To Run or Not to Run

David Ignatius, the Stentor of the prevailing Washington wisdom, states his preference in his Washington Post column—he doesn’t want President Biden to seek re-election. The crux of his argument appears to be that:

  1. President Biden is too old and a supermajority of Americans (not just Republicans) think he is too old
  2. He has no workable alternative for a running mate and Vice President Harris is even less popular than he is


I hope Biden has this conversation with himself about whether to run, and that he levels with the country about it. It would focus the 2024 campaign. Who is the best person to stop Trump? That was the question when Biden decided to run in 2019, and it’s still the essential test of a Democratic nominee today.

Democratic Party camp follower and noted Clintonista Sidney Blumenthal on the other hand says that Democrats have no choice but for President Biden to run again in his piece in The Guardian:

The election of 2024 will be the second referendum on Trump, but the first held on the attempted coup of January 6t. Just as the 2004 election, which President George W Bush won, was in effect a referendum on the terrorist attack on September 11, the only election since 1988 in which the Republican won the popular vote, January 6 is the overwhelming political factor that establishes Trump’s assertion to his party’s nomination by means of incumbency. His forthcoming trials are not peripheral, but central to his claim.

When the illusion of a counter-factual alternative fades, and the choice is between the incumbent and the false incumbent, then Democrats may consider something other than the age of Biden and whether they wish to contribute to a new political age of Trump.

The point of disagreement between the two appears to be that Mr. Ignatius seems to believe that Joe Biden’s running for re-election will effect what Mr. Blumenthal wants to forestall by his running. One potential fly in Mr. Blumenthal’s ointment is that present evidence does not suggest that Americans, generally, share his view either of the Biden presidency or January 6.

My view is that I find it incredible that four years later the only candidate the Democratic Party seems able to produce is over 80 years old. I mean that literally. I don’t find it believable.

2 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    They are both too old. We should have better choices but maybe this is what we deserve.


  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    Are you sure Ignatius wasn’t prompted by RealClearPolitics putting Biden’s job approval rating at 41.4%, below Trump at the equivalent point of their Presidency? Or more ominously, losing to Trump in a 2024 rematch – in 2020, RealClearPolitics never showed Biden losing to Trump.

    Biden’s polls explain why there aren’t any candidates, even through there’s 1 VP, at least 1 cabinet secretary, 50 Democratic Senators (everyone except Feinstein) and 24 Democratic Governors who would run if the circumstances are right.

    The only plausible circumstance to win a primary challenge against an incumbent president is he or she did such a horrible job that even the party’s voters want someone else. But in the whole country, voters would go for the other party if circumstances are that poor.

    So for any challenger, its a pick your poison, lose in the primary or lose in the general.

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