And that likelihood only increases, each day, as Biden grows older and older.
If Biden runs for reelection (which is fully expected) and if he wins reelection (also very possible), his advanced age will cause the vice president to be viewed not merely as the vice president, but as the president in waiting.
Biden’s age causes need for strong VP
Biden has already exceeded the life expectancy for a US male. If he wins reelection, his second term will extend past his 86th birthday. He wouldn’t even be sworn in for his second term until he was 82 years old. And he is already, today, the oldest person ever to serve as President of the United States.
Reasonably, the question is, how much longer can we expect Biden’s health to hold? Statistically speaking – as horrible as it sounds – he was expected to die four years ago. I don’t mean to be rude or morbid in anyway, or make light of anyone’s death – but those are what the numbers say.
Accordingly, Biden’s vice-presidential pick is especially important.
Sure, vice presidents are always important in that they always have the potential to be promoted to the presidency.
A bad vice-presidential pick can tank your campaign, as John McCain found out in 2008.
But Biden’s 2024 VP pick will face unprecedented scrutiny – the scrutiny afforded a presidential prospect, rather than a vice presidential prospect.
So, how does Kamala Harris, Biden’s most likely running mate, hold up under presidential scrutiny?
The Prospect of a Kamala Harris presidency concerning
Kamala Harris would have a difficult time getting elected directly to the presidency; her only presidential campaign polled in the low-single digits and ran out of cash early, forcing her to drop out of the 2020 race before the calendar year 2020 even started.
But Harris could absolutely ascend to the presidency if Biden picks her as his running mate in 2024 (which he has indicated he will), and then suffers some sort of health crisis. If Biden becomes debilitatingly sick – or deceased – then Harris is in.
Even Democrats are concerned with the (entirely plausible) premise of Harris assuming the presidency on account of how poorly her vice presidency has gone. By nearly all accounts, Harris has been invisible and irrelevant through the first two years of the Biden administration.
She is less visible than multiple members of the Cabinet, including the Secretary of Transportation. She played no role in any of Biden’s signature legislative accomplishments. She hasn’t scored a victory in the big-ticket items assigned to her (immigration reform, voting rights). And she churns through staff quickly enough to have earned a reputation as being difficult to work for.
If Harris were to assume the presidency, she would of course assume what is perhaps the president’s most important function: crafting US foreign policy. On foreign policy, Harris is a generic Democrat, which is to say, she’s bad. Harris would likely continue, unquestioning, in the tradition of hyper-intervention and over-extension.
Karris Harris, like so many Democrats, has stressed the “moral” importance of supporting Ukraine. Well, even if one were to accept that the morality of any conflict was so black and white, morality needs to be measured against strategic interests.
And on grand strategy, I don’t trust Harris any more than I trust her to run a proper campaign – or to treat her staff with respect.
Kamala Harris is a poor option for president.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison 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. Harrison listens to Dokken.