Who could be the Democratic nominee for president in 2024 if Biden, 80, steps down?
President Biden became the oldest sitting president on Sunday when he turned 80 – a feat that has some wondering whether the octogenarian commander-in-chief should seek re-election in 2024.
While Biden has publicly expressed his ambitions to seek a second term, at least one Democratic strategist has said the president should deliver on his promise to be a bridge to the next generation of center-left leaders.
“The best thing would be for President Biden to call it a day sooner rather than later so we can be the party of the next generation — not the generation that is expiring,” said Colin Strother, a Democratic political strategist. “[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi is gone, Mitch McConnell has established he is way behind his time, and there are legitimate concerns that someone the president’s age could do this tough job well.”
Here are some of the main options Democrats have if Biden opts out of re-election in 2024:
DEMOCRATS ARE DIVIDED IF BIDEN’S AGE MAKES HIM TOO OLD FOR THE WHITE HOUSE OR THE ‘TOM BRADY’ OF POLITICS
Vice President Kamala Harris
Harris, as Biden’s second-in-command, is seen as a logical choice for Democrats. The 58-year-old former California senator is the country’s first female vice president. She is also the first African American and the first Asian American to hold this position.
During the 2022 midterm elections, Harris was one of the Democrats’ top political surrogates. She has also represented the White House at various world summits.
Despite the resume, Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign ended before the primaries even took place. Harris is also a polarizing figure for Republicans because of his responsibility for overseeing the growing migrant crisis on the US-Mexico border.
To complicate matters, Harris’ jobs approval rating is even lower than Biden’s, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“She would have the burden and the blessings of the Biden administration,” said Mike Madrid, a consultant who advises both parties and helped found the Never-Trump Lincoln Project. “But as vice president, you get all the downsides without being able to take credit for the accomplishments.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
The transport secretary was one of the National Democratic Party’s most sought-after surrogates in the recently passed midterm elections. Buttigieg is also responsible, in his official capacity, for distributing money from the administration’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure program.
The dual roles served to raise Buttigieg’s profile after his own 2020 presidential bid fell through after winning the Iowa caucuses. Although Buttigieg denied talking about another run for the White House, his political action committee has resurfaced in recent months to endorse candidates for state and federal positions this cycle.
PETE BUTTIGIEG REGULARLY VISITS DARK MONEY-FUNDED GREEN GROUPS, CALENDAR ENTRIES SHOW
Buttigieg’s candidacy could face serious obstacles, however. The transportation secretary is like facing a GOP congressional inquiry next year into how infrastructure money was spent. Republicans are also eager to examine Buttigieg’s efforts to mitigate a nationwide railroad strike and shore up the supply chain crisis.
The Transportation Secretary has also come under fire for taking parental leave last year as the White House tried to push through its infrastructure law and deal with the supply chain crisis. .
Senator Bernie Sanders
Although older than Biden, Sanders, 81, continued his political operation after making two unsuccessful offers to the White House. The self-described Democratic Socialist from Vermont has been active on the campaign trail in 2022 and has released a new book aimed at young voters.
While few expect Sanders to make another presidential run, the lawmaker has a deep support base within the left wing of the Democratic Party. These grassroots supporters helped propel Sanders to several upsets during his 2016 and 2020 campaigns. It also provided the senator with the fundraising efforts needed to mount a campaign, but without being dependent on big donors.
Sanders has struggled to reach older African-American voters, a core Democratic Party constituency, in his two national campaigns.
“Sanders has a high floor and a low ceiling,” Strother said. “His irreverence has turned into a grumpy old man yelling at neighborhood kids to get off his lawn. He’ll raise money and make noise, but he has no way.”
Rep. Ro Khanna
The California Democrat has traveled the country in recent months touting his book on dignity in the digital age. Khanna even put consultants on his payroll in early 2024 Democratic nominating contests.
While the lawmaker has ruled out running against Biden, he has made no effort to hide his interest in a run for the White House in the future. Khanna is little known outside of his California district, however.
Democratic Governors Newsom, Whitmer
Outside of the national government, Democrats have several popular governors who could mount an effective campaign if Biden rules out another term.
CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In the swing state of Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer won re-election this month by more than 10 percentage points, despite a fiery challenge from Republicans. Whitmer also has close ties to labor unions, a central group that was instrumental in Biden’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Outside the Midwest, California Governor Gavin Newsom is seen as a potential White House contender. Newsom, like Whitmer, has just been re-elected by a wide margin for a second term.
Newsom has also been active in advising red state governors on their abortion policies. The governor has been spending money in Florida and Indiana in recent months to urge businesses to move to California if they oppose new abortion restrictions.