Those close to Biden say he’s considering not seeking a second term if elected president

Those close to Biden say he’s considering not seeking a second term if elected president

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term because of his age.

According to four people close to Biden, all of whom asked for anonymity to discuss internal campaign matters, it is virtually impossible that he will run for reelection in 2024. “If Biden is elected,” a prominent adviser to the campaign said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”

The adviser added that a public pledge could help Biden ease younger voters, who fear that his nomination would be an eight-year roadblock to the next generation of Democrats.

“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser said. “I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I'm willing to do it.”

Another top Biden adviser said: “He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years but if that’s not possible or doesn’t happen then I’ll run for reelection.’ But he’s not going to publicly make a one-term pledge.”

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In national polls, Elizabeth Warren, who was on the way to pass Biden, has fallen to third place. Pete Buttigieg, who replaced Warren as the top candidate among white college-educated voters, has shown no evidence that he can achieve broader appeal among African American and Latino voters. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been unable to break out of the mid-teens for most of the year.

Biden’s base of older working-class white and African American voters show consistent support. According to the Real Clear Politics national polling average on Dec. 8, 2018, Biden had 29 percent support nationally. On Dec. 8, 2019, he also had 29 percent support.

For now, Biden remains the favorite, but his age may be the most significant liability. A top Biden adviser said Biden ruled out a one-term pledge when the issue was raised before he even entered the race. “He said it was a nonstarter,” the adviser said, adding that Biden believed it was a “gimmick.”

In October, The Associated Press reported that when “asked whether he would pledge to only serve one term if elected, Biden said he wouldn’t make such a promise but noted he wasn’t necessarily committed to seeking a second term if elected in 2020.”

“I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you’ll see,” he told the AP. “It doesn’t mean I would run a second term. I’m not going to make that judgment at this moment.”

Hey .... visit CNN sometime and ask yourself, “Would this be any different if it were produced by the Democratic party?” #DontTrustTheMedia

The issue remains a topic of debate inside and outside the campaign, and several advisers now quietly acknowledge that Biden won’t run for reelection, Politico reports.

“That’s a weak play,” said John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman. “I think who his vice president is will be very important because people will be thinking about that. But I don’t think I would make a one-term pledge. You’ve disempowered yourself as president, and I don’t think it helps you as a candidate. It accentuates your weakness. It doesn’t fix it.”

“I think he should make [the one-term pledge] privately to himself and his wife and no one else,” said one well-known Democratic strategist. “You can’t let the cat out of the bag. Go back to that old Jimmy Breslin essay on power — you know it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. If you begin your first day as president as a lame duck, it changes everything. Every Cabinet secretary, every subcommittee chairman treats you differently. I wouldn’t advise it, just from a governing perspective as well as political.”

He added, “But I would actually do it because it’s crazy for him to run for a second term. It’s a bit crazy to run for a first.”

A political strategist who has recently talked to one of Biden’s closest advisers said: “Is 81 years old too old to be president? Yes. Is an eighty-one-year-old president standing for reelection likely to be successful? He is not. And is it the right thing to do for the country? No. Biden wouldn’t be running if it were President Jeb Bush or President Marco Rubio. He’s running because it’s an exigent circumstance — Donald Trump. The next president will have to have oppositional virtues to the last president. We have a presidency that is defined by abject selfishness, self-regard and self-interest. So a one-term pledge would be viewed as an act of selflessness, putting the country ahead of any ambition.”

Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, denied that Biden has signaled he would only serve one term if elected.

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