OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden will reportedly use some time over the holidays this year to decide whether he wants to run for re-election, according to a new report from The Hill. The president reportedly plans to “surround himself with family as he assesses his political future while giving himself a deadline of early next year to officially announce.”
“Biden, who just turned 80, remains in many Democrats’ minds the party’s best shot at retaining the White House in 2024. Still, he’s weighing his next steps at a time when several contemporaries in the party have stepped down from top roles to make room for a new generation of leaders. And while the White House has insisted for months Biden plans to run again, the president has left the door open to making a final decision after discussing with family during the holidays,” The Hill reported.
“He plans to run. He said himself … that he’s going to have a private conversation with his family,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week. “I’m certainly not going to lay out what that conversation could look like or potentially be. That is the president’s, clearly, prerogative to have that conversation with his family, to make that decision.”
Princeton professor Julian Zelizer spoke to The Hill and said that younger Democratic leaders “will heighten the conversations about Biden’s age.”
“It means that his age will be amplified, the contrast with younger Democrats more pronounced, all of which will fuel the conversations about what should he do in 2024,” Zelizer said. “That said, he can use the moment to position himself as a voice of experience, wisdom, and reason —someone with the best chops to handle reelection and the challenges of a second term.”
Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, said Pelosi and Hoyer stepping aside when Republicans won control of the U.S. House earlier this month won’t stop Biden from running for another term.
“They are no longer in charge of the House. This was the perfect moment for them to step aside. I don’t think there’s any correlation between Hoyer and Pelosi stepping down on any decision-making for Biden,” he said. “Presidents have almost invariably sought reelection regardless of their age. Democrats do not want an open seat and don’t want a party fight for the nomination.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she will not seek re-election as the top Democrat in the House but will remain in Congress. Pelosi made the announcement from the House floor in a speech.
“For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” said Pelosi.
Prior to Pelosi’s speech on Wednesday, a report from Puck News stated that Pelosi will not serve as the House minority leader but remain in Congress.
Sometime around noon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will walk out onto the House floor to take her final bow after 19 years as head of the Democratic caucus with a speech about passing the torch from one generation to the next, I’m told. But instead of riding high into retirement, as has long been assumed, or becoming ambassador to Italy—a diplomatic posting the White House has been holding open for her—Pelosi will announce that she plans to stay in Congress as a backbencher, roaming the halls in a sort of emeritus role and helping to guide Democrats through their turn in the minority.
The decision to step down from leadership was reached over the weekend, as I reported on Monday after Pelosi crafted a retirement speech with the help of the celebrity historian and presidential biographer Jon Meacham, a favorite of the Democratic elite, including Joe Biden, for exactly these types of moments. I was told there were multiple drafts of the speech, signifying Pelosi’s indecision and the fluidity of the midterm election results.