With Biden not getting any younger….
And his polling number’s ain’t getting better?
Mumbling about a replacement goes on….
Even as Joe says he’s giving things one more try…
Politico has piece about what might happen of Kamala Harris isn’t the choice to run in 2024 if Bioden doesn’t….
All of these suggestions are based on the premise that Vice President Kamala Harris is too damaged politically to be the party’s presidential nominee. Debenedetti notes that “her approval rating is 15 points below where Biden stood at this stage in Barack Obama’s first term and 11 below Mike Pence under Trump,” and that she has been burdened by “the consistently negative tone of her coverage.”
With Biden, the signs of age are more performative than substantive; a slowing of movement, occasional confusion over words (a lifelong by-product of stuttering), and the determination of Fox News and other adversaries to portray — sometimes with creative video editing — every verbal stumble as conclusive evidence of dementia or cognitive decline. But overhanging all of that is the first digit of the age he will be if he runs again at nearly 82. No candidate has ever run, and no president has ever served, at age 80 or above.
Now let’s return to Planet Earth for a moment. What happens if the Democratic Party — through whatever “leaders” it has or even through a competitive primary — effectively states: “After 60 years of elevating a sitting vice president, we have decided to break precedent now that the vice president is a Black woman.”
If Democrats do not appreciate the possible impact of that repudiation, they have only to look all the way back to… 2016. The marginally lower turnout among Black voters in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee — attributable to a relative lack of enthusiasm compared to the times when Obama was on the ticket — was a key reason why Hillary Clinton lost those three traditionally blue states, and with them the presidency. Whatever difficulties Democrats will face in 2024, even a modestly disenchanted Black electorate would surely doom the ticket.
To offer the compulsory disclaimer: none of this is set in stone. Biden’s vitality may get a boost if the national mood brightens, or new evidence makes the danger of a Trump second term compelling. If her prospects seem dim enough, Harris could simply choose not to run — though recent polling, likely a measure of name identification, suggests she’s the front-runner for the nomination if Biden bows out.
As it stands, however, Democrats are staring at three root conditions:
- Age will be a serious, legitimate issue if Biden runs again; but he’s the only candidate who would preserve party unity.
- If Biden did not run, Harris would enter a presidential race carrying a 747 full of baggage.
- Any attempt to find an alternative to Harris risks fatally alienating the party’s most essential voters….