Can Democrats Overcome Their Joe Biden and Harris Problem? – Eighty-year-old President Joe Biden is running for reelection in 2024. He is set to be the first octogenarian to run for high office. Should he win, Biden would make history as the oldest man to ever win the White House successfully.
Still, there are many Democratic Party insiders who are uneasy about this fact.
While Biden has proved to be a president that has delivered many promises to his party, his age and obvious cognitive deficits associated with that advanced age (as well as the stresses of the job) mean that he might not make it through his second term, if elected. His number two is an essential factor for those who support the forty-sixth president. And Biden’s current number two, the 58-year-old Kamala Harris, leaves much to be desired.
Yet, many Democratic insiders report that Biden and Harris remain “tethered together.” These insiders are concerned about the strategic quandary that Kamala Harris places Biden in. Voters will be looking to Biden’s number two because of his advanced age.
A History of Failure: The Kamala Harris Record
Vice-President Harris has not done a very good job of reassuring twitchy voters that she is ready to take over for the 80-year-old president. In fact, the president is himself “annoyed” by Harris’ inability to execute key areas of her job. If Biden is frustrated, imagine how those in the Democratic Party elite feel, knowing that Harris’ presence on their ticket in 2024 could be a major impediment to Biden being reelected.
Harris has an approval rating that is lower than the president’s, which is not the norm (Harris has a 39 percent approval rating while Biden has a 42.3 percent rating—in both cases, it’s not great, not terrible, but Harris’ is clearly worst). That’s not a good place to be in when it comes to possibly replacing a president who already has low approval ratings. The Democrats know this, which is why they’re panicking.
At the same time, the whole reason for why Biden chose Kamala Harris in the first place was to ensure his victory in the hotly contested 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primary. Struggling in the early primary states and with rumors swirling that Biden—the heir apparent in 2020—was not going to make it, Joe Biden trekked over to South Carolina to entreat with his old Senate colleague (and civil rights leader), James Clyburn. In exchange for rallying the essential African-American vote for Biden’s ailing campaign, Biden seems to have agreed to a deal whereby he would name a woman of color to the vice-presidency.
But Harris has not performed at all. Every issue that she has been given, she has failed to alleviate the president’s workload or stress level (which is the reason why she was given that policy portfolio in the first place).
If Harris were to be made president due to Biden being unable to fulfill his oath of office, could she accomplish the far more numerous and challenging roles as President of the United States?
Such questions will dominate the minds of the voters as they approach 2024.
Biden Can’t Remove Kamala Harris Easily
Biden is between a rock and a hard place. His vice-president is a failure, yet he can’t just push aside Kamala Harris as much as he may want to. If he were to do that, the forty-sixth president would risk alienating the African-American vote which proved decisive to his first election and will be critical to his potential reelection as well.
Although, if Biden keeps her then he runs the risk of voters being concerned that Harris is not yet ready to lead. That certainly will be a line of attack the Republicans take in the 2024 General Election. Interestingly, my colleague former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) insists that Biden ultimately will not run for reelection; that inevitably he will stand aside.
McCotter believes (as do others on the Right) that it will be California Governor Gavin Newsom who will replace Biden on the ticket. McCotter’s reasoning is simple and should make every observer of the coming Democratic Party ticket in 2024 think: Newsom is the only other Democrat with a national presence who has a war chest of money with which to launch a believable national campaign.
Since the Constitution forbids two people from the same state running for president and vice-president, Kamala Harris would be out as vice-president, since she is from California just like Newsom. So, the Democrats would solve both their Biden and Harris problem in one fell swoop.
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I am not as convinced as some on the Right are of this possibility.
If there’s anything that the last few years have proven, though, it’s that anything can happen in American politics. Americans are in store for a wild presidential election cycle—far wilder than anything we’ve experienced thus far. The election will see multiple players who will be there at the start but are unlikely to be involved at the end.
That may even be the current president and his vice-president if things play out as many analysts are predicting they will.
Buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, because Kansas is goin’ bye-bye.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.