WASHINGTON: The question of whether President Joe Biden, the oldest person to hold the office in history, should choose retirement over reelection in 2024 is one that some Democrats in the US Congress have started to discuss publicly.
The 79-year-old Biden's favor rating, which is currently at 38% and has remained below 50% since May, has been hurt by punishing inflation and voter concerns that he won't be able to handle the duties of the presidency in 2025. Biden plans to run again in 2024, the White House announced in November of last year.
The message has been plainly stated by two Minnesota-based Democratic US representatives.
Democratic Representative Dean Phillips stated this week in an interview with WCCO radio in Minneapolis that "the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, and vibrant Democrats to stand up."
Phillips praised Biden's goodness and dedication but emphasized that a generational shift is necessary.
According to the Minnesota Post, Democratic Representative Angie Craig, who, unlike Phillips, faces difficult reelection on November 8, declared on Tuesday that she is "in lockstep and alignment" with Phillips.
Some observers speculate that she may have wanted to gain more support from independent voters.
But recent surveys of public opinion have revealed that Democratic voters share the same opinions. 64 percent of Democrats said they would prefer a different candidate in 2024 in a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in July, and an even higher 75 percent of Democrats said the same thing in a CNN poll conducted last week.
Usually, party members support their leader, especially if he shows signs of running for reelection. And they might do so if 76-year-old former president Donald Trump decides to run for office again in 2024—a prospect he has been openly toying with.
"A new generation of leaders is desperately needed. However, the desire to defeat Trump will always be more important. On the list of Republicans or Democrats who have done it, Biden is still the sole name "noted Matt McAlvanah, a former staffer in the Senate leadership and the Obama administration.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in July, one-third of Republican respondents believe Trump should not seek reelection. According to polls, 43-year-old Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is becoming more popular among Republicans.
Requests for a response on Wednesday were not immediately answered by White House officials.
No 'ready alternative'
The diagnosis of COVID-19 in Biden last month sparked a discussion on Biden's future among a dozen Democratic staffers of various political persuasions, according to one aide to a longtime House Democrat on Wednesday.
It was unclear if they represented the opinions of their superiors, but the aide observed that there was a widespread opinion that it would be "foolish" to remove Biden given his convincing victory against Trump in 2020.
The assistant continued, "It's not like we have a ready substitute."
A bid for reelection by Biden in 2024 has the endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and several well-known Democratic leaders.
Others are still considering their options.
When asked whether she would support Biden's campaign at a Tuesday night discussion between three Democrats running for one House seat in New York, longtime Representative Carolyn Maloney responded that she didn't think he was seeking re-election. The following day, she expressed her support.
Such issues are best postponed until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are expected to regain control in at least one chamber of Congress, according to her main rival, Representative Jerrold Nadler.
Biden mentions his record of legislative success as the conversation starts. A stark contrast to Trump, who campaigned about infrastructure for four years but never succeeded in getting legislation passed, he signed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan in November, less than a year into his presidency.
The first significant federal gun safety law in three decades was signed by Biden last month.
To combat climate change and implement a program to lower the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly, Democrats in Congress are currently working to pass legislation. They are also attempting to persuade businesses and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.
Democratic lawmakers should concentrate on such victories, according to Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist and former spokesperson for former President Barack Obama.
When the administration is about to achieve some record accomplishments on many of the main issues confronting the American people, LaBolt said, "It's an unusual time for that sort of discussion to arise."
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