, former Barack Obama chief campaign strategist David Axelrod couched his doubts about the current president’s future viability in terms of worries about how old he would be at the end of a potential second term.
“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,” Axelrod noted in a reference to the fact that Biden is already the oldest person ever to serve in the office and would be 82 years of age on the date of a second inauguration, as the Washington Examiner pointed out.
Even so, Biden stated late last year that he fully expected to seek another four years in office, asserting at the time, “I’m a great respecter of fate. Fate has intervened in my life many, many times. If I’m in the health I’m in now, if I’m in good health, then, in fact, I would run again.”
If not Joe, then who?
Should the aforementioned discontented Democrats get their way, and Biden does fade into the sunset, however, they are still left with the vexing dilemma posed by the unpopularity and perceived failures of Vice President Kamala Harris.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Harris has an average unfavorable rating of 52% among the American electorate, rendering her a less-than-ideal prospect for the role of Biden’s heir apparent, and her staggering catalog of gaffes, missteps, and inattention to important tasks she has been assigned to handle over the past year and a half has insiders doubting whether she is up to the job.
The predicament in which Democrats now find themselves is, of course, the predictable consequence of installing a senile old pol into the Oval Office and choosing as his number-two someone who, while ticking the correct identity politics boxes to appease the base, was clearly not ready for prime time, and it remains to be seen just how fully Republicans can capitalize on the opportunities those miscalculations present.