How Democrats Learned to Cast Aside Reservations and Embrace Biden 2024 (2023)


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The president, who is expected to formally announce his re-election campaign this week, has won the full support of his party despite questions about his age and middling approval ratings.

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How Democrats Learned to Cast Aside Reservations and Embrace Biden 2024 (1)
(Video) Tucker Carlson Fired From Fox News + Joe Biden Announces 2024 Presidential Campaign

[For updates on President Biden’s bid for a second term, which was formally announced on Tuesday, read our live coverage.]

As President Biden nears the formal announcement of his 2024 re-election bid, one of the most important developments of the campaign is something that hasn’t happened at all: No serious primary challenger ever emerged.

Mr. Biden has all but cleared the field despite concerns about his age — at 80, he is already the oldest American president in history — and the persistent misgivings about the president held by a large number of the party’s voters. Democrats yearn for a fresh face in 2024, according to repeated polls, they just don’t know who that would be.

After Democrats won more races than expected in the 2022 midterm elections, any energy to challenge Mr. Biden quickly dissipated. The left has stayed in line even as Mr. Biden has lately made more explicit appeals toward the center. And would-be rivals have stayed on the sidelines.

The early entry of Donald J. Trump into the race immediately clarified that the stakes in 2024 would be just as high for Democrats as they were in 2020. The former president has proved to be the greatest unifying force in Democratic politics in the last decade, and the same factors that caused the party to rally behind Mr. Biden then are still present today. Add to that the advantages of holding the White House and any challenge seemed more destined to bruise Mr. Biden than to best him.

Plans are now in place for Mr. Biden to formally begin a 2024 campaign as early as Tuesday with a low-key video timed with the anniversary of his campaign kickoff four years ago. It is a rollout that many Democrats are greeting more with a sense of stoicism than enthusiasm.

“We need stability,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, a progressive who won his seat in 2020 by ousting an older, more moderate incumbent in a primary. “Biden provides that.”


(Video) Biden's biggest blunders in his presidency so far

Skating to a second nomination was not always guaranteed. Mr. Biden, as the incumbent president, was obviously the prohibitive favorite. But people close to the White House have been surprised at the speed with which the full spectrum of the party has gone from hand-wringing about Mr. Biden to almost unanimous acclamation, at least in public.

Maria Cardona, a Democratic National Committee member and party strategist, has been confounded by the doubts around Mr. Biden as the Democrats’ best bet, especially against a 76-year-old Mr. Trump, who remains the Republican front-runner.

“Regardless of the reservations, regardless of the worry that he is getting up there in age — and he is, and that is going to be a question that he and the campaign are going to have to contend with — when his counterpart is almost as old as he is but is so opposite of what this country deserves, then it’s a no-brainer,” she said.

For now, the only announced challengers to Mr. Biden are Marianne Williamson, whose last run amounted to an asterisk in the 2020 campaign, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is leveraging his family name to promote his anti-vaccine views.

“Democrats complain that he might be too old,” Ms. Cardona added. “But then, when they’re asked, ‘Well, who?’ There is no one else.”

Prominent and ambitious governors, including Gavin Newsom of California and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, made clear they would not contest Mr. Biden’s nomination, as did the runners-up from 2020. And many party insiders have soured on the political potential of the next-in-line option, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Representative Raúl Grijalva, a former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the left was laser-focused on “the fight against the isms: fascism, racism, sexism.” That has overshadowed Mr. Biden’s age, said the 75-year-old Mr. Grijalva: “I think why it hasn’t been a bigger issue is we don’t believe in ageism either.”

“If we are eliminating people because of how old they are,” he said, “I don’t think that would be fair and equitable.”


(Video) Watch: President Biden delivers 2023 State of the Union address

Mr. Biden’s poll numbers among Democrats remain middling. An NBC News poll this month said 70 percent of all Americans — including 51 percent of Democrats — felt that Mr. Biden should not run for a second term. If Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida wins the Republican nomination, the general election contest could be more difficult for Mr. Biden. Mr. DeSantis, 44, has been polling better than Mr. Trump in a hypothetical November matchup.

Privately, some major Biden donors and fund-raisers continue to fret about his durability both in a campaign and a second term. Those who raised or donated $1 million or more in 2020 were invited to a private gathering this Friday with the president.

