Long time Boston Herald political columnist Joe Battenfeld has a new piece suggesting that Hillary Clinton may be waiting for Joe Biden to stumble – in the most literal sense – so that she can enter the 2024 presidential race.
While Clinton is not running for president, Battenfield asserts that she is indeed eager to do so, and that she thinks Biden’s age and health may offer the necessary opportunity.
Here Comes Hillary Clinton?
“I obviously hope he stays very focused and is able to compete in the election,” Clinton said. “Because I think he can be re-elected and that’s what we should all hope for.” Clinton, who understands the rigors of running a modern presidential campaign as well as just about anyone, seems to be alluding to Biden’s fading mental acuity, and his diminishing energy levels.
“[Biden’s] age is an issue and people have every right to consider it,” Clinton said.
Sure, Clinton lost two presidential elections that she was expected to win, she likely views Biden as inferior to herself, and likely has a tough time watching Biden stumble through the position she has coveted most in her life. But Clinton’s comments also underscore legitimate concerns.
Biden is observably too old for the presidency. And don’t forget, Biden didn’t really have to campaign in 2020. Not in the live on the road, shake a million hands, give five speeches a day sort of way that defines most modern campaigns. COVID allowed Biden to sit at home and make the occasional webcast appearance.
He won’t have that luxury this time around, he’ll have to get out there. Can he handle that? TBD. But according to Battenfeld, Clinton is waiting in the wings in case Biden can’t go.
“Just because [Clinton] says she’s not running again,” Battenfeld wrote, “those promises will be meaningless if Biden drops out and Democrats are suddenly left with no strong candidate.”
Battenfeld has a point. “No matter what Clinton says now, she’s the only moderate, centrist mainstream Democrat on the horizon beyond Biden. The rest are too liberal or far out of the mainstream to get elected. Think Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.”
Democrats seem determined to prevent such a premise from unfolding, however. The party is leaning heavily into Biden – despite the fact that the guy is so clearly in cognitive decline. I don’t relist being so critical of an elderly public servant but the simple fact is that Biden is losing it. Reportedly, Biden limits his work week to, like, thirty-five hours. He doesn’t work mornings, evenings or weekends. He takes a mid-day break. I’m all for work-life balance but the president of the United States should have the juice to push through and work the occasional overtime shift.
Yet, shortcomings aside, Democrats are all-in on Biden. Likely because the bench, as Battenfeld described, is so short behind Biden. And likely because incumbents are well positioned to win reelection.
But the entire Biden operation harkens Weekend at Bernie’s, with the Dems propping up their boss and walking him through the motions. Hillary knows that, and perhaps she is waiting for an opening, like Battenfeld asserts.
Personally, I’m not big on Hillary Clinton or her worldview. I don’t really want her reemerging into relevance.
But most people, me included, are a sucker for a comeback – and that would make for one hell of a comeback.
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.