Why Biden-Trump 2024 Rematch is Big 'If' & How Michelle Obama Could Replace Joe in Presidential Race
While Joe Biden is signalling a willingness to compete for the Oval Office again in 2024, he admits that it depends on his health. What are the chances Biden will run again and who are the Dems' potential alternatives for him?
US President Joe Biden told ABC's David Muir on Wednesday that he would be willing to run for reelection in 2024, so long as he remains in good health, adding that a rematch against Donald Trump would "increase the prospect".
In 2020, Biden outperformed his predecessor due to narrow victories in key swing states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Donald Trump still insists that the 2020 presidential elections were rigged and stolen from him.
While Trump has yet to make it clear whether he will run again, the incumbent president already floated this idea in November with the White House later confirming Biden's intent to toss his name in the hat for the 2024 presidential election.
Will Biden Endure the Stress of the 2024 Race?
"There has been a fair amount of speculation around what Biden is thinking concerning 2024, so maybe it was at the top of mind for the president," says Dr. David Richards, associate professor of International Relations and Security Studies at the University of Lynchburg, Virginia. "If he is truly healthy, there is no reason to expect that he will not run in 2024."
Still, the question is whether the incumbent president will be healthy enough in 2024 when he turns 82, the professor notes. Biden was given a sort of "a pass" in 2020 due to COVID restrictions which allowed him to limit his public appearances and take a breath, according to Richards. The academic believes that in 2024 the same approach may not be possible.
"Running for president, especially while being President, is an exhausting process," Richards says. "His mind and ego might be ready, but he would be running as the oldest presidential candidate ever, it just may not be in the cards for him."
24 November 2021, 13:14 GMT
Although Biden is willing to run, the Democratic Party's constituents don't seem enthusiastic about his re-election bid. In November 44% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said that they would prefer to vote for "someone else" in 2024 with only 36% agreeing that Biden is the best option, according to the NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll. Furthermore, the president's approval rating fluctuates between 36% and 41%, amid the COVID pandemic, soaring inflation and his inability to pass most of his signature plans in the US Congress, including the Build Back Better Act.
In addition to this, at least half of Americans have voiced concerns about Biden's physical capacity, according to Politico/Morning Consult. Meanwhile, top Republican politicians are calling for "cognitive tests" for all US elderly politicians in leadership roles. It appears that many American citizens share this sentiment: last year's YouGov survey indicated that over two-thirds of Americans (67%) strongly or somewhat support the idea that US presidential candidates be required to take a cognitive exam.
27 November 2021, 08:34 GMT
Who are Democratic Party's Alternatives for Biden?
It's still early to speculate about a potential substitute for Joe Biden in the 2024 race, according to Richards:
"With Biden still saying he will run, I don't think anyone wants to step out right now," the academic says. "Doing so would render that potential candidate a threat to the Democrats as a whole and ruin their future prospects."
At the same time, he is sceptical about former Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton running or being nominated again. "This is pure speculative fantasy at this point. We, as a nation, need to move on," he remarks.
Earlier this month, a number of conservative pundits suggested that Hillary might be preparing for a 2024 rematch with Trump after she read her would-be 2016 victory speech online for MasterClass and gave an interview for NBC about the forthcoming presidential election.
20 December 2021, 19:13 GMT
American journalist Joe Concha presumed in his op-ed for The Hill that "2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is an interesting prospect to consider when looking for a viable candidate, particularly if an 80-something President Biden decides not to seek a second term."
"The Democrats have plenty of candidates who could provide more energy and media moxie and excitement, like Cory Booker or Pete Buttigieg, or Amy Klobuchar," says John Tures, political science professor at LaGrange College in Georgia.
Tures notes the media's not paying much attention to alternatives for Biden or hyping them, "except Buttigieg, a little."
Having shredded the possibility of Hillary Clinton throwing her hat in the ring in 2024, the political science professor suggests that "only Michelle Obama would get Biden-levels of attention if she were to run."
"[Michelle Obama" would be very popular with Democrats, more than Joe Biden," Tures stresses.
The late November Hill-HarrisX poll indicated that the former First Lady is regarded by the Dems as a top pick if Biden decides not to run. Other likely candidates included Vice President Kamala Harris, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and ex-2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang.