About a year-and-a-half in, President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House has been marked by numerous crises and low poll numbers.
According to a new report, many in the Democratic Party are increasingly concerned about his chances to win re-election in 2024.
In April, Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina hosted the Democratic Governors Association’s Spring Policy Conference at Pinehurst Resort in his state.
While topics discussed in the meetings included “health care” and “diversity in governance,” conversations between colleagues outside the scheduled gatherings were much bleaker, New York Magazine reported on Monday.
According to the Intelligencer article, the not-so-secret talk of the conference was whether Biden will run for re-election in 2024.
Biden has shown no signs of straying from his stance that he plans to run in 2024, even though he would be 82 on the first day of a second term if he were re-elected.
One Democratic adviser told New York Magazine that Biden is no stranger to criticism about his age.
“He was told in ’16 he couldn’t cut it,” the adviser said. “He runs in ’20 and everybody rolls their eyes, and he still wins.
“So why in the world now would he be like, ‘You guys are right. I am old’?”
Yet many people at the April meeting had lingering questions not only about Biden’s desire to run but also about the party’s desire to support him in such an endeavor.
Cooper himself was often brought up as a possible 2024 candidate, according to the report. The names of other Democratic governors — including Phil Murphy of New Jersey, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Jared Polis of Colorado — also were circulated.
The tension only increased when a memo from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, was leaked to The Washington Post during the meetings.
“In the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president, so we advise that you answer any questions about 2024 with that in mind,” Shakir wrote to Sanders’ allies, according to the report.
Some Democrats tried to cover for the discussions by saying they were simply contingency plans should Biden decide not to run, New York Magazine reported.
However, advisers to the president indicated he has made his intentions to run again abundantly clear.
“People ask me with some regularity, ‘When is Biden going to come out and say what he’s going to do?'” one of them told the outlet. “And I say, ‘Well, he has!'”
The fact that Democrats have continued to discuss other options despite Biden’s stated intention to run again suggests they are not convinced he is their best option.
Poll numbers would seem to support that assumption, as well. A NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released on Monday found 57 percent of registered voters disapproved of Biden’s presidency.
“There is no substantial precedent for the volume of questions about Biden’s future,” New York Magazine reported. “His inner circle’s insistence that his doldrums will pass, that there’s no cause for concern, is of little reassurance even to some close allies in the party.
“One person who fits this description has tried casually mapping out ways Biden could get away with avoiding a reelection bid without losing face, if it comes to that … But the ally hasn’t gotten anywhere. As this person puts it, ‘The fumes from the paint in the White House are pretty strong.'”
Whether he is the 2024 nominee or not, it seems clear Democrats have a growing problem on their hands.
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