One wealthy donor had considered circulating a letter this year to urge Mr. Biden not to run before the person was dissuaded by associates because it would have been for naught and have served to embarrass Mr. Biden, according to a person familiar with the episode who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Some contributors have described being in a state of suspended and suppressed angst: fully yet nervously behind Mr. Biden.

Democrats generally and the White House in particular know well the modern history of presidential re-election campaigns and that nearly all the recent incumbents to lose faced serious primary challenges: George H.W. Bush in 1992, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Gerald Ford in 1976 and, before he withdrew and Democrats ultimately lost, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.

Combine that pattern with the specter of a second Trump presidency and Democrats have snapped almost uniformly into a loyalist formation, especially after the party averted a red wave and the kind of losses last fall that many had predicted.

“People recognized he was the one candidate who could defeat Donald Trump and protect American democracy,” Representative David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat who was previously in the Democratic leadership, said of Mr. Biden’s nomination in 2020. “It’s still the case.”


Mr. Biden further smoothed his pathway by pushing through the most substantive change in the Democratic primary calendar in decades. He pushed to shift the first-in-the-nation status on the nominating calendar from Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state with a progressive streak (where Mr. Biden finished in fourth place), to South Carolina, where Black voters resurrected his campaign in 2020.

During his first two years, Mr. Biden built up considerable good will among progressives, embracing many of the left’s priorities, including canceling student loan debt, and keeping a far more open line of communication with the party’s left-most flank than the previous two Democratic administrations. He has signed landmark bills that have been progressive priorities, including climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and a temporary child-tax credit.

Some Biden advisers credit the unity task forces created after the 2020 primary as the key starting point. Liberal activists say Ron Klain, the former White House chief of staff, had an unusual open-door policy.

“Bernie wasn’t calling up Rahm Emanuel in the early Obama years to talk policy,” said Ari Rabin-Havt, a former deputy chief of staff to Senator Bernie Sanders and a Democratic strategist. Of Mr. Biden, he said that most progressives on Capitol Hill would grade him with “an exceeds expectations check mark.”

Now Mr. Biden is relying on the left’s residual appreciation as he tacks toward the center. He has talked about the need for deficit reduction in 2023, signed a Republican measure to overturn a progressive local Washington crime law and approved a new oil drilling project in Alaska.

“I continue to be frustrated when I see him moving to the center because I don’t see a real need to do that,” said Mr. Bowman, the New York Democrat. “It’s almost like a pandering to a Republican talking point.”

(Video) 2020 Election Results And Analysis | TODAY


In 2020, Representative Eric Swalwell of California briefly ran for president in the Democratic primary and then urged Mr. Biden to “pass the torch” to the next generation. Four years later, Mr. Swalwell is all aboard for a second Biden term, saying the president’s ability to pass significant legislation has bound the party together.

“I feared after the 2020 election that it would be impossible for Biden to govern with the thinnest of majorities in the House and Senate,” he said. “Instead, Biden has been on a legislative tear, tackling Democratic priorities that had been unachieved for decades.”

Many Democrats see Mr. Biden as the party’s best chance to limit losses among white voters without college degrees — the nation’s biggest bloc of voters — a group that Mr. Trump has pulled away from the Democrats.

“Blue-collar workers used to always be our folks,” Mr. Biden lamented to donors at a private residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in January, highlighting his focus on winning back those voters. “A lot of people think we left them behind,” Mr. Biden told the donors. “And it has to do more with attitude and — than it does with policy.”

The relative Democratic success in the midterms — picking up a Senate seat and only ceding the House to Republicans by five seats — served as a reminder that despite his own weak polling numbers, Mr. Biden has not hurt his party so far.

“Nothing,” Mr. Swalwell said, “unites like success.”


(Video) Democrats And Republicans Press EPA Administrator Over Biden's Proposed Budget | Full Hearing

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Is Biden running for president in 2024? ›

After months of hinting at a likely bid, President Biden officially announced on Tuesday that he will seek a second term as president of the United States in the 2024 election. "When I ran for president four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America.

How old is Joe Biden? ›

To be sure, there's little to suggest that Biden, who turned 80 in November, has been limited by his age, but it's interesting to note that he's already outlived 33 of 45 of the country's former presidents.

When did Joe Biden become president? ›

Joe Biden's tenure as the 46th president of the United States began with his inauguration on January 20, 2021. Biden, a Democrat from Delaware who previously served as vice president under Barack Obama, took office following his victory in the 2020 presidential election over Republican incumbent president Donald Trump.

