February 13, 2023

Biden and 2024

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Sunday that President Joe Biden intends to run for re-election in 2024… Asked by host Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC’s ‘The Sunday Show’ whether an official announcement will be made soon on a Biden-Harris 2024 ticket, Jean-Pierre coyly replied that she can’t talk about politics because she’s limited by the HATCH Act, but ‘what I can say is repeat what the president has said many times is that he intends to run. And I leave it there.’” Fox News

See past issues

From the Left

The left is divided about whether Biden should run for re-election.

“Biden has been a great president… He’s presided over record job creation and the lowest unemployment rate in over 50 years. Whereas Donald Trump’s infrastructure weeks were a running joke, Biden signed the largest infusion of federal funds into infrastructure in more than a decade… Biden rallied Western nations to support Ukraine against Russia’s imperialist invasion and ended America’s long, fruitless war in Afghanistan, albeit with an ugly and ignominious exit. His administration capped insulin prices for seniors [and] codified federal recognition of gay marriage…

“But it’s hard to ignore the toll of Biden’s years, no matter how hard elected Democrats try. In some ways, the more sympathetic you are to Biden, the harder it can be to watch him stumble over his words, a tendency that can’t be entirely explained by his stutter. [Republican strategist Sarah] Longwell said Democrats in her focus group talked about holding their breath every time he speaks. And while Biden was able to campaign virtually in 2020, in 2024 we will almost certainly be back to a grueling real-world campaign schedule, which he would have to power through while running the country.”

Michelle Goldberg, New York Times

Others note, “Biden has a few reasons for running: He seems to enjoy being president. His administration has already been more successful than many people expected, though this also gives him a reason to retire gracefully. But nothing motivates Biden more these days than turning back the threat to American democracy that he sees posed by Donald Trump and his heirs, and Biden worries that there is no Democrat who could marshal the same coalition he led in 2020 to defeat Trump. This is the Democratic Party’s catch-24: Biden will run as long as he doesn’t see any plausible alternative, but as long as he’s running, it’s impossible for any alternative to arise…

“Whatever his weaknesses—his age, his tendency to make verbal gaffes, and so on—it’s possible that no one else could pull off what he has. Biden has managed to stare down sectors of the Democratic base on key issues without losing them. Environmentalists have been frustrated by his compromises, but they haven’t mobilized behind an alternative. Organized labor was infuriated by his decision to block railroad workers from striking, but the unions haven’t abandoned Joe from Scranton. Does anyone think they’d be so quick to forgive Pete from McKinsey?”

David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“The Democratic bench is still largely composed of the candidates who didn’t really catch on in 2020. Kamala D. Harris didn’t even make it to Iowa, and she’s now an unpopular vice president whom prominent Democrats fret about — and currently polls at 2 percent in New Hampshire…

“The second-place finisher, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is even older than Biden at 81, has now lost consecutive presidential bids, and for a time suggested he’d never run again. Only one other candidate even won a single state in 2020: now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. And while Buttigieg is perhaps the most capable messenger in the entire party, he has demonstrated very little appeal to the diverse portions of the Democratic base, and he has found his day job to be less of a springboard than he had surely hoped.”

Aaron Blake, Washington Post

From the Right

The right criticizes Biden and urges Democrats to find a better candidate.

The right criticizes Biden and urges Democrats to find a better candidate.

“Per an NBC poll released last month, only 28 percent of Americans believe that he possesses ‘the necessary mental and physical health to be president.’ That’s less than one-third of Americans — around the same number who believe that Biden is ‘competent’ (31 percent) and that he is ‘able to handle a crisis’ (32 percent). Add in that just 34 percent of Americans consider Biden to be ‘honest and trustworthy,’ and his problem comes clearly into focus…

“[Yet] Vice President Harris has all the charm and finesse of a villain’s sidekick in a straight-to-VHS Disney sequel. Pete Buttigieg makes the instruction manual that came with your microwave seem fascinating by contrast. And the others are The Others for a reason. Years of catastrophic losses at both the congressional and state levels have turned the Democrats’ bench into firewood. It seems extraordinary that, in comparison to the alternatives, Biden is the best of the bunch, but indeed he is, and deep down he knows it.”

Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review

“On policy, there is plenty of room toward the political center from Biden, who has governed overwhelmingly from the left… A Democratic challenger could promote tolerance and understanding for gender-bending people without waging war on parents. A challenger could want to consolidate the much broader social safety net ushered in by Presidents Barack Obama and Biden while still agreeing to ratchet down federal debt slowly…

“A still-liberal challenger could stop fighting against most forms of school choice. A challenger could call for reforms that would depoliticize the FBI. And stop fighting against voter identification while pushing for greater access to polls…

“With Biden already looking barely up for the job at 80, is it really safe for the nation to re-up him until age 86 — or to let the extraordinarily unimpressive and unpopular Harris remain in the position to succeed him if he must step down midway through a second term?… The whole country would be better off if the Democrats put forth a nominee who, while still identifiably strongly liberal, would push back against her own party’s radicals while embracing policies much closer to what public opinion actually supports.”

Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner

“Unfortunately for his party, Joe Biden is leaving the Democrats in a tricky position. While many Democratic officials are still supporting him in public, they have to be nervous about the possibility that he could cost them the White House next November. But who will be chosen to go hang the bell on the cat? If Joe Biden won’t exit of his own accord, someone will have to step up and challenge him to a primary battle. Aside from Bernie Sanders (who is even older than Biden, though he still seems fairly sharp), it’s not clear who might be ready to play the role of the bad guy or bad gal and try to oust the boss…

“If there’s going to be another candidate, someone is going to have to take the plunge pretty soon. If they let Joe Biden formally kick off his reelection campaign this month and don’t [begin] the process of organizing and scheduling a primary, they’re going to be stuck with him. And based on virtually every poll we’ve seen since the midterms ended, almost nobody wants to see that happen.”

Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

On the bright side...

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at admin@theflipside.io if you continue to have issues!