President Biden intends to take some time over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to consider if he wants to run for reelection. He will be surrounded by family while making this decision, and he has set a deadline of early 2019 to make it public.
Many Democrats still believe Biden, who just turned 80, has their best chance at keeping the White House in 2024. Nevertheless, he is considering his future moves at a time when a number of his party counterparts have resigned from prominent positions to make place for a new generation of leaders.
The fact that Democrats received better-than-expected election results will undoubtedly influence Biden’s choice, as will the possibility of a rematch with former President Trump. The president has kept the door open to making a final decision after speaking with family during the holidays, despite the White House’s months-long insistence that Biden intends to run again.
He wants to take off. His own words—that he would speak privately with his family—were quoted by the press secretary on Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre. She continued, “I’m not going to write out what that dialogue would look like or possibly be. The president has the right to discuss this with his family and come to that choice.
Biden’s declaration in the first half of 2023 would coincide with the emergence of fresh, young talent in the Democratic leadership. Younger Democrats will now be in charge of the party’s initiatives in a new House minority after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 82, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), 83, announced this month that they would not seek reelection to their leadership positions.
“Biden has redeemed his promise. He said he would be America’s bridge to normality after Trump and that is what he has done.” My column on Biden’s agonising fateful choice. https://t.co/uLkddc3IB0
— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) November 23, 2022
According to distinguished professor of history at American University Allan Lichtman, Pelosi and Hoyer resigning when the House turned this month won’t prevent Biden from seeking reelection. “The House is no longer under their control. They should have moved aside at this precise time.
According to him, there was no connection between Hoyer and Pelosi’s resignation and any decision-making for Biden. Regardless of their age, presidents have nearly always sought reelection. The last thing Democrats want is for Biden to resign and leave a seat available, according to Lichtman.
Only once since 1920—in 1988, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was chosen to succeed President Reagan at the end of Reagan’s second term—have the incumbent party won any of the eight available seats during presidential elections. According to Lichtman, “Democrats do not want an open seat and do not want a party contest for the nomination.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is the front-runner to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the head of the House Democrats. The New York senator, who is 52, is considerably younger than the current leadership, but political observers don’t believe that would be a problem for the president if they collaborated.
Jeffries served as an effective Biden campaign surrogate in the 2020 race. Some have noted that Biden frequently adopts a mentorship role with younger Democrats and gets along well with them, such as with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Even still, younger Democratic leaders, according to Princeton history and public affairs professor Julian Zelizer, will intensify the discourse over Biden’s age.
The argument over what he should do in 2024 will be fueled by “his age will be heightened, the contrast with younger Democrats will be more evident, and all of that,” Zelizer added. That being said, he can take advantage of the opportunity to present himself as a voice of expertise, reason, and experience—someone with the skills to handle reelection and the difficulties of a second term.
The president’s supporters believe that criticism of him based on his age is unfair, while critics say that Biden’s age is becoming more significant. Democrats primarily favour Biden running again because they don’t think he has a good alternative, even given his advanced age. And the midterm results for the Democrats gave that mood a boost.
Additionally, Biden still has a large number of well-known political rivals. At 80 years old, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader from Kentucky, will continue in his position. Additionally, Trump, who this month announced a second presidential run, is 76 years old.
While many believe that Trump’s candidacy won’t significantly impact Biden’s decision to run again, presidential historian Timothy Naftali from New York University argues that Biden may wish to run for a second term in order to face Trump once more.
Does the nation still require him to stop a second Trump presidency? And if you ask President Biden, besides [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, what are the primary concerns he has for our country, I expect he’ll say Donald Trump’s return,” he continued. “I think that’s why Joe Biden ran to stop Trump.
He continued that Biden might withdraw if Trump does not run. And he pointed out that Biden had made a considerable impact in just one term, mainly through his efforts to bring together international allies during the conflict in Ukraine.
According to Naftali, Joe Biden will have accomplished incredible things “if Trump is no longer a big political figure in 2024 and Europe is still unified in defence of Ukrainian oversight—and perhaps even if the war is made by 2024.”
However, according to American University’s Lichtman, Biden’s achievements make him even more enticing to seek reelection, given that the Democrats are still in charge of the Senate.
The better-than-expected performance of the Democrats “certainly enhances the appeal of the statement by Joe Biden,” he said. “Joe Biden has not received nearly as much praise for his administration as he should have.”