This one from Mark Leibovich in the Atlantic….
It won’t be the last we’ll see across the political spectrum ….
Let me put this bluntly: Joe Biden should not run for reelection in 2024. He is too old.
Biden will turn 80 on November 20. He will be 82 if and when he begins a second term. The numbers just keep getting more ridiculous from there. “It’s not the 82 that’s the problem. It’s the 86,” one swing voter said in a recent focus group, referring to the hypothetical age Biden would be at the end of that (very) hypothetical second term.
In recent weeks, I’ve spoken with 10 official and unofficial advisers to the administration who have spent time around the president during these deranged and divided days in America. “What has this been like for him?” is what I’ve been asking them, essentially. “How is he holding up?”
They say, for the most part, that Biden is coping fine. You know, despite the 8.6 percent inflation, his depressed approval numbers, his vice president’s worse approval numbers, the looming wipeout in the midterms, and all the other delights attending to Biden as he awaits the big, round-numbered birthday he has coming up in a few months. But here’s another recurring theme I keep hearing, notably from people predisposed to liking the president. “He just seems old,” one senior administration official told me at a social function a few weeks ago.
There is nothing like the U.S. presidency to accelerate the aging process. This has been well documented, usually in those side-by-side photos of spry incoming presidents seen next to dramatically older-looking versions of themselves upon departure. Yet Biden keeps insisting that he will run again. The White House reaffirmed as much on Monday night via a tweet from the president’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre. “To be clear, as the President has said repeatedly, he plans to run in 2024,” she wrote. It was an instant classic in the genre of political statements that raise far more questions than the one they were supposedly meant to answer.
Luckily, the message came equipped with everyone’s favorite political qualifier—“plans to.” Plans, after all, can change. In this case, the sooner the better.
Stepping aside would permit Biden to shed the demands of being a disciplined candidate (never his strong suit). It would be immediately liberating, allowing the president to focus on what he’s extremely well suited to: being a familiar mensch and champion and consoler to a country in dire need of one. He could off-load all of the burdens and suspicions that come with electoral ambitions. Nothing buys goodwill for a politician like self-removal from consideration….
Probably the main rationale for Biden to re-up in 2024 is the argument that he is the candidate best suited to beating Trump if he runs again. Biden has done it before. His age would be less of a factor against his predecessor, who turned 76 on Tuesday….
The other rationale for Biden to run would be the gnawing riddle of: If not him, then who? “Don’t compare me to the almighty. Compare me to the alternative,” Biden used to say during the 2020 campaign. Four more years of Trump proved a sufficiently appalling “alternative” to land Biden in the White House in 2020, but it would be nice if Democrats had an obvious alternative to step in for the guy whom only 29 percent of Americans and 48 percent of Democrats want to see run again in 2024. Vice President Kamala Harris has not exactly asserted herself as the clamored-for heir apparent….
The other rationale for Biden to run would be the gnawing riddle of: If not him, then who? “Don’t compare me to the almighty. Compare me to the alternative,” Biden used to say during the 2020 campaign. Four more years of Trump proved a sufficiently appalling “alternative” to land Biden in the White House in 2020, but it would be nice if Democrats had an obvious alternative to step in for the guy whom only 29 percent of Americans and 48 percent of Democrats want to see run again in 2024. Vice President Kamala Harris has not exactly asserted herself as the clamored-for heir apparent…..
Democratic senators are pushing back on whispers within their party that President Biden, 79, is too old to run for a second term.
Senators say they will strongly support Biden if he opts to run for reelection, despite growing concerns over his low public approval rating and his ability to win a grueling presidential election when he will be 81 years old.
Biden’s viability as a candidate in 2024 is becoming a hot topic of debate even though the next presidential election is more than two years away.
The New York Times reported Sunday that many Democratic lawmakers and party officials increasingly view Biden as “an anchor that should be cut loose in 2024,” citing interviews with 50 Democratic officials.
Former chief Obama political strategist David Axelrod told the Times that Biden’s age “would be a major issue.”
But Democratic senators are trying to stamp out talk of replacing Biden, fearful that the last thing they need heading into the 2022 midterm elections is more intraparty dissension….