On Sunday, President Biden turned 80. This feat has many wondering if the octogenarian commander in chief should run for re-election.
Biden has made public statements about his desire to run for another term. However, at least one Democratic strategist believes that the president should fulfill his promise to be a bridge between the next generation center-left leaders.
Colin Strother, a Democratic strategist, stated that President Biden should call it a day earlier than expected so we can be the party for the next generation and not the expired generation. “[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi has left, Mitch McConnell is proving he’s behind the times and there are legitimate concerns that someone of President’s age will be able to perform this difficult job well.”
These are the top Democratic options if Biden decides not to run for re-election.
Kamala Harris, Vice President
As Biden’s second-in command, Harris is seen as the obvious choice for Democrats. Harris, a former California senator, is the nation’s first female vice-president. She is also the first African American woman and the first Asian American to be elected to the position.
Harris served as a top political surrogate to Democrats during the 2022 midterms. Harris has represented the White House at several global summits.
Despite her resume, Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign ended prior to the primaries. Harris is also polarizing for Republicans due to her role in overseeing the growing migrant crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Harris’s approval rating for a job is lower than Biden’s.
During the recent midterm elections, the transportation secretary was a highly sought-after surrogate for the national Democratic Party. Buttigieg also has the official responsibility of disbursing money from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan.
These dual roles have helped Buttigieg to rise in the public eye after his unsuccessful bid for 2020 as president. Buttigieg denies any talk of a White House run. However, his political action committee has been active in recent months to endorse candidates running for federal and state office.
Buttigieg’s candidacy may face serious hurdles. Next year, the transportation secretary will likely face a congressional investigation by the GOP into how infrastructure money was spent. Republicans want to investigate Buttigieg’s efforts in reducing a strike on the national railroad and fixing the supply chain crisis.
Critics also pointed out that the transportation secretary took parental leave last year while the White House tried to pass its infrastructure law and deal with the supply chain crisis.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Even though Sanders is older than Biden at 81, he has maintained his political operations despite having lost two White House bids. The self-described democratic socialist from Vermont was active in the campaign trail in 2022. He has a new book aimed at younger voters.
Although few people expect Sanders to run for another presidency, the lawmaker still has strong support from the left wing. These grassroots supporters were instrumental in Sanders’s 2016 and 2020 victories. The senator also had the ability to raise the funds needed to run a campaign without relying on large-money donors.
In both his national campaigns, Sanders failed to reach older African American voters. This is a key constituency for the Democratic Party.
Strother stated that Sanders has a high ceiling and a high floor. “His irreverence turned into a grouchy old gentleman yelling at his neighbors to get off his lawn. He will make noise and raise money, but he doesn’t have a path.
In recent months, the California Democrat has been touring the country promoting his book on dignity and the digital age. Khanna even hired consultants to help him during the Democratic nomination contests in 2024.
Although he has not ruled out running against Biden in the future, the lawmaker has not hid his desire to run for the White House in the near future. Khanna is not well-known outside of his California district.
Governor. Gretchen Whitmer was reelected this month in Michigan’s swing state despite a fierce challenge from Republicans. Whitmer is also close to labor unions. This core group was crucial in Biden’s 2020 campaign for the Democratic nomination.
California Governor is the only state outside of the Mid-West. Gavin Newsom is considered a possible White House hopeful. Whitmer and Newsom were both re-elected recently by large margins to a second term.
Newsom also actively sought to reprimand red-state governors for their abortion policies. In recent months, Newsom spent money in Florida or Indiana to convince businesses to relocate to California if they opposed new restrictions on abortion.