Joe Biden has announced that he expects to run for reelection in 2024. This means that he would be campaigning at the age of 81 and by the end of his second term he would be 85. It is said that the goal of politics is to make it easy to vote for you and hard to vote for your opponent, and for that reason Joe Biden should not go uncontested as the Democratic candidate.
The key to the 2020 Biden campaign was to do nothing. Instead, they allowed Trump to implode and push people to the democrats, in the meantime they made sure not to remind Americans what they don’t like about democrats. No talk about gun reform, no talk about taxes, and no talk about social justice.
The next democrat candidate will have to be willing to go out and fight for these issues, as a candidate like Ted Cruz will have the backing of the Trump base but he himself has a bit more political intelligence than Trump. The next democratic candidate can’t hide and needs to be willing to talk about these issues in a way that motivates democrats, convinces swing voters, and undoes the chokehold republicans have on the minds of rural, Christian, male voters.
For Joe Biden to talk about anything would remind people of his age, how out of touch he is, and the lack of control he has over his own messaging. Even with his solitude there was the “you ain’t black” incident, and the time he started playing ‘Despacito’ out of his phone in some kind of attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters.
As POTUS I’m sure he will not worsen America’s current trajectory as a nation, which isn’t bad for a declining empire, but with the likely recession, there needs to be the kind of positive, dramatic political change that one doesn’t associate with a politician like Joe Biden. In 2023 there will not be the excuse of COVID-19, he will have to get out and speak to voters and offer compelling reasons to vote for him, which I do not think he is up to do.
The issue for the democrats is a question of who else. Joe Biden was an attempt to repeat the success of Barack Obama, and the next candidate I imagine will be an attempt to repeat the success of Joe Biden. Kamala Harris could make sense given her vice-presidency, but she lacks a strong political identity, given that her legal and political career has sometimes contradicted her progressive politics.
While I strongly admire Bernie Sanders and his ability to appeal to working Americans, he is hardly the antidote as he will be 83 come the next election. Nancy Pelosi, I think, has already garnered the same kind of reputation as Hilary Clinton and rich white women, unfortunately, have a history of only appealing to their own demographic.
A potentially strong candidate would be Elizabeth Warren, who fulfils America’s recent strange preference for older candidates, while also having a strong, passionate political history that separates her from figures like Hilary Clinton. But frankly after the 2016 election, I truly wonder if America is still too sexist to elect a progressive, female president. What I am sure of is the fact that the future of the Democratic Party does not lie with Joe Biden.
I will reiterate that I imagine Joe Biden will be a successful president, who at the end of his four years will most likely be able to look back on a strong COVID-19 response, better environment policy, and international cooperation. His involvement in the Crime Bill, ambivalence towards segregation, and support for the Iraq war will always stain his political career, but his last years should not be spent sputtering out a second term at best, or at worst handing the Republicans back the presidency.