OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden has not formally declared that he is running for a second term next year and continues to give cryptic answers when he is asked directly whether or not he will.
Biden was expected to announce a reelection bid either during his State of the Union address earlier this month or shortly afterward, but he’s not yet done so. And on Friday, when he was asked by ABC Nightly News anchor David Muir if he would declare his candidacy, the president gave another middling response that left doubt.
“Well, apparently someone interviewed my wife today, I heard,” Biden said after Muir asked Biden directly if he is running.
“I heard that too,” Muir quipped.
“I gotta call her and find out,” Biden said, adding quickly that he was kidding. He then said: “[M]y intention is — from– has — intention has been from the beginning to run. But there’s too many other things we have to finish in the near term before I start a campaign.”
“Let me ask you about a conversation that people are having — at home, both your supporters and your critics. They know that if you’re reelected, you would be 82 when you’re sworn in. You’d be — 86 at the end of your term. Is your age part of your own calculation into whether to run again?” Muir pressed Biden further.
“No. But it’s legitimate for people to raise issues about my age. It’s totally legitimate to do that. And the only thing I can say is watch me,” Biden answered.
“She was asked just today, ‘Is all that’s left at this point simply setting a time and a place for the announcement?’ And she said, ‘Pretty much.’ Do you agree with your wife’s assessment?” Muir asked Biden.
“As my mother would say, “God love her.” Yeah. Look, I– I s–…I meant what I said. I’ve got other things to finish before I get into a full-blown campaign.” Biden replied.
David Muir: "Are you running?"
Joe Biden: "Well apparently someone interviewed my wife today I heard and I gotta call her and find out."
— Conservative Brief (@ConservBrief) February 25, 2023
Biden’s odd responses will only lead to more speculation that he’s not really going to run and that the Democratic Party hierarchy is likely scrambling behind the scenes trying to figure out a gameplan going forward.
In fact, a breaking report late Wednesday evening claimed that Biden may not be running for reelection next year after all. Four people “familiar with the president’s thinking,” told Politico that plans to launch his 2024 reelection bid this month have inexplicably been shelved.
“A final call has been pushed aside as real-world events intervene,” the sources said. “Now they are coalescing around April.”
Politico noted further: “While the belief among nearly everyone in Biden’s orbit is that he’ll ultimately give the all-clear, his indecision has resulted in an awkward deep-freeze across the party — in which some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president.”
Although a re-election campaign was previously considered to be a sure thing, he has yet to make a formal decision. Sources close to the president described him to Politico as “a kind of Hamlet on Delaware’s Christina River,” cautiously waiting as he contemplates the specifics of his potential final campaign.
“An inertia has set in,” a Biden confidant told Politico. “It’s not that he won’t run, and the assumption is that he will. But nothing is decided. And it won’t be decided until it is.”
Politico noted further:
Democratic Govs. JB Pritzker of Illinois, Gavin Newsom of California, and Phil Murphy of New Jersey have taken steps that could be seen as aimed at keeping the door cracked if Biden bows out — though with enough ambiguity to give them plausible deniability. Senators like Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have been making similar moves.
Meanwhile, several Democrats admit that they have lost hope in Vice President Kamala Harris, with some telling the media that she is a liability for the 2024 presidential election.
The New York Times headlined in an article Monday that Harris is struggling to “define her vice presidency and that even her allies are tired of waiting.” The outlet added that more and more Democrats are beginning to agree that Harris is a disappointment at best.
“But the painful reality for Ms. Harris is that in private conversations over the last few months, dozens of Democrats in the White House, on Capitol Hill, and around the nation — including some who helped put her on the party’s 2020 ticket — said she had not risen to the challenge of proving herself as a future leader of the party, much less the country.”
Even some Democrats who were supposed to be supporters of Harris “confided privately that they had lost hope in her.”
Democratic fundraiser John Morgan was so fed up that he went on the record against Harris, arguing her weakness as vice president will be “one of the most hard-hitting arguments against Biden.”