“President Biden should not run again in 2024,” reads the headline of Washington Post deep state columnist David Ignatius’ column posted Tuesday evening. The headline and the author will be enough to start the conversation that everyone in DC wants to have but is afraid to express.
David Ignatius is also an MSNBC favorite file screenshot.
President Biden may not run again in 2024 @IgnatiusPost writes. https://t.co/FUSyGD8sCz
— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) September 12, 2023
Ignatius, 73, cites “two major risks,” Biden’s age of 80, and his running mate Kamala Harris, as the reasons for Biden to step aside for the success of the ultimate mission: preventing the return of President Donald Trump’s “nightmare” to the White House in 2025 (excerpt):
Biden would carry two major liabilities in a 2024 campaign. He would be 82 when he began a second term. According to a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, 77 percent of the public, including 69 percent of Democrats, think he is too old to be effective for another four years. Biden’s age isn’t just a Fox News trope; it has been the topic of dinner table conversations across America this summer.
Given their concerns about Biden’s age, voters would wisely focus on his presumptive running mate, Harris. According to polling website FiveThirtyEight, she is less popular than Biden, with an approval rating of 39.5 percent. Harris has many commendable qualities, but the simple fact is that she has failed to gain traction in the country, or even within her own party.
Biden could encourage a more open vice presidential selection process that could produce a stronger running mate. There are many good alternatives, starting with current Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who I wish Biden had chosen in the first place, or Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. But breaking the ticket would be a free pass that could alienate black women, a key constituency. Biden could end up becoming more vulnerable.
Politicians who know Biden well say that if he were convinced that Trump would actually be defeated, he would feel he had accomplished his political mission. He will run again if he believes deep down that Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee and that he has the best chance of beating Trump and saving the country from the nightmare of a revenge presidency.
Ignatius laments Biden’s ability to say “no,” especially to son Hunter:
Biden has never been good at saying no. He should have opposed the choice of Harris, who was a colleague of his beloved son Beau when they were both attorneys general. He should have blocked then Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which caused significant damage to the island’s security. He should have stopped his son Hunter from joining the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company and representing companies in China – and he certainly should have resisted Hunter’s attempts to impress customers by getting Dad on the phone .
Biden has another chance to say no – this time to himself – by withdrawing from the 2024 race. It may not be in Biden’s nature, but it would be a wise choice for the country.
Cache version of the Ignatius Column via this link.
Ignatius, considered a “deep state stenographer,” published the targeted leak against General Michael Flynn a week before Trump’s inauguration in 2017, setting in motion the investigation that sank Flynn as Trump’s National Security Advisor and a sparked a ruinous prosecution of Flynn. ended with a pardon from Trump (excerpt) in 2020:
…Question 3: What discussions has the Trump team had with Russian officials about future relations? Trump said Wednesday that his relationship with President Vladimir Putin is “an asset, not a liability.” Fair enough, but until he is president, Trump should let Obama set US-Russia policy.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s choice for national security adviser, has close Russian contacts. He has appeared on Russia Today and has received a speaking fee from the cable network, which was described in last week’s unclassified intelligence briefing on Russian hacking as “the Kremlin’s main international propaganda channel.”
According to a senior US government official, Flynn made several calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials and other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undermine US sanctions? The Logan Act (although never enforced) prohibits American citizens from corresponding with the intent to influence a foreign government over “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If the Trump team’s contacts helped the Russians discourage counter-retaliation, perhaps that’s a good thing. But we need to know the facts.
Politico’s White House reporter notes that Ignatius’ column will be read at the White House:
This is a columnist,@IgnatiusPostwhich is read at the White House:
“President Biden may not run again in 2024” https://t.co/uhdLxUeRKo
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) September 13, 2023