With a growing number of voices from both major political parties clamoring for younger lawmakers in Washington, D.C., will President Joe Biden, who at 80 is already the oldest president in U.S. history, run for reelection in 2024?
Biden has repeatedly said he intends to run but has not officially announced his bid. If he does, will Vice President Kamala Harris will be on the ticket? If he doesn’t, will she be the Democrats‘ 2024 choice.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Harris was asked if she’s part of the new generation, for the Democrats, if Biden decides not to run?
“What I know from traveling our country is the American people want leaders who will see what’s going on in their lives and create solutions, not just offer solutions but create solutions,” she answered. “And in Joe Biden we have a president who is probably one of the boldest and strongest American presidents we have had in response to the needs of the American people.”
It was pointed out to Harris in the interview that dozens of Democratic leaders are saying that not only don’t they think Biden is the strongest candidate but they don’t think that she’s the right person to be on the ticket.
“I think that it is very important to focus on the needs of the American people and not political chatter out of Washington, D.C.,” she said.
As of January 13, according to FiveThirtyEight—which takes a weighted average of the polls—Harris’ approval rating was at 40.4 percent—well below the 50-plus percent level of support she had when she entered the White House in January 2021 but significantly above the bottom level reached on November 8, 2021, when FiveThirtyEight had her approval rate at 28.9 percent.
Harris also was asked why she thinks Biden has such low favorable ratings and why hers are even lower.
“I think that what we have to do is focus on what is actually strengthening America and the American people and the American families,” she responded.
She was then asked if, after running for president in 2020, if she still want to be president some day.
“Joe Biden has said he intends to run for reelection as president and I intend to run with him as vice president of the United States,” she said.
Political analyst Craig Agranoff pointed out that Harris has faced some criticism and challenges, particularly regarding issues such as immigration and criminal justice reform. But he added that public opinion can be fluid, so it is possible for politicians to regain popularity over time.
“In terms of her potential candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2024, it is difficult to make any definitive predictions at this time,” Agranoff told Newsweek. “A lot can change in the political landscape between now and then, and there are likely to be multiple factors that will influence the outcome of the primary race.
“My personal opinion is she won’t gain any traction and will learn quickly that it was a bad idea. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to support Kamala Harris as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2024 will be up to individual voters and the Democratic Party as a whole. It remains to be seen how her current level of popularity and any future developments will impact her political future.”
What might help Harris is how much better than expected Democrats did at the polls in the 2022 midterm elections. She made numerous campaign appearances with candidates who went on to win their races, and her efforts drew praise.
“Vice President Harris campaigned for about two dozen Democratic candidates, in races for House and Senate seats, key governorships, and even the mayoralty of Los Angeles,” Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, previously told Newsweek.
“She was an effective campaigner, attracting favorable media coverage of her rallies and other events with those candidates.”
Some influential Democrats don’t want Biden to retire because they say Harris can’t win in 2024, according to the New York Times, but he also can’t drop her from the reelection campaign because that might infuriate what the Times called “key Democratic constituencies.”
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