As of right now, Joe Biden intends to run for reelection but has yet to declare his candidacy officially. But, he’s certainly doing everything he can to make it sound like he’s running again.
“We’re just getting started. I intend to get… more done,” Biden said over the weekend at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) winter meeting. “As of this month, we’ve created 12 million [sic] new jobs. We’ve created more new jobs in two years than any president did in their entire term.”
Despite his factually inaccurate talking points that make him sound like the most successful president in history, there are plenty of reasons to doubt Biden will actually launch a reelection campaign. Meanwhile, according to a recent report from Politico, several Democrats are quietly positioning themselves to run in 2024 in the event Biden decides not to seek reelection.
One question that is constantly asked about Biden’s potential 2024 run is whether Kamala Harris will be his running mate again. I strongly believe that despite her failings and the tensions between her team and Biden’s, Biden can’t boot a black woman from his ticket without suffering major political consequences.
There have been rumors that Joe Biden wanted to dump Kamala Harris and find a new running partner for 2024 since his first year in office. One of the more creative rumors was that he would nominate her to the Supreme Court just to get rid of her. While it is extremely unlikely that Biden would risk dumping Harris, there is growing concern in the Democratic Party that she’s a liability who could cost Biden the election. Greg Craig, the former White House Counsel under Barack Obama, conceded in a recent piece for the New York Times that “questions about his age and physical condition will not go away, and it’s fair for voters to want reassurances and decisions that show the White House will be in solid hands.”
And to do that, Biden needs to ditch Kamala in favor of someone Americans would feel confident about taking over for him before the end of his theoretical second term.
Related: Biden Won’t Ditch Kamala if He Runs
“When considering who should be his running mate in 2024, Mr. Biden would do well to follow what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1944: He expressed a preference for certain candidates but turned the choice of his running mate over to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.”
Craig argues that doing so “might address the Democrats’ enthusiasm gap” and “inject electricity and drama into an otherwise predictable if not enervating process.”
“Opening up the V.P. nomination would also give the Democratic Party a chance to test-drive candidates of the future. Who does well in debates? Who does well on the hustings? Who can get voters excited and galvanized?” Craig asked. “There will be those who see a decision to let Democratic voters pick Mr. Biden’s running mate as being a betrayal of Ms. Harris. That would be a misreading of the situation. Certainly, he would be free to express his views about various possible running mates — as did Roosevelt in 1944 — and there is every reason to think that she would win the nomination on her own. There is nothing disloyal about putting the vice president in a position in which she wins the slot and becomes a more and more proven and battle-tested political leader in the process. If she were to prevail in her effort to be renominated, she would certainly be a stronger candidate and a more powerful vice president.”
Craig’s confidence in Harris is ridiculously misplaced. Did he not watch the 2020 Democrat primaries? Kamala Harris was a bottom-tier candidate who dropped out before Iowa, and she’s done herself no favors since then. In fact, she’s the least popular vice president in the history of polling. It’s hard to see how Craig can say Kamala is a liability for Biden if he also thinks she can get renominated on her merits.
But, I digress. Everyone realizes that Kamala Harris is a problem for Biden and there’s no chance he’ll ditch her if she runs. So Biden’s best play is not to run at all and thus force Harris to compete in a primary, where she’ll likely fail (again) to convince members of her own party she’s up for the task of the presidency.