Though Joe Biden hasn’t officially declared his intention to run for reelection in 2024, rumor has it the announcement is coming as soon as this month, next month (April) at the latest.
In anticipation of the formal statement from Biden, news outlets have run wild with stories of how his 2024 campaign strategies are being gamed out, with one report suggesting that Biden was going to rely heavily on younger Democrats to make the case for him even as he hits the road to stump for himself in a reversal of the basement strategy that worked for him in 2020.
But according to one House Democrat quoted on the record in a piece arguing in favor of Biden to be primaried due to age and polling showing majorities of Dems want him to bow out, there are many on his side of the aisle in Congress who aren’t too keen on Biden even running again-let alone want to speak on his behalf:
In private, of course, many elected Democrats say Biden is too old to run again and that they wish he’d step away–which aligns with what large majorities of Democrats and independents have been telling pollsters for months. The public silence around the president’s predicament has become tiresome and potentially catastrophic for the Democratic Party. Somebody should make a refreshing nuisance of themselves and involve the voters in this decision.
“This is not a knock on Joe Biden, just a wish for competition,” says Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, one of a tiny number of elected Democrats who have expressed on-the-record trepidation about Biden’s plans. Phillips couches the absurdity of this in terms of free enterprise. “In the business world, if the dominant brand in a category had favorability ratings like the current president does, you would see a number of established brands jump into that category,” Phillips told me. “Believe me, there are literally hundreds in Congress who would say the same thing,” he said. “But they simply won’t f**king say a word.”
Back over the summer, Phillips was among a handful of Congressional Democrats openly expressing a desire to see someone else at the head of the Democratic ticket in 2024, and in February, Phillips brought up Biden’s age as a key reason many Democrats have – behind the scenes – suggested Biden walk away in 2024.
“He’s a president of great competence and success, I admire the heck out of President Biden,” Phillips stated at the time. “And if he were 15-20 years younger it would be a no-brainer to nominate him, but considering his age it’s absurd we’re not promoting competition but trying to extinguish it.”
Credit to Phillips for at least acknowledging the elephant in the room instead of gaslighting the hell out of people by telling them that Biden can run circles around people much younger than him, a ridiculous claim we’ve heard from the likes of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, among others.
Biden is unlikely to get a viable primary challenger if any challenger at all, but the fact that we’re hearing more and more Democrats blurt out the quiet part about how his age (and, reading between the lines, mental acuity as well) is going to be a factor suggests that what Phillips is claiming about the volume of Democrats who are allegedly cringing over the thought of a second Biden run may be right on the money.
Related: White House Is Asked if Joe Biden Is ‘Woke,’ It Goes Downhill From There