Who is favored to win 2024 presidential election? ›

Top 5 Candidates, 2024 US Presidential Election
1️⃣ Joe Biden+17542.1% ↑
2️⃣ Donald Trump+25028.6%
3️⃣ Ron DeSantis+40014.3% ↓
4️⃣ Kamala Harris+20004.8% ↓
5️⃣ Nikki Haley+33002.9%
1 more row
4 days ago

What are the 5 requirements to be president? ›

Constitutional requirements for presidential candidates
  • Be a natural-born citizen of the United States.
  • Be at least 35 years old.
  • Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
Apr 6, 2023

Who was the youngest president? ›

The youngest person to become U.S. president was Theodore Roosevelt, who, at age 42, succeeded to the office after the assassination of William McKinley. The youngest at the time of their election to the office was John F. Kennedy, at age 43.

How old was Ronald Reagan when he was president? ›

How long is a presidential term? ›

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows.

Who became president 3 times? ›

Roosevelt won a third term by defeating Republican nominee Wendell Willkie in the 1940 United States presidential election. He remains the only president to serve for more than two terms.

Who is 47th president? ›

Joe Biden
Succeeded byFrancis R. Swift
Personal details
BornJoseph Robinette Biden Jr. November 20, 1942 Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (1969–present)
33 more rows

What is Joe Biden's net worth? ›

Joe Biden's Net Worth

While still serving as vice president, his net worth was $2.5 million, but in the years between holding political office his net worth shot up to $8 million, according to Forbes. Celebrity Net Worth pegs Biden's estimated net worth at $9 million, however. Along with his wife, Dr.

How many popular votes are needed to win the presidency? ›

Of the current 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority there, a contingent election is held by the House of Representatives to elect the president and by the Senate to elect the vice president.

What must a person win to be elected president of the United States? ›

A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.

What are the chances of becoming president? ›

We'd put your odds at about 1 out of 300,000,000. You'd have a better shot of winning the X-Factor, even if you can't sing a lick. Although you may dream of being President, you can't really set out to become President.

Who is the only president not to be married? ›

Tall, stately, stiffly formal in the high stock he wore around his jowls, James Buchanan was the only President who never married. Presiding over a rapidly dividing Nation, Buchanan grasped inadequately the political realities of the time.

What are the 3 original qualifications to be president? ›

The Constitution lists only three qualifications for the Presidency — the President must be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

What are the 7 rules of the president? ›

The president serves as Commander-in-Chief, Chief Administrator, Chief Executive, Chief Legislator, Chief Diplomat, Chief of Party, Chief of State, and Chief Citizen.

Which president had 15 children? ›

John Tyler was the most prolific of all American President: he had 15 children and two wives. In 1813, Tyler married Letitia Christian, the daughter of a Virginia planter. They had eight children.

Who was the greatest president of the USA? ›

Abraham Lincoln is mostly regarded as the greatest president for his leadership during the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. His main contender is Franklin D. Roosevelt, for leading the country out of the Great Depression and during World War II.

Who is the oldest president in U.S. history? ›

At 80, Biden is already the oldest president in U.S. history. If he wins reelection, he will be 86 at the end of his second term, nearly nine years older than Ronald Reagan was when he left the White House. It's an issue of concern to a big chunk of the voting public.

Who was the only president to serve two non consecutive terms? ›

Presidential Administrations, Grover Cleveland: Topics in Chronicling America. Grover Cleveland served 2 non-consecutive terms as the 22nd and 24th U.S. President.

Who was the first president to live in the White House? ›

It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions.

Who ran against Reagan in 1980 and 1984? ›

Incumbent Republican president Ronald Reagan defeated Democratic former vice president Walter Mondale in a landslide, winning 525 electoral votes and 58.8 percent of the popular vote. No other candidate in history has matched Reagan's electoral vote total.

Can a President still serve 3 terms? ›

Text. Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Can the president fire the vice president? ›

And it's not a cabinet-level office where the president has appointed the vice president. I mean, the President selects the vice president as a running mate,” explained Pybas. “But constitutionally, the vice president's term is for four years now. And the way to remove them is through impeachment.”

Can you be vice president after being President twice? ›

In fact, the relevant constitutional provisions, their histories, and their purposes all point to the same conclusion: A twice-before-elected President may become Vice-President either through appointment or through election and — like any other Vice-President — may thereafter succeed from that office to the Presidency ...

