Democrats could make President Joe Biden more electable in 2024 by adding former President Barack Obama as his running mate, The Messenger reported. This "Hail Mary" was floated by former Deputy Solicitor General of the United States Philip Allen Lacovara in an opinion piece Saturday.
"President Joe Biden’s stumble across the stage after speaking at the Air Force Academy on Thursday will certainly feature prominently in Republican campaign ads aimed at reinforcing the theme, already gnawing at even his most ardent supporters, that Biden is too old and frail for another four years," Lacovara began. "The unpopularity of backup, Vice President Kamala Harris, only aggravates the problem."
"To bolster his chances for reelection, Biden needs to engage in some out-of-the-box creativity," he continued. "Biden might rescue his faltering hope of reelection in one seemingly impossible way — asking the highly popular, former President Barack Obama to step in to replace Harris on the 2024 ticket," Lacovara proposed.
His solution is certainly a unique one, if not an all-out cry of desperation that could be seen as an attempt to steal the election by flouting the rules. Lacovara claims this is a scheme originally cooked up in 2015 before Obama even left the White House but is completely valid despite the two presidential terms that make Obama ineligible for a third.
Lacovara further asserts that "both Biden and Obama owe it to the country to consider using it." Citing low poll numbers that put Biden behind former President Donald Trump, Lacovara believes "Biden has two crucial but connected problems — his age and his vice president," he added.
"Harris’s unpopularity compounds voters’ concerns about Biden’s stamina and even his survival through a new term." Lacovara believes this conundrum could be enough to entice Biden and Obama to run as a pair "for the good of the country" and outlined the legal argument.
"At first blush, the 22nd Amendment might be thought to preclude Obama from being on the 2024 ticket," Lacovara wrote. "That amendment provides: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice …” (emphasis added)."
The former Watergate special prosecutor explained that Obama can't seek the presidency because of that amendment, but it doesn't mean he couldn't run for "for any other office, including vice president." Lacovara also said limitations placed on vice presidential candidates who are "constitutionally ineligible" does not apply to Obama because that language refers to the three qualifications of age, birthplace, and residency.
With those arguments out of the way, Lacovara went on to address concerns that this might give a Republican opponent a legal basis for a challenge. "As the 2020 election showed, part of the Republican campaign strategy is to contest any results that are unfavorable," he falsely claimed.
"Would a Supreme Court dominated by conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents invalidate the certification of a Biden/Obama win or even allow states to exclude this slate from the ballot?" Lacovara believes there is sufficient precedent to protect against that challenge.
"In the most apt precedent, involving the attempt by the House of Representatives to refuse to seat a controversial New York congressman, Adam Clayton Powell, the Supreme Court ruled that 'the House could exclude him only if it found he failed to meet the standing requirements of age, citizenship, and residence contained in Art. I, § 2, of the Constitution,'" Lacovara said. "As discussed above, those are precisely the only three types of qualification that the Constitution establishes for the presidency and vice presidency."
The mental gymnastics predictably get Lacovara to the conclusion that Obama would not be ineligible to take over as president in this scenario. Thus, Obama would be a-okay as a vice presidential candidate for the 2024 race.
"And a Biden-Obama ticket? The idea is not as crazy as it sounds at first — although the former president, enjoying his life as a private citizen, might not be crazy about the idea."
This plan reveals exactly how desperate Democrats are when looking at their chances for 2024. Biden is old, Harris is terrible, and Trump is a formidable opponent if he wins the nomination -- and they've got nobody on their bench except Obama.