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An ABC panel raised some eyebrows on Sunday when discussing the possibility of President Joe Biden not running for re-election in 2024.
During a segment on ABC’s “This Week,” network correspondent Jonathan Karl and Yvette Simpson, Democracy for American CEO, also speculated that Vice President Kamala Harris was not next in line for the Democratic nomination if Biden decides not to run in 2024.
Host George Stephanopoulos noted the “grumblings” coming from the Democrat Party about Biden running again as his approval remains in the 30s.
“I think he should not run. I mean, you know, his numbers are really low, overwhelmingly the poll came out that Democrats don’t want him to run. When folks rallied around him to be the president, the expectation [was] he wouldn’t run again, that he would empower someone to run. Who that person would be, I don’t know,” Simpson said.
“You don’t say Kamala Harris is the heir apparent?” Stephanopoulos asked.
Simpson said that Harris “should be” but that she should feel “empowered.”
“She’s powerful, she’s young, she’s able to get the energy, but we have not seen her strong and I don’t know why the Biden administration didn’t position her that way. It has to be her because it would be an outrage to skip over the vice president, especially the first African American and Asian female vice president. But they have to do a lot of work to get her in the seat so that we can see her powerful,” she said.
Stephanopoulos turned to Karl and noted that there was “no question” that the chatter surrounding Biden in 2024 “drives the White House crazy.” The White House has said Biden is running for re-election in 2024.
“You talk to Democrats privately, key Democrats on Capitol Hill, leaders in the party, and there’s just trepidation about this. There is a sense that among many of them that he shouldn’t run, and also if he doesn’t run that the primary is wide open, and it’s not just Kamala Harris’ to take. It could be a very messy Democratic primary,” Karl said.
Several prominent Democrats are dodging whether they will support Biden in 2024 as rumors fly that there’s serious turmoil between the president and Harris.
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin declined on Sunday to endorse Biden if the president seeks a second term in 2024.
“I’m not getting into 2022 or 2024,” he said, adding that “whoever is my president, that’s my president.”
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips publicly said that Biden shouldn’t run again in 2024, telling a talk radio station a “dynamic,” younger Democrat would be a much stronger presidential nominee.
Last month, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would not commit to backing Biden in the 2024 presidential election, saying instead that “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
This comes as reports suggest Biden’s inner circle has at least discussed the idea of replacing Harris on the 2024 ticket, assuming he runs for a second term in office.
In an explosive story from New York Magazine, titled, “There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right? Inside the 2024 soul-searching that’s happening in every corner of the Democratic Party,” author Gabriel Debenedetti discusses how Democrats are facing a reckoning.
Debenedetti notes how there seems to be a major divide between Biden and his allies on one side and Harris and her loyalists on the other.
With Trumpism re-ascendant, ambivalence about Biden’s age and political standing is fueling skepticism just as the image of his understudy, Vice-President Kamala Harris, dips even further than his. The most recent analysis from the Los Angeles Times has her net approval rating at negative 11. The result is a bizarre disconnect within the Democratic Party, with two factions talking past each other.
“Biden has to run again because he desperately has to keep Trump out of the White House and defend our democracy,” as one Capitol Hill supporter puts it. “And I have no doubts Kamala Harris can’t win.”
Late last year, a CNN report alleged that White House insiders are painting a picture of total chaos and discontent between Biden and Harris.
“Kamala Harris is a leader but is not being put in positions to lead,” a top Democratic donor said. “[Biden] should be putting her in positions to succeed, as opposed to putting weights on her. If you did give her the ability to step up and help her lead, it would strengthen you and strengthen the party.”
“That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it,” CNN reported.