Though there has been much discussion about Vice President Kamala Harris' electoral prospects should President Joe Biden decide not to seek a second term in 2024, longtime Democrat consultant and pundit James Carville suggested this week that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) should not be overlooked as his possible replacement, as Breitbart reports.
Carville's remarks came Thursday during an appearance on MSNBC's The ReidOut in which he assessed his party's midterm election results and what they might mean for the next presidential cycle.
Show host Joy Reid kicked off the conversation, declaring, “I feel the media has overplayed the importance of [Republican Gov. Ron] DeSantis and underplayed the victory for Whitmer,” referencing the former's landslide Tuesday re-election win against Democrat Charlie Crist.
“Whitmer, to me, was the biggest single individual winner on election day because...she survived real threats to democracy in her state, got reelected by a healthy margin, and took over the state,” Reid said, noting the Michigan Democrat's victory over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon in an election that also saw both chambers of the state legislature turn blue.
Carville, known to many as the “Ragin' Cajun,” appeared to sign on to Reid's premise without reservation, saying, “First of all, for 2024, 2028, she's already in the talk of being a very serious presidential candidate if she runs. I think people really understand what she's done and how tough she is.”
“I think Gretchen Whitmer is at the top of any conversation about any national figure of the Democratic Party. That is just a fact,” added Carville.
This is not the first time the liberal Michigan governor has been the subject of intense speculation over her potential future on the national stage, with Biden himself having placed her on his shortlist for vice presidential candidates back in 2020, as the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
Despite the obvious confidence Carville and Reid have in Whitmer's political skills, however, not everyone is equally impressed, as was evidenced by a widely mocked television appearance on Monday in which the Michigan governor was accused of evading questions about her highly controversial lockdown policies during the pandemic, as Fox News noted.
Fox 2 Detroit anchor Josh Landon inquired of Whitmer, “Governor, when it comes to your handling of the pandemic, we all know the critics over the past few years, do you have any regrets, and...?” at which point, the Democrat awkwardly clutched at her earpiece and gave the appearance of having lost the audio feed.
The cringeworthy display caught the attention of Dixon, who sarcastically expressed her hope that her rival could “get back on the air to answer this question about her disastrous COVID policies (or will the equipment mysteriously malfunction again?).”
Talk of Whitmer as a contender in 2024 may already be moot, however, given Biden's Wednesday declaration that he intends to seek re-election and that an announcement of his final decision could come early next year, according to The Hill.
If, however, that does not come to pass, Whitmer would still have to contend with the continued presence on the scene of Biden's presumed heir apparent – the beleaguered Harris – whose husband Doug Emhoff is, according to Politico, already lecturing party leaders about their supposed obligation to back his wife for the top job, should her current boss step aside.