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Is Joe Biden Running for President or Not?

US President Joe Biden. Image Credit: White House Facebook.
US President Joe Biden. Image Credit: White House Facebook.

Still no word on whether President Joe Biden will run for president. The Democratic incumbent has pledged to consult with family and consider his options over the holiday season. Biden said that he will announce a decision after the holidays, in early 2023.

Factors Supporting Another Biden Bid

Biden is flying high after the midterm elections. While the elections were projected to feature a ‘red wave,’ Democrats emerged relatively unscathed.

Typically, when one party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress, the midterms feature a “snap-back” to the party out of power.

As far as historical trends are concerned, a snapback is what was supposed to happen. It didn’t. Democrats maintained the Senate. And Republicans eked out a majority in the House. There was no red wave – and no wholesale denouncement of Bidenism.

Accordingly, Biden is feeling validated, and hence, more likely to run again.

Biden’s biography also cuts in favor of another presidential run. Biden has run for president three times, beginning all the way back in 1988. He spent his life gunning for the top office. Now that he has it, it seems unlikely that he would just walk away.

Further, all reports indicate that Biden is healthy.

Lastly, the bench behind Biden is weak. Who would replace Biden if he stepped aside? There is no clear-cut successor.

Kamala Harris has been deeply unpopular in her role as vice president.

Bernie Sanders is getting old.

Pete Buttigieg is Pete Buttigieg.

Hillary Clinton couldn’t win an election against Ted Bundy.

Michele Obama says she doesn’t want to serve in public office.

No ones ever heard of Kristin Gillibrand.

Biden just doesn’t have much competition.

Factors Cutting Against Another Biden Bid

Biden is old. He’s already the oldest person to ever serve as president (he turned 80 last month). If he runs again, he won’t be elected until 82 – and the term would extend until he’s 86. Imagine that. An 86-year-old president.

Given that the US life expectancy is 77, a mid-80s president seems risky. The vice president in a second-term Biden administration (presumably Kamala Harris) would be amongst the most important vice presidents ever, just on account of their statistical likelihood of having to step up to the top job at one point between 2024 and 2028.

Biden also appears to be in decline. Biden’s ability to articulate himself has diminished. He was clearly more articulate as a Senator in the 70s, 80s, 90s. He was even more articulate as Barack Obama’s Vice President. Assuming articulation correlates with cognitive function, Biden’s reduced ability to articulate suggests reduced cognitive function.

Biden’s popularity was historically low over the summer, cratering into the 30s, lower than either Jimmy Carter or Donald Trump’s ever sank (each were a one-term president). Biden’s low approval rating raises questions about his electability moving forward. Granted, Biden’s approval rating has rebounded, back into the 40s – although his approval remains far from superlative.

Maybe, in a highly polarized society, low approval ratings are just a sign of the times, the cost of doing business. And it could be argued that the midterms directly reflected voters’ willingness to vote Biden-adjacent. So, perhaps concerns over Biden’s popularity are misplaced.

We should know in a few weeks whether Biden intends to run.

My best guess: Biden will run for reelection, despite being too old to responsibly do so.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.