President Joe Biden was supposed to have announced his reelection campaign by now. Bidenworld advisers have been waiting for months for the announcement, which had been expected “early” in 2023.
But now, as March approaches and Biden still has not formally entered the 2024 race, a familiar question is resurfacing: what if Joe Biden chooses not to run?
Joe Biden: The Big Call He Needs to Make
Joe Biden has a tendency to dwell on his decisions about running for president; his 2016 decision, in the wake of his son Beau’s death, was especially protracted.
So was his 2020 decision.
But 2024 was supposed to be different.
Biden set a decision timeline for himself, publicized the timeline, and went home over the holidays to consult his family and make a decision.
He was supposed to launch in February. That’s not going to happen.
So, April is the new target.
Joe Biden’s indecisive behavior extends beyond election decisions. He was an overly deliberative member of the Senate; he missed self-imposed deadlines when picking a running mate in 2020; he stalled on the Afghanistan withdrawal; and in his presidency has let multiple deadlines lapse without action.
Apparently, Biden’s “decision-making process is complete with extensive research competing viewpoints and plenty of time to think.”
Taking the time to properly educate oneself before making an important decision is the responsible thing to do – it’s refreshing to hear Jo Biden takes these decisions seriously.
Although, his indecision about a 2024 campaign is leaving a lot of people in limbo.
“While the belief among nearly everyone in Biden’s orbit is that he’ll ultimately give the all-clear,” POLITICO reported, “his indecision has resulted in an awkward deep-freeze across the party – in which some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president.”
Who Will Run if Joe Biden Opts Out?
The Democratic bench is considered weak at the moment.
No singular candidate is generating immense buzz or attention as a possible alternate to Biden.
Yet, several figures are maneuvering, “keeping the door cracked” for the possibility that Biden opts out.
Three governors, for example – JB Pritzker of Illinois, Gavin Newsome of California, and Phil Murphy of New Jersey – have been posturing for their own presidential runs. Senator Amy Klobuchar is making moves, too. And reportedly, so is Senator Bernie Sanders, who, if he ran, would be doing so for the third consecutive time.
Oh, Kamala Harris…
Then of course there’s Vice President Kamala Harris.
If Biden chose not to run, “it would unleash an avalanche of attention on his vice president, Kamala Harris,” POLITCO reported, “whose uneven performances have raised doubts among fellow Democrats about her ability to win.”
The vice presidency is typically understood to be a launching pad for the presidency and the vice president is typically understood to be next in line. But Harris has had an underwhelming vice presidency, leaving her deeply unpopular and politically vulnerable.
Some speculate that a Biden reelection ticket would be better off not including Harris in the number two slot. That won’t happen. But if Biden did bow out, Harris would likely run for the presidency with the advantage of her visibility, a premise that Democrats find concerning given the doubts about her ability to win the general election.
Biden is still expected to run for reelection – but the delay has people asking questions.
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Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.