Whether or not Joe Biden will run for reelection in 2024 is one of the parlor games that will be played at many holiday gatherings this season. To date he hasn’t declared his candidacy but has hinted that he will run. I expect a final decision after Christmas at the earliest. Today I want to make a case for why, at least in his mind, he should run and that he likely will.
For Democrats the first question is: If not Joe, then who? While I feel there are ten or more great candidates on the Democratic side there is no clear frontrunner, prohibitive candidate or lock for the general. On the Republican side I don’t see any likely candidate that is even acceptable.
Should Donald Trump secure the GOP nod I feel Biden will certainly run because he will not want to chance anyone else running and losing. A second Trump term would be a disaster and Biden loves America too much to sit that one out. With each passing week the chances of Trump winning the 2024 GOP nod appear to diminish but you can’t totally rule it out just yet anyway.
I still feel that Biden was sort of a consolation candidate that the Democrats coalesced around because they felt that Bernie Sanders would lose to Trump in the 2020 general and they were willing to make personal sacrifices in order to save the country and democracy. Couple that with the Democrats’ performance in the 2022 midterms and Biden has proven to be a winner. Perhaps an albeit unlikely one, but a winner nonetheless.
While the economy certainly has its rough spots, overall, it has done well under Biden, some of which is attributable to his policies and the legislation he has managed to get passed. All the jobs lost during the Trump presidency have been recovered and then some. Inflation is the big economic boogey man. I remain in the school of thought that it is much more transitional than structural. Trump’s buddy Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is also largely responsible for inflation. Even that is coming under control. The pace of inflation has dramatically slowed. America’s inflation rate is lower than that of comparable countries. One of the big metrics that John and Jane Q. Public use is gasoline prices and those are lower than they were a year ago.
While there is a long way between today’s discussions and reality, Biden has led the charge to alter the primary schedule putting South Carolina and Black voters to the front. If this change happens Biden will become much tougher to beat should he run and someone primary him. Even if he doesn’t the change would be good for the Democrats because they simply cannot elect a presidential candidate without a huge Black voter turnout.
Sticking with the primary order for a bit, the Republicans may want a much different lineup. The Republicans appear to be sticking with their losing strategy of depending on old, white and mainly male voters while trying to gerrymander as many districts as possible and suppress the vote of all but their preferred demographics. I don’t see that strategy being successful long term but they may have already made that bed and are forced to lie in it.
All that said I still have no idea whether or not Biden will run and that should be a personal/family decision. Closing on a holiday note: Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends and readers!
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