A surprising voice in the Washington Post made the case Tuesday against President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris running for re-election.
Columnist David Ignatius argued that while Biden "has been a successful and effective president," it still would be a mistake for him to run for re-election in 2024. According to Axios, Ignatius has long been one of the president's favorite newspaper columnists, which could make his words sting a little more.
"I don't think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for re-election," Ignatius wrote. "It's painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping [former President] Trump."
The first and most pressing problem for Biden, Ignatius pointed out, was his age. "Biden would carry two big liabilities into a 2024 campaign. He would be 82 when he began a second term."
A number of recent polls have found a broad swathe of Americans are concerned about Biden's advanced age.
An AP-NORC poll, Ignatius wrote, found that "77 percent of the public, including 69 percent of Democrats, think he's too old to be effective for four more years," and CNN found that 49% of those surveyed flagged his "age" as their biggest concern, with another 7% saying that "mental sharpness" was their greatest concern, among other factors.
Another problem that Biden has, Ignatius explained, was his Vice President, Kamala Harris.
"Because of their concerns about Biden's age, voters would sensibly focus on his presumptive running mate, Harris. She is less popular than Biden," Ignatius wrote, citing her low 39.5 percent approval rating from polling site FiveThirtyEight.
Ignatius called it a "simple fact" that Harris has "failed to gain traction in the country or even within her own party."
But the attempt to replace Harris may lead to a "free-for-all that could alienate Black women, a key constituency," Ignatius warned.
Next on Biden's problem list was his own son, Hunter Biden. Ignatius blamed the president for not preventing Hunter from "joining the board of a Ukrainian gas company and representing companies in China — and he certainly should have resisted Hunter’s attempts to impress clients by getting Dad on the phone."
"Biden has another chance to say no — to himself, this time — by withdrawing from the 2024 race," Ignatius concluded. "It might not be in character for Biden, but it would be a wise choice for the country."
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