by UnHerd
Tuesday, 3
August 2021
Idea
15:00

The Democrats face an excruciating dilemma in 2024

Neither Biden nor Kamala make a convincing case for the presidency
by UnHerd

President Biden was sworn in this year at the age of 78. He is older at the start of his first term than Ronald Reagan was at the end of his second. 

Assuming his continued good health, then on 20 November next year Biden will become America’s first octogenarian president. However, the good health of a man his age cannot be assumed — which is why the idea of him running for a second term has always appeared a dicey proposition. 

Who might the Democrats run in his place? The obvious candidate is the Vice President, Kamala Harris, and by 2024 no one will have more in the way of relevant experience.

One problem though: she’s remarkably unpopular. According to YouGov polling for the Economist, Harris’s ratings are already in negative territory — i.e. more Americans view her unfavourably (48%) than favourably (43%). That’s bad for so early a stage in a new administration, and in contrast to the President’s own ratings.

Why is his Veep doing noticeably worse? Some might blame sexism or racism, but prejudice didn’t stop Barack Obama from becoming president nor Hillary Clinton from winning the popular vote. One might also look at Harris’s abysmal performance in the race for the Democratic nomination last time round, and conclude that voters just don’t like her very much. 

So what do the Democrats do in 2024? The party establishment knows very well that passing over a highly qualified non-white woman for the job will not look good. They’ll also worry that leaving the race wide open would give their radical wing a chance of taking the nomination (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be old enough to run).

Whether they fix it for Kamala Harris or leave it to chance, there’s a nightmare scenario in which an unpopular Democrat loses to a resurgent Donald Trump — or one of his children.

However, there is one way for the Democrats to avoid their succession dilemma — and that’s not having a succession at all. Whatever you think of Joe Biden, he’s a proven election winner. So if he gets through his first term in one piece, the path of least resistance is to have him go for a second, and to enjoy a second inauguration, aged 82.

Indeed, Biden — who hasn’t survived this long in politics for nothing — may have had this scenario in mind when he picked Harris as his running mate. He may be an old fox, but he’s a wily one. 

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A Spetzari
A Spetzari
9 months ago

The party establishment knows very well that passing over a highly qualified non-white woman for the job will not look good.

Is she really though? She is only “highly qualified” because she has been thrust into positions of merit in spite of her own mediocrity, so has accumulated a curriculum vitae of highly qualified positions.
The Dems have been hoisted by their own petard

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
9 months ago

Biden is “a proven election winner”? Well, we’ll pass right on over that one, I think, and address the Harris question. She’s reviled and despised not because she’s a woman or black (and the latter is a matter of opinion) but because she’s a grifter who screams “racist!” at anyone who gets in her way — as she did at Biden himself during the primaries — and who, as a prosecutor, put more black people in jail than Bull Connor did in Birmingham Alabama, then kept them there past their parole dates as cheap state labour. She’s dumber than the proverbial rock and her stupidity is matched only by her conceit and her brahmin sense of entitlement. If the Democrats are actually stupid enough to put her on a debate stage with Trump, she’s going to look like Hiroshima after the bomb hit. Bring it on.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago

Well over the top. Whatever else you can say about Harris, she isn’t dumb. It’s a shame personal abuse counts so often as an ‘argument’ on this forum (it’s not alone in that I know). It is just a waste of space.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

“Assuming his continued good health” – by that do you mean upright and not necessarily of sound mind?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
9 months ago

I baulked at that, too. What evidence do we have of this poor zombie’s “good health”? Tripping up three times on his way into a plane? Confusing Syria with Libya? Forgetting that he is President? Nobody wants to be unpleasant about the failings of an infirm old man; but we must continually raise these points if only to shame the quiet conspiracy of MSM bien pensants to shroud the truth; and to highlight their exceptional double standards. They said Trump was senile; but support an evidently senescent Biden; they deplore the Capital riots, but egg on far worse in Seattle; they squeal about border controls but let Harris tell people not to cross; they complain when people doubt the legitimacy of Biden’s victory, but complained about Trump’s victory for four long years. Etcetera, etcetera. How can anyone be in two minds as to whether a deceitful, anti-democratic elite is in charge of the west, with blatant evidences such as these? Because that same elite, in broad control of media output, has squished them into confusion.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

No one said Trump was senile, many said he was an obnoxious human being. I always get flamed for saying so on this increasingly partisan forum, but they were right on that, whatever the undoubted bias of the mainstream media etc. to the Trump administration

A pretty good guide to Trump’s character is that is that he showed not the slightest loyalty even to people who supported him, as well as his pusy grabbing etc, comments on African ‘sh*th*les’ etc

Something for people to remember, my enemy’s enemy isnt always to be supported come what may.

