Even though Joe Biden is already in the 2024 presidential race, there are lingering doubts about whether he’ll stay in the race or eventually drop out. In addition to his terrible poll numbers, there are significant concerns about his physical and mental health.
And this past week alone, he’s had more gaffes than the average politician makes in a year.
At a private fundraiser in New York this week, he told the same story twice, minutes apart, “nearly word for word,” without realizing it. That same day, he nearly knocked over the Brazilian flag at the United Nations and then forgot to shake the hand of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The following day, while addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 46th Annual Gala, got his audience mixed up and referred to them as the Congressional Black Caucus — never once realizing he’d made the error.
Unlike in 2020, Biden can’t spend the entire campaign hidden away in his basement. He is the incumbent president and there are always media around him, documenting his every move and everything that comes out of his mouth. While polls have been showing voter concern about Biden’s physical and mental health for some time now, Democrat leaders have largely expressed confidence about the de facto 2024 Democratic presidential nominee — and that is a huge problem.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is widely seen as waiting in the wings to run for president himself, dismisses concerns about Biden’s age and health. “I want a seasoned pro that knows how to get things done,” he told CNN.
As the New York Times recently noted, there’s “discord between the party’s elite and its voters,” and according to famed Democrat strategist James Carville, that’s another huge problem for the Democrats.
“The voters don’t want this, and that’s in poll after poll after poll,” he said. According to Carville, the lack of enthusiasm for Biden could potentially reduce Democrat turnout in 2024. “You can’t look at what you look at and not feel some apprehension here.”
It’s true. A recent AP-NORC poll found that 69% of Democrat voters believe Biden is too old for the presidency.
Some Democrat leaders are reading the writing on the wall and are now openly expressing concern about Biden’s viability in the next election. According to a recent report from The Washington Post, concerns about Biden’s political vulnerabilities are “now sending waves of anxiety through parts of the Democratic Party,” with one prominent Democrat suggesting that “death is imminent” for Biden.
“He is in a period of his life where passing and death is imminent,” Sharon Sweda, the chairwoman of the Lorain County, Ohio, Democratic Party, told the Post. “We are all on a ticking clock. But when you’re at his age or at Trump’s age, that clock is ticking a little faster, and that’s a concern for voters.”
She wasn’t the only one concerned.
“The worst-case scenario is we get past the nominating process with President Biden as the nominee, and then he’s no longer able to continue on as the nominee,” a Democratic lawmaker anonymously told the Post. “That’s the nightmare scenario for Democrats.”
Another Democrat from a battleground state echoed Carville’s concern about turnout, insisting that while Democrat voters might be motivated to vote to protest Trump, they won’t wait in line for hours to back Biden due to a lack of enthusiasm. “Folks are not energized right now,” said the source.
It’s hard to see how they will be a year from now, either. So it makes sense that Democrat leaders are starting to speak out, even if only anonymously. Will Democrats eventually throw Biden under the bus?