A few Democrats in the United States Congress have begun to express what many have privately considered: whether President Joe Biden, the oldest person to ever hold the Oval Office, should choose retirement over re-election in 2024.
With his approval rating at 38% – and having remained below 50% since May – the 79-year-old Biden has been harmed by bruising inflation and voter concerns that he will be unable to meet the demands of the presidency in 2025. The White House announced in November that Biden intends to run again in 2024.
The message has been clearly articulated by a pair of Democratic U.S. representatives from Minnesota.
“A new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up would be well served by the country,” Democratic Representative Dean Phillips said last week in an interview with WCCO radio in Minneapolis.
Phillips praised Biden’s decency and service, but added that it is past time for a generational shift.
Democratic Representative Angie Craig, who, like Phillips, faces a tough re-election battle in November, told the Minnesota Post on Tuesday that she is “in lock step and alignment” with Phillips.
According to some analysts, she may have been attempting to improve her standing among independent voters.
However, recent public opinion polls show that Democratic voters hold similar views. A July New York Times/Siena College poll found that 64% of Democrats wanted a new candidate in 2024, and a CNN poll last week found that 75% of Democrats agreed.
Party activists typically rally around their president, especially if he indicates a desire for a second term. And they may do so if former President Donald Trump, 76, decides to run for re-election in 2024, a possibility he has publicly discussed.
“The desire for a new generation of leaders is evident. But the desire to defeat Trump will always be more important. Biden is still the only Republican or Democrat on the list who has done it “Former Obama administration and Senate leadership official Matt McAlvanah made the observation.
According to a July Reuters/Ipsos poll, one-third of Republican voters believe Trump should not run again. According to polls, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 43, is gaining favor among Republican voters.
One aide to a veteran House Democrat said on Wednesday that Biden’s COVID-19 diagnosis last month sparked a discussion about Biden’s future among a half-dozen Democratic aides of various political stripes.
It was unclear whether they reflected their bosses’ sentiments, but the aide noted that it would be “foolish” to dump Biden, given his strong victory over Trump in 2020. “It’s not like we have a ready alternative,” the aide added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other prominent Democrats have expressed support for a Biden presidential run in 2024.
Others prefer to keep their options open.
When asked whether she would support Biden’s re-election during a debate on Tuesday night between three Democrats vying for one House seat in New York, long-time Representative Carolyn Maloney said she didn’t believe he was running for re-election. She declared her support a day later.
Her main opponent, Representative Jerrold Nadler, said such questions should be postponed until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are expected to retake control of at least one chamber of Congress.
The commotion comes as Biden touts his legislative accomplishments. In November, less than a year into his presidency, he signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a stark contrast to Trump, who talked about infrastructure for four years but never got legislation passed.
Biden signed the first major federal gun safety bill in three decades last month.
Democrats in Congress are now attempting to pass a record-breaking investment in climate change mitigation as well as a program to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for the elderly, all while persuading corporations and the wealthy to meet their tax obligations.
Democratic strategist and former spokesman for former President Barack Obama, Ben LaBolt, believes Democratic lawmakers should focus on those victories.
“It’s an odd time for that sort of chatter to happen when the administration is on the verge of some record accomplishments on many of the top issues facing the American people,” LaBolt said.