Do the Democrats Have an Option if Joe Biden Doesn’t Run for a Second Term?: President Joe Biden will ring in the New Year in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to reports, Biden will use the getaway at his and First Lady Jill Biden’s beloved vacation spot in deciding whether he will seek reelection in 2024. A strong majority of voters have indicated that they don’t want Biden to run again – yet to date, only three sitting presidents have opted not to run for a second term.
However, of the 14 vice presidents since the end of the Second World War, eight have gone on to become their party’s presidential nominee.
Harris would thus enter the 2024 primary season – just over a year away – with the name recognition of vice president. In theory, she could straddle the liberal and progressive camps, and appeal to minority voters. In actuality, however, her approval rating is lower than Biden’s.
In a race with other candidates that wouldn’t bode well for Harris and it is doubtful she could even get the votes to become the nominee.
The next name routinely touted is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has been a popular figure with the party since his failed 2020 presidential run. He’s the guy responsible for doling out the money from the administration’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package – which could be a good thing in some swing states.
Yet, his political capital took a beating after the railway strike last month, while he is also likely to face a GOP congressional investigation next year over how some of the infrastructure money was spent.
There is talk of a return of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), but he’s 81 years old, and after two failed White House bids, it is unlikely even his most ardent supporters will “Feel the Bern” a third time.
Likewise, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is likely to sit it out. She’ll be up for reelection to the senate in 2024 and could opt to concentrate on keeping the job she has rather than trying a second bid for the Democratic nomination.
The Governors Could be in Play
Though Joe Biden and former President Barrack Obama had previously served in the United States Senate – while Donald Trump was a real estate mogul/TV celebrity – four of the five previous presidents (Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush) had been governors.
In total 27 of the 78 Americans who served as president, vice president, or both since the nation was formed had been governor of a state.
That is why Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Governor Gavin Newsom of California, Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois, and Governor Jared Polis of Colorado could also be expected to throw their respective hat into the ring. Whitmer and Newsom have greater name recognition on the national stage than Pritzker or Polis.
Newsom would have an advantage out of the gate. He was able to fend off a contentious recall,
and the delegates from his state, which he would certainly win, give him an early advantage.
Whitmer has been seen as playing a crucial role in turning purple Michigan, which helped elect Trump in 2016, back to deep blue again. She was just reelected with ease, and her campaign could even play upon the University of Michigan football team’s chant of “M Go Blue!”
Of course, all of this is speculation for now – and unlikely to happen anyway.
Joe Biden, despite being 80 years old, simply won’t do anything but run again. Like any career politician, he has seen this as his destiny.
Despite his lagging poll numbers, Joe knows he’s the only guy (or gal as he might say) to do the job. It would be unthinkable for the guy who probably really believes that he had it harder than everyone else, and worked harder to get where he is, to walk away before the job is done.
Joe Biden will run again. The bigger question is whether he can win.
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Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.