WASHINGTON: A few Democrats in the US Congress have begun to voice what many have privately pondered: whether President Joe Biden, the oldest person to ever hold the Oval Office, should choose retirement over re-election in 2024.
With his approval rating at 38% – and below 50% since May – Biden, 79, has been damaged by murderous inflation and voters fear he may not meet the demands of the presidency in 2025 Last November, the White House said Biden plans to run in 2024.
A pair of Democratic US officials in Minnesota made the message clear.
“The country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared and dynamic Democrats to step up,” Democratic Representative Dean Phillips said in an interview last week with WCCO radio in Minneapolis.
Phillips praised Biden’s decency and service, but added it was time for a generational change.
Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, who unlike Phillips faces a tough re-election on Nov. 8, said Tuesday she was “in tune and aligned” with Phillips, according to the Minnesota Post.
She may have been trying to position herself better with independent voters, some analysts say.
But recent public opinion polls have found similar views among Democratic voters. A New York Times/Siena College poll in July found that 64% of Democrats would like a new candidate in 2024, and a CNN poll last week found an even higher 75% of Democrats holding that view.
Trump factor
Party activists normally rally around their president, especially if he signals that he is seeking a second term. And they could if former President Donald Trump, 76, decides to run again in 2024, a possibility he publicly flirts with.
“The thirst for a new generation of leaders is showing. But the thirst to beat Trump will always matter more. Biden is still the only name on the list of Republicans or Democrats who have done it,” noted Matt McAlvanah, a former Obama. responsible for the administration and management of the Senate.
A July Reuters/Ipsos poll found that a third of Republican voters think Trump should not run again. Polls show Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 43, growing in popularity with Republican voters.
White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
No “ready alternative”
An aide to a veteran House Democrat said Wednesday that Biden’s COVID-19 diagnosis last month sparked a conversation among half a dozen Democratic aides of various political stripes about Biden’s future.
It was unclear whether they reflected their bosses’ feelings, but the aide noted there was general consensus that it would be “foolish” to dump Biden, given his strong win. on Trump in 2020.
“It’s not like we have a ready-made alternative,” the assistant added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other top Democratic lawmakers have voiced support for a 2024 Biden run.
Others are keeping their options open.
During a Tuesday night debate between three Democrats vying for a House seat in New York, longtime Rep. Carolyn Maloney said she didn’t believe Biden was running for re-election when asked whether she would support his candidacy. A day later, she declared her support.
His main opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, said those issues are best left until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are favored to regain majorities in at least one house of Congress.
The chatter comes as Biden points to a record of legislative accomplishments. He signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in November, less than a year into his presidency, a stark contrast to Trump who talked about infrastructure for four years but never won. of legislation.
Last month, Biden signed the first major federal gun safety bill in three decades.
Now, Democrats in Congress are aiming to pass a record investment in climate change mitigation and an agenda to lower prescription drug costs for seniors, while urging corporations and the wealthy to meet their tax obligations.
Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for former President Barack Obama, said Democratic lawmakers should focus on those wins.
“It’s an odd time for this kind of chatter to be happening as the administration is poised to make record achievements on many major issues facing the American people,” LaBolt said.

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