Biden, 79, has said both publicly and privately he will run again in 2024 but the behind-the-scenes outreach shows how jittery Democrats are about their leader and who would replace him at the top of the ticket should he not be on the ballot.
And some Democrats are even saying it doesn’t matter whether or not Biden runs because anyone in their party could beat Donald Trump should the former president make good on his threat to run again.
The chatter about Biden’s political future comes as his approval rating sits in the low 40s, the party is suffering from in-fighting, the Democratic candidate lost the Virginia‘s gubernatorial race, and inflation soars around the country – along with the prices of food and gas.
His advisers are making the calls to party faithful, The Washington Post reported while Biden privately told donors at a virtual fundraiser this month he is running again.
His travel schedule appears geared toward a second bid – he was in New Hampshire last week, the home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. He was also in Michigan, another important 2024 state, and travels to North Carolina on Monday. He regularly visits Pennsylvania, another big state if he plans on seeking a second term. And he’s made stops in Florida and Ohio.
He would formally announce his bid for a second term after next year’s midterm election.
President Joe Biden and a loyal group of advisers are reassuring Democratic allies he will seek a second term in the White House
If Donald Trump runs again some Democrats think ‘anyone’ could beat him in 2024
Despite this some Democrats have doubts about Biden, who is the nation’s oldest president, to run again – particularly given the more rigorous campaign schedule expected to be in place in 2024 after the 2020 campaign was conducted mostly virtually due to the COVID pandemic.
Florida trial lawyer John Morgan, who was a top 2020 Biden donor, told The Washington Post he was unsure whether Biden would seek reelection.
‘What is his health going to be in the next three years?’ Morgan said. ‘All you have to do is look at the mortality tables in America to understand what I’m saying.’
Biden has his first medical check-up as president on Friday and his doctor pronounced him ‘fit for duty’ after extensive physicial and neurological checks. But the doctor noted Biden is coughing more due to acid reflux and walking more stiffly, which was attributed to ‘significant spinal arthritis.’
The president is also suffering declining approval ratings and inflation soared to 6.2 per cent, its highest point since November 1990, which has led to increases in the cost of essentials like food and gas.
A Nov. 18 Quinnipiac University Poll showed Biden’s approval rating at 36 per cent, the lowest of his presidency.
And a majority of voters said Biden should step aisde in 2024 to make room for someone else, a Hill-HarrisX poll found last week. In the survey, conducted Nov. 9-10, 61 per cent said Biden should not seek a second term while 24 per cent said he should.
A plurality of Democrats, 45 per cent, said they want Biden to run again while 37 per cent said he should move aside for someone else.
Biden has had his victories: his $1.1 trillion infrastructure package became law, the House passed the rest of his Build Back Better package of social safety net programs and about 80% of American adults have received at least one shot of the COVID vaccine.
And then there is the Donald Trump factor. The former president has dangled the think any Democrat could win.
Barry Goodman, a Democratic donor, told The Post many donors are ‘praying that Trump runs.’
‘I think no matter who runs, a Democrat beats him,’ he said of Trump. ‘At the end of the day, people are not going to put that despot in office one more time.’
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that reports of a feud between himself and Kamala Harris haven’t affected his relationship with the vice president
Reports this month claim that tensions are rising between President Joe Biden and Harris – and that there is mounting frustration between the two teams in the White House. The two hug during a signing of the infrastructure bill on Monday, November 15
Compounding worries about Biden is who would Democrats run if not him.
Vice President Kamala Harris’s heir-apparent status appears in danger amid reports of frustration among West Wing staff with her and her team while her allies insist she is being under utilized and has been given the most difficult tasks of the administration such as tackling the root causes of migration and voting rights.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is getting buzz as a likely contender.
Harris downplayed reports she feels she is being misused as vice president.
‘No. I don’t,’ she told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Good Morning America Thursday morning. ‘I am very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished but I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do and we’re going to get it done.’
And Buttigieg did the same, saying his relationship with the vice president isn’t affected by the talk.
‘She and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn’t focus on what’s obsessing the commentators,’ he said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. ‘We’re too busy with a job to do.’
‘There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games and I’m proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team,’ Buttigieg added.