I KNOW there are polls out there that say Joe Biden is Tooooooo Old….
Ain’t NOBODY getting up and making a serious challange to deny him a second term…….
Joe Biden is almost certain to be the Democratic nominee and faces no serious challenger, but the conversation persists nonetheless.
Murmurs over Biden’s viability as the nominee have continued for nine months. These concerns where outlined in a recent column from New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait asked, “Why are no mainstream Democrats challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination?”
The strangest thing about this harrowing circumstance is that no mainstream Democrat is challenging Biden for the nomination. The hunger for such a challenge certainly exists: A CNN poll finds two-thirds of Democrats want their party to nominate somebody else. There isn’t much mystery as to why. The same poll asked Democrats what concerns they may have about Biden and found that two-thirds cited his age, his health, his mental sharpness, or his vice-president, all of which amount to the same thing. The demand for a different option is robust. What is mystifyingly absent is the supply.
Chait means real Democrats — not MAGA-adjacent grifters like Robert Kennedy Jr. or fringe candidates like Marianne Williamson. He is specifically referring to folks like Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker who actively considered candidacies last year, or others like Raphael Warnock, Josh Shapiro, Mark Kelly, and Gretchen Whitmer, who have demonstrated the ability to win the states that decide the Electoral College.
Chait offers two possible reasons for why no Democrat is responding to the clear appetite in the party for an alternative to Joe Biden:
One possible reason is that Democrats have overlearned the lesson of 2020, when pundits (your author very much included) wrote Biden off as a has-been only to watch the base rally behind him. That event lent Biden’s connection to the party’s voters a kind of mystical aura. But Biden’s 2020 victory was actually rather prosaic. Most of his challengers drastically overestimated how far left their party’s voters had moved and pitched their campaign messages too far left. And when SenatorBernie Sanders, who frightened many of the party’s voters and elites alike, seemed poised to take the nomination, Biden was the beneficiary of a panicked flight to safety.
Another possible reason is that Democratic elected officials simply like Joe Biden too much to either run against him or tell him to his face they don’t support him.
Both of those reasons seem plausible. No one overlearns a lesson like a Democrat, and Biden’s warm demeanor, overall kindness, and attentiveness to personal politics have served him well as President. It’s fair to say that every elected official (not named Kyrsten Sinema) is rooting for Biden.
However, I think the reason is much more mundane — a primary challenge would be a massive longshot with potentially devastating consequences for the primary challenger and the incumbent…..