OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A ranking Democrat has made a prediction about President Joe Biden’s future even as she walked back — somewhat — a previous statement.
On Tuesday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said during an NY1 three-way debate for New York’s 12th Congressional District against Rep. Jerrold Nadler and attorney Suraj Patel of Biden: “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election,” according to the New York Post.
The question was then put to Nadler, “Should President Biden run again in 2024?” And while he was less direct, he also would not commit to backing Biden, the Democratic Party’s titular leader.
“It’s too early to say,” Nadler responded. “It doesn’t serve the purposes of the Democratic Party to deal with that until after the midterms.”
On Wednesday, Maloney walked back her remarks to a degree but was just as adamant about her prediction.
“Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won’t be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%. You have deserved it. You are a great president and thank you for everything you’ve done for my state and all the states and all the cities in America,” Maloney told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) walks back: "Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won't be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%. You have deserved it. You are a great president and thank you for everything you've done …" pic.twitter.com/w8gUATVkf9
— The Recount (@therecount) August 4, 2022
Maloney is just the latest Democrat to not only indicate hesitance about Biden but a belief that he won’t run again in the next presidential cycle.
Even as Biden’s domestic agenda accelerates at surprising speed for an election year — climate, health care and taxes may follow veterans and manufacturing through Congress this summer — within his own party there’s been a slight but unmistakable political drift away from him ahead of the midterms.
As Biden polls poorly in battlegrounds while congressional Democrats see a brightened political outlook for themselves, lawmakers are tying themselves in knots over whether to cheer on a second term for the 79-year-old president. It’s not that they’re abandoning Biden early, just that many see little upside in taking a firm stand either way when that risks alienating either independents or the party base.
Still, despite some potential legislative victories for Democrats, the reality is, the vast majority of Americans are hurting financially: Inflation continues to eat away at any wage gains that have been made over the past couple of years; gas prices are still well above what they were when Biden took office; food, housing, and clothing prices are up as well; and there are enduring supply chain issues and a chaotic southwestern border, all of which are working against the president and, by default, Democrats who control both chambers of Congress.
According to Gallup earlier this week, Biden’s sixth-quarter approval rating was the lowest for any president on record at 38 percent.
The president’s current figure is also the lowest of his presidency thus far, while his average approval over the first year-and-a-half of his term is also the lowest of any other president in the polling firm’s 74-year history, The Daily Wire reported, citing the data.
“A year ago, Biden’s honeymoon period came to an end when his approval rating dropped to 50% amid a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases. Since then, his public support has eroded after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the highest inflation in four decades, record-high gas prices, and continuing supply chain issues,” Gallup noted in a news release.
“No president elected to his first term has had a lower sixth-quarter average than Biden, although Jimmy Carter’s and Donald Trump’s ratings were only slightly better, at 42%. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan also averaged below majority approval,” the release added.
While Biden’s approval sits at 38 percent, according to Gallup, his disapproval rating is also high at 59 percent. In addition, respondents had far more negative feelings about Biden than positive, with 45 percent saying they strongly disapproved of the job he’s doing compared to only 14 percent who moderately disproved. At the same time, only 13 percent of respondents strongly approve of Biden while 25 percent only moderately approve.