A presidential election scheduled for three years from now seems a long way off unless the presidency at stake is the most powerful in the world and the current occupant of the White House, a regular candidate, is approaching 80 years old and going through a disturbing popularity crisis. This is the case of Joe Biden. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed to the press on Monday that the veteran Democrat plans to run for reelection, a message aimed above all at seeking stability and turning off the noise of the last few days about the electoral race, at a time in which the US president wants all the attention for the transcendental social policies that he is trying to carry out.
“That is his intention,” Psaki replied to the question of whether, as various media had published, Biden was commenting to people close to his willingness to present himself. It is something that the president himself had already pointed out shortly after assuming power, in a statement last March, but these days it takes on a very relevant meaning. The electoral defeat in the governorship of the State of Virginia, as well as the narrow victory in a place that was safe as that of New Jersey, has triggered the alarms in the Democratic Party, as well as the collapse of the support that the president has suffered in the polls: from 57% at the beginning of the mandate to 42% in the first half of November, according to Gallup data.
Nor does age help. Biden became the oldest president in office last January, 78. Last Saturday he turned 79 and would reach the next electoral contest with 81. The president’s personal doctor, Kevin O’Connor, pointed out last Friday, after the general examination that the president underwent, that he is “a man of 78 years old healthy and vigorous ”capable of fulfilling his duties. During the tests, which included a colonoscopy and anesthesia, Biden had to hand over presidential powers to Vice President Kamala Harris for just over an hour.
Harris has been at the center of Washington’s speculations in recent days, after a CNN report that dealt with the frustration that allegedly plagued Harris and his closest team because of how “lopsided” it was within politics. of Biden and the lack of specific items on her agenda, something that she has denied.
The popularity problem that it drags and the doubts it raises as a possible alternative to Biden in the 2024 Democratic candidacy is a fact.
Vice presidents have been regular candidates throughout American history: Biden, George HW Bush (father), or Richard Nixon had been. Harris, however, has a very low percentage of support, lower than that of Biden: in a Suffolk University-USA Today poll published in early November, it registered 27.8% compared to 37.8% for Biden. And, in the heat of all this data and statements, rumors of rivalry between Harris and the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, have also begun to emerge, from anonymous sources. Both competed in the last Democratic primaries to occupy the position that Biden occupies today.
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