AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Flanigan
With the midterms over and the 2024 primaries now getting underway, pressure is mounting on President Joe Biden to make an announcement about his reelection plans. As the oldest sitting president in American history, beleaguered by a swarm of national crises, historic unpopularity, a classified document scandal, and disliked even in his own party, Biden’s record would at one point in the not-too-distant past have made the prospect of a reelection bid highly unlikely.
As Biden reportedly gears up to announce his campaign, Democrats and Republicans both are quietly asking: Is Biden really going to go through with this?
When asked about a potential Biden 2024 campaign last month, Nancy Pelosi insisted Biden “has done an excellent job as President of the United States” and has a “great vision for our country.”
“I hope that he does seek re-election,” she continued. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Pelosi’s sentiment, claiming Biden has “done an excellent, excellent job” during his time in the White House.
By every indication, however, the American people disagree. According to a CNBC All-America survey from December, a staggering 70 percent of Americans do not want Biden to seek reelection. That figure includes a shocking 57 percent of Democrats – hardly a rousing gesture of support from the president’s own party.
Biden’s persistently low approval ratings, which have hovered in the mid to high thirties for much of his first two years in office, also paint a bleak picture for the President. According to a Gallup report, incumbent “presidents with approval ratings much lower than 50%” have consistently lost reelection—most notably including Presidents George H.W. Bush, who went into Election Day with a 34 percent approval, and Jimmy Carter, who faced a 37 percent approval rating near the end of his term. Biden’s approval rating has rebounded slightly to the low 40s (still a concerning figure for any politician) but the ongoing classified documents scandal and any future crisis could send him plummeting to historic lows once again.
The state of the country under the Biden administration is also worse than under even the most unpopular of his recent predecessors. On Biden’s watch, the nation has suffered 40-year-high inflation, the worst crisis along the southern border on record, a costly and unnecessary war on American energy, the further radicalization of American institutions, including the education system, and perhaps the most humiliating display of American leadership on the world stage in U.S. history through debacles like the Afghanistan evacuation.
To make matters worse for the Biden team, there remains a distinct possibility that a handful of high-profile Democrats could challenge the president in a primary contest. Figures like California Governor Gavin Newsom, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Biden’s own vice president, Kamala Harris, have been discussed as potential challengers to Biden as the primaries draw near. Even the left-wing New York Magazine acknowledged that “Biden has a less-than-ideal base of support in his party as we approach the critical junction when people decide whether to run for president in 2024.”
But as dire as Biden’s political situation may be, nothing should worry him or his team more than the fact that Donald Trump, Biden’s chief political rival (whom he often cites as the reason he entered the 2020 presidential race in the first place), consistently beats him in national polls. A December Harvard-Harris survey found that in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, Trump would beat Biden handily—by a five point margin—in the national popular vote.
Of course, Biden’s political obstacles are only further intensified by his age and endless series of gaffes and misstatements, not to mention the document scandal, which further undermining public confidence in his competence and basic honesty. But regardless of whether Biden ultimately chooses to enter the 2024 race, it is a sad admission that a figure with a record as abysmal as Biden’s would even be considered a viable candidate for a second term as our nation’s highest-ranking elected official.
As the mainstream media obsesses over the “will he or won’t he” question for 2024, Americans should not forget that the real story should be Biden’s repeated failures as a leader. This dismal record is one voters are unlikely to forget anytime soon, and are even more unlikely to look past at the ballot box.
Aaron Flanigan is the pen name of a writer in Washington, D.C.