OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A spate of new media reports hint that there is rising tension in the White House between President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as the 2024 presidential election cycle begins in earnest, with more Republicans jumping in to challenge them.
As noted by the outlet 1945, one of the biggest mounting concerns is Biden’s age and the fact that Harris, should the geriatric president be forced to resign his post or worse, die in office, would succeed him. She’s not been a popular vice president and in fact, her polling has consistently been worse than Biden’s, even when Biden’s numbers were at historic lows.
“A vote for the Democrats might be for Biden. Then again, it might not be,” is what Republicans want Democratic voters to understand, the outlet noted.
The report added ominously: “After all, President Joe Biden will be 82 if he were to win his reelection. The average lifespan for most American men is 77 years of age.”
The report noted further:
As uncomfortable as it is, Americans need to have the conversation about Biden that no Democrat wants them to have: can the forty-sixth president even make it as president for another four years? As a corollary to that line of questioning comes another important query that voters should be asking: can Kamala Harris be a good president, if something were to happen to Biden?
In a thought-provoking article, Matt Bai at The Washington Post offers a distinctive suggestion for the Biden team—to involve Harris in every major presidential press conference and significant decision, compelling Biden to fully embrace his vice president in a manner he has been hesitant to do so far. The approach aims to demonstrate to voters that they are not only receiving Biden’s leadership but also benefiting from the combined strengths of both Biden and Harris.
1945 points out, however, that Biden and his time have purposely distanced themselves from Harris because he never wanted her as his running mate in the first place. The outlet reports that in the early days of his campaign, Biden was faltering and in order to jump-start it, he agreed to take her on in order to win the support of Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is seen as a civil rights icon and key to winning black support.
It’s also important to note that Harris was running for president in 2020 and was so unpopular she was among the first candidates to drop out.
But ditching Harris may not be so easy. Dr. Harold Sklar, a self-described liberal Democrat from Chevy Chase, Md., wrote in the Financial Times that although Harris has proven most suspicions about her — that she’s a political lightweight — Biden is stuck with her because she helped him secure the black and female vote, two constituencies vital to a successful reelection.
“Such replacement was not always unusual — Abraham Lincoln had two vice-presidents and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had three. But in light of the current political climate, Biden does not have that latitude. What Harris needs to do is choose not to run for re-election, thereby freeing Biden to select a better running mate,” Sklar wrote.
“I believe she will not do that, hoping that she will gain the ultimate prize in 2028,” he wrote, going on to predict she’ll be a “lodestone” to Biden, weighing down his chances.
Others have said they don’t believe Biden will actually stay in the race.
Former GOP presidential candidate and media magnate Steve Forbes told Fox News: “Joe Biden will not be the Democratic Party nominee … Because the economy — yeah, they can sweep the Hunter stuff away — but that has a stench out there.
“So you have a poor economy, you have a president people feel is not up to the job anymore, certainly not for the next four years. So I don’t know what the scenario is going to be, but they cannot have him running in November of 2024,” he said.