President Joe Biden has told former President Obama he plans to run for a second term in 2024, despite a string of polls showing low approval ratings and analysts warning of a potential Republican blowout in 2022.
News that Biden provided the information to his friend and longtime political partner came a after a Quinnipiac poll had his own approval rating at just 35 per cent – fueling warnings among Democratic advisors about what could be in store for Democrats.
‘[Biden] wants to run and he’s clearly letting everyone know,’ a source familiar with the conversations between the two men told The Hill.
Part of Biden’s analysis is that he thinks he is best positioned take defeat former President Donald Trump in a potential rematch, as Trump continues to hold rallies around the country and weighs in a series of House and Senate races.
‘I believe he thinks he’s the only one who can beat Trump. I don’t think he thinks there’s anyone in the Democratic party who can beat Trump and that’s the biggest factor,’ the source said. That was part of Biden’s assessment in 2016, when he beat back a field of candidates, some decades younger than himself, across the political spectrum.
President Joe Biden told former President Barack Obama he plans to run again
Obama made his first return to the White House since leaving office this month to celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the Affordable Care Act.
Biden said on his trip to Europe that he would be ‘fortunate’ to face Trump in a rematch.
Obama, 60, remains a dominant figure in the party and Biden, 79, brought on many former Obama staffers when assembling his own White House team, years after Obama selected him as his running mate in 2008.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in advance of their early April meeting that the two men remain close and speak by phone regularly. ”They’re real friends, not just Washington friends,’ she said.
Obama himself endured what he called a ‘shellacking’ during the 2010 midterm elections, which featured the rise of the Tea Party movement.
Biden has been enduring his own series of political setbacks, including record inflation, repeated waves of the coronavirus, and the inability to push his main budget proposals through the Democratic Congress, and sustained Republican opposition to his agenda and nominations.
The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan coincided with a drop in his approval ratings.
Last week, along with the Quinnipiac poll, a CNBC poll had Biden’s approval at 38 per cent, while a Politico / Morning Consult poll had him at 41. After a slight uptick in two other polls, Biden’s average approval stands at 41 per cent in the Real Clear Politics average – dangerous territory for any incumbent.
The consistently low numbers have prompted warnings from Biden allies, including pollster John Anzalone, who last week warned of a ‘really sour environment for Democrats.’ He said Americans ‘are p***ed,’ citing inflation, Ukraine, and immigration at the border.
”We better look at the strategic ways that we can compete, right? Just compete to not get our asses kicked,’ he said in a blunt conversation with Politico.
‘I think what we’re missing right now is that voters are very much in ‘What have you done for me lately?’ They always are,’ he noted. ‘And they don’t feel Democrats can get their s*** together and get things done.’
Biden has also presided over economic gains and record low unemployment, and the Washington Post placed him at the top of its quarterly rankings of presidential prospects.
If Democrats lose Congress, it could stand to help Biden politically, giving him something to run against.
Bill Clinton and Obama are among presidents who have come back from off-year losses.
In a surprise twist, the author put Vice President Kamala Harris in the third position, noting her post ‘is certainly a good launchpad, but it’s not at all clear Harris has put it to good use.’ Her own ratings are as low as Biden’s. The analysis put Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg ‘next in line just in terms of sheer plausibility’ in a scenario where people don’t want Biden or Harris.
The pressure on Biden comes as Democrats face a potential ‘bloodbath’ in the midterms if the party can’t turn things around, according to New York Times columnist Charles Blow.