If President Joe Biden decides to run for re-election in 2024 and wins, he‘d be 82 years and exactly two months old to begin his second term.
To put that in political perspective, Ronald Reagan was 69 years and 349 days of age at his first inauguration — and the mainstream media spent the next eight years impugning his intellectual capacity, at times openly musing that he was senile. That record stood until Donald Trump, who was 74 years, 7 months and 6 days old when he moved into the White House.
The record didn’t last long. Mr. Biden was 78 years and two-months old when he became president. For the record, life expectancy in the U.S. is currently 78.5 years old.
During the 2020 campaign, there were reports Mr. Biden was privately telling supporters and top members of the Democratic Party that he planned to serve only one term. When asked in December 2019 about that rumor, Mr. Biden said, “I don’t have plans on one term.”
But that was then. Mr. Biden recently blundered his way across Europe, bringing into doubt his mental acuity. He confused two countries, one in Africa, the other in Asia — three times. At the G-7 summit in England, Mr. Biden also tried to correct British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not introducing “the president of South Africa” — even though Mr. Johnson had just moments before introduced him by name. World leaders around the table laughed at Mr. Biden.
At one of his few press conferences, Mr. Biden was asked if he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was, as he had previously said, a “killer.”
“Well, look, I mean, he has made clear that — the answer is: I believe he has, in the past, essentially acknowledged that he was — there were certain things that he would do or did do. But look, when I was asked that question on air, I answered it honestly. But it’s not much of a — I don’t think it matters a whole lot,” Mr. Biden answered.
So we’ll be the first to declare it: Mr. Biden won’t go in 2024 (possible slogan — “Joe a No-Go Fo’ Twenty-Fo”). That means the nomination — which could be contested but likely won’t be — will go to Vice President Kamala Harris.
At just 56, Mrs. Harris brings numerous strengths. But suddenly, some Democrats think she’s not a strong candidate and wouldn’t even be able to beat former president Trump should he decide to run, according to a new report.
“Many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump,” Axios reported.
One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.’ Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone-deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House, sources tell Axios’ Hans Nichols.”
Mrs. Harris spent months dodging the illegal immigration crisis along the US-Mexico border, even after Mr. Biden named her his Border Czar and ordered her to solve the problem. For more than 100 days, Mrs. Harris refused to visit the border, instead traveling only grudgingly to Guatemala and Mexico last month. There, she evaded questions about when she would visit the border, telling NBC’s Lester Holt that “I haven’t been to Europe,” adding “I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
Finally, after Mr. Trump announced his own visit to the border, Mrs. Harris traveled to El Paso — hundreds of miles from the hotspot.
Then last week, Politico dropped a bombshell, citing nearly two dozen current and former vice presidential aides as saying, in one person’s words, that her office was a “s***show.”
“The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication, and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year,” Politico reported.
“In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials, and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue,” the liberal political website wrote.
It may be only 2021, but — as that Democratic operative said — Harris is already “f***ing up.”
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.