What was being whispered is now being spoken out loud.
Joe Biden should not seek re-election in 2024, according to two prominent Minnesota Democrats, Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig.
They’re the first public voicings by important elected Democrat officials of what has been a murmur among party members.
Even Biden’s cheerleader, The New York Times, has been raising doubts. Recent sample headlines:
Then a bombshell. In a Thursday interview, WCCO-AM host Chad Hartman asked Phillips if Biden should run again.
“I have respect for Joe Biden,” Phillips responded. “I think he has — despite some mistakes and some missteps, despite his age, I think he’s a man of decency, of good principle, of compassion, of empathy, and of strength. But to answer your question directly, which I know is quite rare, Chad, uh no, I don’t.”
Are Democrats turning against Joe Biden?
Craig somewhat tempered her call for Biden’s ousting, but indicated agreement with Phillips.
“I’m talking about Congress and I’m talking about up and down the ballot,” Craig told MinnPost.
“I think Dean Phillips and I are in lockstep and alignment with that and 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.”
Following Phillips’ comment, the White House pushed back, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying, “We’re a ways away from 2024.”
She continued with typical political promotional boilerplate claiming accomplishments by Biden of “lowering costs for families,” focusing on the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act and the strengthening of national security and manufacturing investment.
“We’re going to continue to focus on [this] and much more and so right now, 2024 is so far away,” Jean-Pierre said.
Despite the press secretary’s statement, comments by Phillips and Craig have to be a chilling wind blowing through the Biden administration.
Democrats may be concerned about the coattail effect — the tendency of presidential candidates’ popularity or unpopularity to affect election results for candidates of the same party running for lower offices. Craig indicated that.
Coattails were evident in 2016, according to ThoughtCo, when Donald Trump’s bipartisan popularity aided Republican congressional candidates while indifference toward “scandal-plagued” Hilary Clinton or her lack of popularity hurt down-ballot Democrats.
Democrats ran Biden as the Not-Trump, kept him hidden from the campaign trail and, aided by COVID-driven election anomalies (coupled with increasing evidence of election fraud), managed to get him into the White House.
Although Biden, soon to turn 80, showed evidence of declining mental capabilities even during the campaign, efforts by Democrats in both politics and media have fallen short of continuing to shield him from his ongoing failings.
They can no longer hide the fact that the president is not well.
And it’s hard to tell if they recognize that Joe Biden’s efforts as the Not Trump extended to him reversing Trump policies that contributed perhaps more than cognitive failings to the position the country is now in.
And people seem to be waking up to that.
Which means Democrats are beginning to see Biden’s coattails as anchor weights, carrying them to the depths of the political seas.