The incumbent US president will reportedly seek reelection, hoping a repeat of the 2022 anti-Trump party surge
Despite his poor approval ratings and age, President Joe Biden is determined to seek reelection in 2024, which is what he told his former boss, Barack Obama, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
“I believe he thinks he’s the only one who can beat Trump. I don’t think he thinks there’s anyone in the Democratic party who can beat Trump and that’s the biggest factor,” one of the two sources familiar with the Obama-Biden talks was quoted as saying.
On his campaign trail, Biden said he wanted to be a one-term president, making the way for the next generation of Democratic politicians in 2024. Vice President Kamala Harris was widely presumed to be heir apparent, though Secretary of Transport Pete Buttigieg was suggested by some observers as a viable alternative.
During his presidency, Biden apparently changed his mind on retirement from politics. He has indicated during public appearances that he would consider running for reelection. The discussion with Obama is the latest such indication, The Hill said. The publication also said it didn’t know when exactly the conversation took place.
Biden is suffering from low approval ratings that no US president has seen in decades. A CNBC poll suggested last week that 38% of Americans favored his performance in office, while 53% disfavored it.
He is also an extremely triggering figure for the GOP. A Morning Consult poll released on Monday said 84% of Republican respondents believed the world would be a better place if Biden were to leave office. The attitude is on par with what the American public in general feels about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is a much-vilified figure in the US today.
There is also the issue of age. Biden became the oldest serving US president when he took office in 2021 and will be 82 at the start of the next presidential term. He was markedly less energetic on the campaign trail and after taking over the White House than during his tenure as vice president under Obama. Critics believe he may be in mental decline, a speculation that Biden’s supporters angrily reject.
Obama reportedly orchestrated a party establishment drive to secure the 2020 nomination for Biden and prevent Senator Bernie Sanders from winning it during the Democratic primary. Harris and Buttigieg withdrew their candidacies at a strategic moment in the race and endorsed Biden for president.
Biden’s main selling point for Democratic voters was arguably his electability. He was touted as the only candidate capable of beating Donald Trump and denying the controversial Republican a second term.
In one of his public appearances, Obama told young Americans to vote as if their lives depended on it – “because it does,” he said – referring to the Biden campaign pledge to tackle climate change.
Trump is widely expected to be the GOP’s nominee in 2024. He publicly hinted at the possibility, but stopped short from announcing his bid. If Biden and Trump both secure nominations from their respective parties again, a rematch between them will happen.