Democrats Beginning To Admit Biden Is Too Old
Democrats Beginning To Admit Biden Is Too Old
The Democrats really do know that they are in trouble this year, and in 2024.
We all know that Joe Biden really isn’t in charge of his own administration. After all, as we have covered over the last day, Biden committed to military intervention in Taiwan during a press conference in Tokyo, only to have the White House start walking it back immediately (again). Now, Biden himself no longer wants to talk about what he meant when he said the United States would defend Taiwan.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 24, 2022
Huh. Someone from the staff must have “talked” to Biden and set him straight on what the “official” policy is. Which brings us back to another point – we can’t believe anything that Joe Biden says, because his own administration doesn’t want us to. Biden is the figurehead, not the guy in charge.
Is it weird to anyone else that this White House is constantly fact checking the president?
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 24, 2022
With the anticipation of a colossal spanking imminent in November for the Democrats, their thoughts have begun to shift to the presidential election in 2024. And justifiably, there are concerns about having Grandpa Joe at the top of the ticket again.
The lobbyists, donors, staffers, and elected officials were gathering for the spring policy meeting of the Democratic Governors Association, and the scheduled sessions concerned such topics as health care and diversity in governance. But between panel discussions, in the hallways and at the cocktail reception on the lawn, conversation shifted from grim — the midterms — to grimmer: the state of the party’s planning for 2024, when Biden will stand for reelection on the eve of his 82nd birthday.”
The thing no Dems want to say publicly and many are saying privately > https://t.co/b0Zwm0qOGl
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 24, 2022
Again, the Democrats know that they are in trouble – but they also don’t know what to DO about it. This piece from the Intelligencer illustrates two things starkly: first, that the bigwigs at the top of the Democrat party are worried that Biden is getting too old and are looking for potential alternatives; second, the bench of Democrat options is very, very, VERY thin. Kamala Harris?
This might be more straightforward to process if not for the slide in Harris’s public image, which has been in some ways more startling than that of Biden’s. In the summer of 2020, Biden was clear that he chose her to join his ticket in large part because he thought she represented Democrats’ future and saw in her not just the first woman vice-president but also possibly the first woman president. Yet in Washington, that was a political lifetime ago. After the inauguration, Harris took on a substantive but, in hindsight, politically impossible portfolio, focusing on voting rights and the roots of the Central American migrant crisis. As those issues languished, so did her office’s relations with Biden’s. That was a surprise to some in the White House. Biden, a former vice-president, has three former vice-presidential chiefs of staff on his own senior team. Harris was also perceived to have botched a few TV interviews, and within the first year and a half on the job, she replaced much of her staff, including her communications director, chief spokesperson, and chief of staff.”
Bernie Sanders, who is a year older than Biden?
Toward the end of the event, phones buzzed with an alert: A memo from Bernie Sanders’s last campaign manager had been leaked to the Washington Post. “In the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president,” Faiz Shakir wrote to the senator’s aides and surrogates. It was the first acknowledgment that the two-time candidate is still considering his options. “So we advise that you answer any questions about 2024 with that in mind.”
Some of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg’s 2020 donors and fund-raisers had started to meet privately to debate his future and map out a possible path toward the presidency — perhaps as early as the next election. The whispers were mostly true, if sometimes egregiously overstated. Plenty of attendees thought a 2028 campaign would be premature, let alone a 2024 one, and instead just wanted to use the sessions to kvetch with like-minded liberals. But Buttigieg knows he has to nip such rumors in the bud to allay any suspicions that could complicate his relatively charmed life in the government. As Insider prepared to reveal the meetings’ existence in October, Buttigieg’s staff warned the White House the story was coming, and some of his supporters went on record to clean up the mess: These donors were freelancing without his knowledge, and he had no thoughts of running for president.”
The rest of the 2020 leftovers?
Buttigieg isn’t alone. A handful of senators are doing the basic work they would need to do if the opportunity to run opened up, while maintaining plausible deniability that this activity is just standard political hygiene since they’re up for reelection in 2024. It’s unclear if any would truly move against Harris — their former colleague and potentially the first woman president — but recent federal filings show that Klobuchar, Booker, and Warren are all still spending heavily on digital investments or fund-raising consulting.”
But the Democrats know that every name that comes up didn’t beat Biden the first time, and none of the other names that ran in 2020 before dropping out to make sure Bernie Sanders didn’t get the nomination will excite the base enough to push Biden out. And Kamala Harris is even more unpopular than Joe Biden is. At this point, Kamala’s only hope of becoming president is to hope Joe eventually misjudges another flight of stairs.
This situation would be brutally amusing if it weren’t so dangerous.
The Democrats’ best hopes at this point lie in two options. First, hope that Biden himself realizes that he can’t do the job any more, clearing the way for another candidate. Odds of that? Very low, especially with the former Obama flunkies, Ron Klain, and Jill Biden getting to wield executive power by pulling Grandpa Joe’s strings.
Second, hope that Trump runs again, which may help blunt the age issue (Trump himself is less than four years younger than Biden), and would motivate both Biden and the base to turn out. This isn’t to say that Biden would beat Trump in 2024, but that it would personally motivate Biden to exert himself on the campaign trail, and that the hardcore base would immediately be on board with Biden with few complaints.
What will be interesting to see is just what happens during the midterms. If the red wave turns into a red tsunami, will the voices of the powerful within the Democrat party begin to chorus together that Biden needs to go? Or will they be forced to double down on the Big Guy because there’s no one else to bring in off the bench?
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click