With voter approval of Vice President Kamala Harris continuing to plumb new depths and her party on edge about its future, Democrats are walking a fine line between attempting to quash rumors that President Joe Biden will not seek a second term while also acknowledging the realities of the situation, as Breitbart reports.
The conflicting messaging got rolling last week when close Biden friend and former Senator Chris Dodd set off speculation that the president may not run for another four years in the White House come 2024.
“I’m hoping the president runs for re-election,” Dodd said to the New York Times. “But for whatever reason that might not be the case, it’s hard to believe there would be a short list without Kamala’s name on it. She’s the vice president of the United States,” he added.
However, given Harris’ approval rating – recently gauged at approximately 28% – and growing reports of tension and discontent between the presidential and vice presidential camps, uncertainty about her viability as the party’s presumptive heir apparent has Democrats scrambling to hit just the right tone of reassurance for their voter base.
As such, when speaking with the Washington Post, Dodd seemed to adjust his tone on the topic of Biden’s future plans just a bit, saying, “The only thing I’ve heard him say is he’s planning on running again.”
When asked earlier this year, Biden himself gave no specific indication that another run for the presidency was not on the cards, remarking back in March, “My plan is to run for re-election. That’s my expectation,” as Fox News reported at the time.
According to the Post’s reporting, Biden and those in his inner circle are telling allies that he does indeed intend to mount another campaign, and the president was said to have personally conveyed that message to a small group of key donors earlier this month.
However, the outlet noted that 28 different Democrat sources indicated that the debate inside the party as to whether Biden will be on their 2024 ticket continues apace, and one Democrat campaign veteran responded to an inquiry about Biden’s plans by saying that they could not recall a single person within knowledgeable circles with whom they’d recently spoken who believes there is a real chance he will run.
While much has been made about Harris’ unpopularity being the primary drag on the Democrats’ future electoral prospects, given Biden’s own startlingly low poll numbers and laundry list of apparent mental and physical infirmities, the party’s efforts to assure their voters that he plans to run again may not be terribly helpful either, leaving them in a truly vexing predicament.