Last edited 9 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

Biden may continue on, Dorian Gray like, for a decade yet to come as nothing is expected of him but to wear a pressed suit and Cop style sun glasses, and say banalities written for him on cue. The Democrat voters ask for nothing more, they do not vote For him, but Against Trump.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” as Marcellus put it so well. The rot setting in from the head of the dead fish will continue all the way to the tail

A quick search of K Harris and Brown was interesting, lots of this sort of thing – “I know the KamalaHarris-only-has-a-career-because-she-sucked-Willie-Brown’s duck is a talking point that gets repeated a lot, but let’s check what he actually did for her:” and then always fallows quite a stream of incompetent and very, questionable prosecutorial work at a very plush salary.

The new movie being made of Hunter, the laptop and ‘The Big Guy and his 10%’, and on, will be very wild. The Trump Family were so tame to these guys but were vilified beyond measure.

How us sane, and patriotic, people long to hear the words: Mr Trump, The President of the United States of America, once again.

aaron david
aaron david
9 months ago

Harris was the price the Dems paid to get minority and progressive support for Biden. Which is typical of her career; she is a do-nothing whose only claim to success rides on her race and gender, and not on any ability. And we are seeing her fail, biggly, at everything she has been tasked with as Veep.
The border? Cackles. All she had to do was pop down there as soon as she is put in charge of it, make a few speeches and she would be good on out, considering the compliant media. But she cannot even manage that. She has consistently risen above her skill set, and it really shows.
But this isn’t the first time the D’s have done this to themselves. Remember Obama? A huge part of his failures was due to him not having any true leadership ability. And we are seeing the same with Biden, just as we saw it with Hilary. The left so wants to recreate Kennedy, that they will push anyone out there who makes them feel good, as opposed to anyone who has skills.

Francis Turner
Francis Turner
9 months ago

Indeed, Biden — who hasn’t survived this long in politics for nothing — may have had this scenario in mind when he picked Harris as his running mate. He may be an old fox, but he’s a wily one.

I like the charming naivity on display here. I see no evidence Biden can make this kind of strategic decision, or indeed any decision more complicated than whether to wipe his chin when told to do so. His minders (wife, chief of staff…) may have made this calculation though. But they may regret it since I sincerely doubt his cognitive decline will manage to be successfully hidden for the next three years.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
9 months ago

I wonder how one would go about placing a bet on the greatest mid-term defeat in history.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
9 months ago

I really don’t think that Biden is going to make it until 2024. Last week he said that he used to work for President Trump (“whoops I mean Obama”) and, when an aide pointed out that he had some orange thing on his chin during a speech, he stuck it in his mouth and ATE it! Then he hugged a little boy and for some inexplicable reason stuck his dirty used mask in the kid’s paw. The line from the Democratic establishment and from the media will be that he is perfectly fine, then at some point they will turn on a dime and invoke the 25th Amendment or have him “voluntarily” resign.
If it’s Kamala, I think that the Republicans, to win handily, just need to choose ABT — Anybody But Trump. Harris vs. Trump would be a sorry spectacle indeed.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Viva Trump!!!

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

DeSantis / Noem 2024?

Matt B
Matt B
9 months ago

Yuri Andropov- all is forgiven

Last edited 9 months ago by Matt B
Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
9 months ago

Why are you talking about Biden as if he’s the one making decisions?
He announced, “My butt’s been wiped” a couple of weeks ago!

Simon Hodgson
Simon Hodgson
9 months ago

Democrats should learn from their enthusiasm for Hilary Clinton standing in 2016. Probably was a factor in Trumps victory.
Not a good idea to repeat in 2024 with Harris candidate if Trump family try their luck again

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
9 months ago

I thought Biden and Harris were terrible choices, yet …. Biden is sort of getting things done. But Biden is already too old and Harris is unelectable. The Democrats could go with a Booker/Gillibrand ticket – they have some experience, and are young-ish and presentable.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago

One of many of Obama’s‘negligences’ was ignoring other Democrat politicians- he did little or nothing to nurture a Democrat bench which is why it’s so narrow.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
9 months ago

Sort of getting things done? Young-ish and presentable? You are far far too generous.

Matt B
Matt B
9 months ago

Heaven forbid that someone should be highly experienced and demonstrably competent – or even original with new ideas. Absent that and your point is clear.