Six Democrats Abstain or Refuse to Back Biden as 2024 Candidate Amid Looming Midterms
15:29 GMT 03.08.2022 (Updated: 15:48 GMT 03.08.2022)
According to Democratic strategists, the party is abound with fear that the president’s low approval ratings and failure to deal with the issues tormenting the country, especially its economy, might lead to a heavy defeat in the November midterm elections.
Several House Democrats who are running for re-election this year have either refused to back Joe Biden as a potential 2024 presidential candidate or refrained from offering a definite answer when asked.
Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was not ready to discuss endorsements of presidential candidates for 2024 until the midterms are over, slipping in that it "doesn't serve the purpose of the Democratic Party".
Nadler is competing for a spot in the House from New York's 12th Congressional District along with fellow Democratic lawmaker Carolyn Maloney, who also dodged the question about Biden's 2024 endorsement. Maloney claimed that she does not believe POTUS will be running for re-election.
New Jersey House Democrat Tom Malinowski, who will face Republican Thomas Kean Jr. in the midterms after winning the race against him in 2020 by just 1%, also refused to pledge his unequivocal support for Biden's potential 2024 bid.
"I don’t know if he’s running in 2024 or who’s running, so I’m not going to opine on who should be president," Malinowski said.
Another Democrat, Tim Ryan from Ohio, also dodged the question, stressing that he was focused on his own campaign at the moment. A Fox News host interviewing him noted his absence during President Joe Biden's recent event in Ohio, but Ryan insisted that he skipped it as it clashed with a scheduled meeting with regular Ohioans, which he wouldn't have missed for a chance "to see" POTUS.
'We Need New Generation of Leadership'
While most House Democrats avoided openly bailing on the ‘Biden ship’, several did point out that the party must present fresh blood for the 2024 race. Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig stated that the party needs a "new generation" of politicians "up and down the ballot".
"I’m going to do everything in my power as a member of Congress to make sure that we have a new generation of leadership," Craig said, responding to a question about supporting Biden's potential 2024 bid.
In that respect, Craig was in concert with another Minnesota Democrat, Dean Phillips, who like herself is facing a competitive election this year. He firmly stated that Biden will not get his endorsement, arguing that the US would definitely benefit from "a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats who step up".
AOC as Possible Replacement?
Several media reports earlier suggested that the Democratic Party is holding internal deliberations on what the 2024 candidate roster should look like, and whether Biden should be on it. The same reports pointed out that there was no clear favorite among the party ranks so far.
For his part, political strategist Michael Starr Hopkins suggested in his recent op-ed for The Hill that should the party decide to look for a new face, it should definitely set its gaze on New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). Hopkins argued that AOC will act as a breath of "fresh air" and will have the effect on the Democratic voters akin to that of Barack Obama.
"Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is less of a personality and more of a movement […] AOC has cultivated a following beyond politics. She’s an influencer in its purest form. Her ability to relate to her supporters and allow them a glimpse into her private life is a blueprint for Democrats trying to act less like mannequins and more like humans," he wrote.
Biden is yet to announce his plans for the 2024 electoral cycle, but his plunging approval ratings already seem to cause concern among the Democrats, especially those facing re-election in the midterms. Fear is reportedly abound that the administration's shortcomings in fighting a new COVID-19 outbreak, inflation and economic decline, which formally transformed into a recession in August, could prompt swing Americans to vote red.