It would be hard to imagine Biden, who can barely struggle through his days now, running for president again in 2024, when he'll be a further deteriorated 82. He's not as terrible a president as I imagined he would be, but he's basically a weak placeholder for whatever comes next-- hopefully not another careerist hack with nothing to offer, like Kamala Harris or Mayo Pete. Hopefully, by then, Pramila-- who wasn't born in the U.S. and can't run for president-- will be speaker.
AOC just turned 33. She'd be constitutionally qualified (35) to be president or vice president in 2025. After several years of non-stop demonization in right-wing media, her favorability is woefully low-- just about a third of Americans like her. Bernie is still viewed favorably but just over half of Americans. Mayo Pete's favorability is closer to AOC's than Bernie's (37%). In the latest YouGov poll for The Economist, here are current favorability numbers among registered voters for top U.S. politicians:
Biden- 47% favorable, 50% unfavorable
Kamala- 41% favorable, 53% unfavorable
Pelosi- 40% favorable, 52% unfavorable
Kevin McCarthy- 27% favorable, 48% unfavorable
McConnell- 20% favorable, 65% unfavorable
Schumer- 33% favorable, 50% unfavorable
Señor Trumpanzee- 42% favorable, 55% unfavorable
Obama- 52% favorable, 44% unfavorable
So... American voters don't especially like their political leaders. In 2024, the Republicans will either offer Trump, the second most unliked top politician in the country after McConnell, or a Trump-selected candidate, possibly even one of his very disliked offspring. But who will the Democrats offer? Corporate media has been relentless in offering the choice of Kamala or Mayo, two really awful alternative to Trump. No one ever mentions Oregon's progressive senator, Jeff Merkley, a more-Bernie like senator than anyone in the establishment would want to promote.
This morning, The Hill's Hanna Trudo noted that progressives aren't about to get Kamala or Mayo (or that distasteful combination) shoved down their throats without a fight. She reported that "some progressives are already quietly predicting that if the administration’s poll numbers don't improve with more deliverables, the grassroots and disgruntled liberals will seek another candidate to compete for the nomination. Those calls could be even louder if Biden forgoes a second run. 'It’s definitely something that’s brewing under the surface. It’s called the anxiety of the American people, which is causing this scramble in political bubbles about what the possibilities can be,' said Nina Turner... 'If President Joe Biden does not seek reelection for whatever reason, that makes this a totally open seat. Period,' said Turner... And she’s not alone. A sizable faction of progressives believe Biden should be doing more to deliver economic and social relief for working and middle-class people and that those same demographic groups could be searching for an alternative well ahead of November 2024."
As speculation has swirled that Biden, 79 and the oldest man to hold the office, may not run again, new interest has turned to Vice President Harris, who is still suffering from a negative report by CNN that her office is filled with personnel and morale problems. That fallout and poor optics on issues such as immigration have led to questions about her preparedness to ascend to the nomination if Biden decides to bypass a second run.
“There is a strong possibility, obviously, that the current vice president may seek the presidency again,” Turner said. “And there’s an even stronger possibility that others will be seeking the presidency, including people on the progressive left.”
Another prospective candidate, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, is already causing uneasy feelings in some liberal corners.
Buttigieg was reviled during the 2020 Democratic primary by many on the left, who pointed to his work for the management consulting firm McKinsey and his moderate posture on health care as not meeting their standards. They were further angered by his reliance on wealthy individuals and corporate donations, in part, to fund his presidential bid.
All of that has caused some liberal Democrats to worry that Buttigeig, now in the administration, could throw his name back into the race if Biden doesn’t run. If that happens, multiple sources interviewed told The Hill, it would almost certainly create a new opening for a progressive to emerge.
“If Harris and Pete are viewed as front-runners, there’s a lot of room for an inspiring, progressive alternative,” said one 2020 Democratic campaign aide, who asked to speak anonymously to give a candid appraisal.
One such candidate could be Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Someone like Warren could jump in and be a contender,” the source said.
Warren has kept a relatively low profile in the Biden era, generally wading into issues that fit her liberal economic worldview. Biden bypassed her choice to lead the Federal Reserve, Lael Brainard, in favor of Jerome Powell, a Republican who currently holds the position. Biden appointed Brainard as vice chair in an apparent compromise.
Warren, who also competed against Biden for the nomination, is just one of several progressive names beginning to be floated as potentially viable alternatives to the current president and VP.
Sanders, of course, is arguably the most prominent progressive in the Senate, and he never technically said he wouldn’t run again.
In May 2020, the Vermont senator said there is a “very, very slim” possibility that he would give it another go, effectively keeping the tiniest of possibilities open. But sources close to Sanders, 80, said they don’t foresee that happening.
Beyond the Senate, multiple Democrats pointed to the House as rich with young liberals. Within the lower chamber, several progressive lawmakers have seen their profiles rise in the first year of the Biden administration.
During the recent infrastructure negotiations, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and the rest of the progressive "squad" voted against the bipartisan package.
They claimed victory when the separate larger social spending package was ultimately passed in the House, arguing that their hard-line approach on the first bill moved the ball forward faster on the second than it may have otherwise. Other Democrats, however, saw their strategy as hurting Biden’s perception on the national stage.
Nonetheless, some left-aligned strategists see that coalition as the future of the party and said voters are going to get used to more diverse and liberal faces taking on top roles.
Trudo ends with a quote from progressive grifter Chuck Rocha: "In politics, there’s still two things that move legislation or campaigns: activism on the ground or mobilization or votes, and money. If you have one without the other, it won’t ever work... There’s going to be lots of progressives and people out there grabbing the mic and doing sit-ins. But how many of those can go raise $10 million over email to then really be seen as something that’s a challenge to the establishment?"