The word on the street is that President Joe Biden has told former President Barack Obama that he is planning to run for reelection in 2024. The admission to Obama is the most recent indication that Biden will run for a 2nd term. One source familiar with the conversation between Biden and Obama said that the president not only wants to run, but he is letting everyone know.
The president told a press conference in Brussels last month that he would be “very fortunate” to run against former President Trump again.
The same source who is familiar with Biden’s conversation with Obama said that Biden believes he is the most likely candidate to defeat Trump in 2024.
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“I believe he thinks he’s the only one who can beat Trump. I don’t think he thinks there’s anyone in the Democratic party who can beat Trump and that’s the biggest factor,” the source said.
There are a number of factors that made people question Biden seeking a second term. He has lackluster approval ratings and the way the wind is blowing for this year’s midterms is not in the Democrat’s favor.
But the overwhelming concern is Biden’s age. He was the oldest president ever to take office at 78, and when he would begin his second term, he would be 82-years-old.
According to a CNBC survey released last week, only 38% of
Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president. There is a massive 53% of the public disapproves of his job. Most presidential elections rise and fall on the economy. He has even worse numbers when the public is asked about the economy.
The sliver of hope that Biden has is on what happens with inflation over the next year. Some outside economists are expecting inflation to begin to ease. This could make things a little better for Biden as he begins a reelection campaign for 2024.
Basil Smikle, a Democratic strategist and director of Hunter College’s public policy program, believes that Biden can recover.
“A lot will depend on the outcome of the midterms. If Democrats don’t fare very well, he’ll be going into 2024 from a position of weakness, if you will,” Smikle said.
The director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, Barbara Perry, directed attention to other presidents who recovered from pretty bad situations and won reelection. She noted the 2nd terms of former Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Obama. Obama’s first two years were embroiled in a slow recovery from recession and failure with the Affordable Care Act.
Part of the problem for Biden is the clarity with which he has talked about a 2nd term. He has focused on the word “fate” in interviews.
“I’m a great respecter of fate,” Biden said during an interview with ABC’s David Muir in December. “Fate has intervened in my life many, many times. If I’m in the health I am in now, if I’m in good health, then in fact I would run again.”
And when he has been asked about going head to head with Trump again, he has said things like “You’re trying to tempt me now.” He said that if Trump were to run again, it would increase his prospect of running.
Biden has also spoken clearly that if he runs, Vice President Harris would be his running mate.
One of the concerns in the Democratic Party is that there doesn’t seem to be any better options. “Biden is the best choice, but there’s a concern that the Democrats don’t have a strong bench,” said Smikle. He also said that the Party is not doing enough to “groom Harris” to be the next “standard-bearer” of the party.
The Democratic hope for the future is Biden holding the most powerful position in the world until he is 86-years-old and then handing the baton to Harris. Think about that…