Multiple liberal columnists and other media pundits continue to doubt President Biden’s election chances, as some suggested Democrats embrace an alternative amid weak polling and overwhelming concerns about the president’s age.
The Washington Post’s Perry Bacon Jr. became the latest to suggest Democrats embrace a different candidate in a column published Monday. He wrote that Biden’s 2024 campaign wasn’t “worth the added difficulty that comes from his deep unpopularity.”
He argued that Biden’s low polling numbers make him a weaker candidate than other, younger Democratic prospects.
“The Biden presidency came about for one single reason: his perceived electoral strength. He’s not looking electorally strong now — and many other Democratic politicians are better positioned for a successful 2024 presidential campaign,” Bacon wrote.
“If Biden were the first woman, LGBTQ person or person of color as president, there would be a strong case to reelect him, to show the country embraces leaders who aren’t straight White men. But there’s not that kind of symbolic or cultural case for his second term, either,” Bacon wrote, saying a hypothetical Pete Buttigieg presidency would have had similar legislative accomplishments. He floated Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and recently re-elected Kentucky Gov. Beshear as alternatives.
David Axelrod, an adviser to former President Obama and a CNN commentator, raised concerns over Biden’s election chances in early November, following a New York Times poll that found Biden trailing former President Trump in several key swing states.
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?” Axelrod posted on social media.
“The @POTUS is justly proud of his accomplishments. Trump is a dangerous, unhinged demagogue whose brazen disdain for the rules, norms, laws and institutions or democracy should be disqualifying. But the stakes of miscalculation here are too dramatic to ignore,” he warned.
Axelrod told CNN on Sunday that Biden’s “age issue” was worrisome, as polls have consistently shown an overwhelming concern over president’s ability to serve a full second term.
“The one number in the polling that was concerning, and in the CNN poll that followed after The New York Times poll, had to do with age, and that is one thing you can’t reverse no matter how effective Joe Biden is behind the scenes. In front of the camera, what he’s projecting is causing people concerns, and that is worrisome,” Axelrod said.
Other Democrats, such as former congressman Tim Ryan, also recently said he doesn’t think Biden should run again.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote a column in September similarly calling for the president and Vice President Harris to drop out, citing their unpopularity.
“I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for re-election,” Ignatius wrote. “It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping [former President] Trump.”
Charles Blow, a liberal New York Times columnist, wrote in a piece published Thursday that it was “ridiculous” to ignore the lack of support for Biden among key voting demographics.
“It is ridiculous to ask people to ignore the erosion of Biden’s support among demographic groups that he must secure to win re-election,” Blow wrote.
“I sense a growing dissatisfaction with Biden, particularly among young minorities, and the war in Gaza is only making it worse,” he continued. “The passions are so high now that I think this tension will remain even after the war ends.”
Blow also responded to Axelrod’s remarks and said he didn’t find them “controversial.”
Steve Schmidt, who co-founded the Lincoln Project political action committee that strongly supports Biden, announced at the end of October in a blog post that he would be joining Rep. Dean Phillips’, D-Minn., presidential campaign.
“I believe President Biden may be the only Democrat who could run for president who will lose to Donald Trump,” he wrote in the post, explaining why he was joining Phillips.
Other columnists, such as The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg, started floating concerns about the president’s age and ability to run a re-election campaign in 2022, prior to his re-election announcement.
“Nevertheless, I hope he doesn’t run again, because he’s too old,” she wrote in July 2022. “Biden has always been given to gaffes and malapropisms, but there is a painful suspense in watching him speak now, like seeing someone wobble on a tightrope.”
The WSJ editorial board declared the president was “too old” to seek re-election in April as the president was preparing to announce his 2024 campaign.
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