What President got us out of the depression? ›

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves.

Who was the shortest term president of the United States? ›

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was an American military officer and politician who served as the ninth president of the United States. Harrison died just 31 days after his inauguration in 1841, the shortest presidency in United States history.

Which President broke the no third term rule? ›

Franklin D. Roosevelt successfully broke it in 1940, citing the outbreak of World War II. The two Roosevelts are the only presidents to run for a third term in a general election; Grant and Wilson aimed to do so, but failed to gain their parties' nominations.

Who is the 4th person in line for the presidency? ›

The Secretary holds the most senior position in the President's Cabinet. If the President were to resign or die, the Secretary of State is fourth in line of succession after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Which President served the longest term? ›

William Henry Harrison spent the shortest time in office, while Franklin D. Roosevelt spent the longest. Roosevelt is the only American president to have served more than two terms.

Who was the 51st President of the United States? ›

Benjamin Harrison - The White House.

Who is the wealthiest former president? ›

List of presidents by peak net worth
NameNet worth (millions of 2022 US$)Lifespan
Donald Trump3,000born 1946
George Washington7071732–1799
Thomas Jefferson2841743–1826
Theodore Roosevelt1681858-1919
41 more rows

What is the net worth of Obama? ›

Barack Obama's Net Worth: $70 Million

Celebrity Net Worth and Business Insider have both reported the former president's net worth as $70 million.

Is Bernie Sanders a billionaire? ›

Is Bernie Sanders a billionaire? No. Unlike his famous political opponent Donald Trump he is not a billionaire.

How many years is Biden running? ›

Running for President and Vice President

Biden ran for president three times, in 1988, 2008 and 2020.

How long can the president continue? ›

(b) the President or the Vice-President shall, notwithstanding the expiry of his term of three years, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon office.

Who actually chooses the president? ›

The Electoral College decides who will be elected president and vice president of the U.S. Learn who is involved and how the process works.

Who were the youngest presidents? ›

The youngest person to become U.S. president was Theodore Roosevelt, who, at age 42, succeeded to the office after the assassination of William McKinley. The youngest at the time of their election to the office was John F. Kennedy, at age 43.

Who ran the most times for president in the United States? ›

Lyndon LaRouche's U.S. presidential campaigns were a controversial staple of American politics between 1976 and 2004. LaRouche ran for president on eight consecutive occasions, a record for any candidate, and tied Harold Stassen's record as a perennial candidate.

Can a president run for 2 years? ›

Text. Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

How many times has Joe Biden been vice president? ›

A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under President Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.

What is the 10 year rule president? ›

The Twenty-Second Amendment says a person can only be elected to be president two times for a total of eight years. It does make it possible for a person to serve up to ten years as president. This can happen if a person (most likely the Vice-President) takes over for a president who can no longer serve their term.

How can a Vice-President be removed from office? ›

Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Can a president serve only 2 terms or 10 years? ›

Passed by Congress in 1947, and ratified by the states on February 27, 1951, the Twenty-Second Amendment limits an elected president to two terms in office, a total of eight years. However, it is possible for an individual to serve up to ten years as president.

What would happen if the Electoral College was abolished? ›

If the Electoral College was eliminated, the power to elect the President would rest solely in the hands of a few of our largest states and cities, greatly diminishing the voice of smaller populated states.

Who would be next in line after the president? ›

The vice president of the United States presides over the U.S. Senate and takes over the role of president of the United States if the president is unable to perform his or her duties.

Which of the following is a power the president can not use? ›


declare war. decide how federal money will be spent. interpret laws. choose Cabinet members or Supreme Court Justices without Senate approval.

What president had a lot of kids? ›

John Tyler is the president who fathered the most children, having fifteen children over two marriages (and allegedly fathering more with slaves), while his successor, James K. Polk, remains the only U.S. president never to have fathered or adopted any known children.

Can a former president run as a vice president? ›

In fact, the relevant constitutional provisions, their histories, and their purposes all point to the same conclusion: A twice-before-elected President may become Vice-President either through appointment or through election and — like any other Vice-President — may thereafter succeed from that office to the Presidency ...

Which president had the most number of children how many children did he have? ›

John Tyler was the most prolific of all American President: he had 15 children and two wives.


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(Washington Post)


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