Former Vice President Joe Biden responds to a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
After a series of high-profile gaffes and flubs committed since he declared his candidacy in April, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has faced questions for months about his age, “mental fitness“, and ability to go the distance in a national election.
Apparently the daily grind of running for president, with all the traveling, giving speeches, attending fundraisers, and having to talk to voters and the media has taken its toll on Obama’s former veep. According to an article from Politico, Biden, 77, has reportedly told advisers that he is open to the option of being a one-term president:
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he would serve only a single term.
While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital.
One unnamed adviser is spinning this story by saying Biden could use the opportunity to promote himself as a “transitional figure” at a time when so many of the younger presidential candidates like Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) and others have not been able to gain traction in spite of their support from younger voters:
By signaling that he will serve just one term and choosing a running mate and Cabinet that is young and diverse, Biden could offer himself to the Democratic primary electorate as the candidate best suited to defeat Trump as well as the candidate who can usher into power the party’s fresh faces.
“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser said. “I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it.”
Biden campaign officials have denied this is an option under consideration, and the candidate himself stated publicly Wednesday that he “does not have a one-term plan”:
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) December 11, 2019
Politico’s report was pretty thorough and was based on comments from four different anonymous advisers, so the campaign’s public denials ring hollow – especially considering the fact that even other Democratic candidates have raised questions about his age and ability to serve.
The news that he’s giving strong consideration to serving only one term will bring a considerable rise in speculation as to just who he might pick for his vice presidential running mate, assuming he wins the nomination.
While Biden has been considered the more “moderate” among the field of candidates who have run or who are still running, the big names that have been floated as possible contenders for his veep are much more to the left of him, including Booker, failed presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), failed Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, and the far left Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA).
All of them are radically to the left of Biden on issues like gun control (Booker and Harris support Beto O’Rourke’s confiscation plan, for example) and abortion (Warren in particular is arguably the most extreme of the lot on this issue).
If Biden were elected and reelected, he’d be 88 by the end of his second term. With all this talk swirling now of him contemplating serving only four years if elected, who he picks as his vice presidential running mate has just become a lot more important.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –