A slew of stories circulating through Washington, D.C., and reported in a rising number of news outlets, suggest that Democrats are preparing for life without Vice President Joe Biden, and that it won't be long.
Biden has stated that he intends to seek for reelection in 2024, which has been verified by the White House.
However, stories are increasingly indicating that Democratic insiders do not believe Biden will make it to the next presidential race, and if he does, he will have already decided to resign out.
That would open the door for another Democratic contender, even others who aren't named Kamala Harris, to fill the gap.
One popular name surfacing is Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016 and 2020.
The Hill reported Monday:
Progressives are starting to discuss how to handle 2024.
President Biden’s disjointed fall season has inspired some on the left to think creatively about what the next presidential election could look like with a more liberal top-of-the-ticket.
While campaign season is still nearly three years out and Biden is the unequivocal leader of the party, 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,” Nina Turner, a leading activist who co-chaired Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) second presidential bid, told The Hill.
Biden's popularity ratings are now typically in the low 40s, according to surveys, while a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll put him at 38%. In the same survey, Harris' approval rating was even lower: a fully unelectable 28%.
“If President Joe Biden does not seek reelection for whatever reason, that makes this a totally open seat. Period,” said Turner, who believes that a far-left progressive Democrat will step up.
It’s not a sure thing by any means that if Biden steps aside Harris would automatically become the chosen one for Democrats, as The Hill adds:
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.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is another Democratic name being whispered in certain D.C. circles, The Hill reported, though he is not likely to excite progressives because of his moderate stances on key issues during his own presidential bid last cycle.
“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, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Someone like [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren [of Massachusetts] could jump in and be a contender.”
She ran in 2020 as well and her campaign also failed to inspire enough primary voters to back her.
Another Democrat campaign vet believes the upcoming field of most viable candidates will look more like “The Squad” than Biden, Sanders, or even Harris in terms of politics.
“Old-school progressives, old white liberals, are a part of the coalition,” Chuck Rocha, a former top Sanders adviser and strategist, told The Hill. “But the majority of the coalition looks like the squad. It’s people of color. It’s younger people. It’s really around environmental justice, social justice and, most importantly, economic populism.”