Knowing it would seriously hurt his election chances if true, the Biden campaign has now denied reports that former Vice President Joe Biden plans to serve just one presidential term in order to set the stage for a more progressive candidate to take his place — a sort of battering ram candidate purposed with smashing the walls of Trump.
As The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday, Politico quoted several unnamed advisers in the Biden campaign who claimed that it’s “virtually inconceivable” the former vice president would be on the 2024 ticket.
“He’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection,” the adviser reportedly told Politico. “This makes Biden a good transition figure. I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it.”
“He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years, but if that’s not possible or doesn’t happen then I’ll run for reelection.’ But he’s not going to publicly make a one-term pledge,” another adviser reportedly said.
The reports were made credible by the fact Joe Biden himself said in October that he could be a one-term president. “I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you’ll see,” he told The Associated Press. “It doesn’t mean I would run a second term. I’m not going to make that judgment at this moment.”
As reported by The Hill, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, emphatically denied the report in a tweet on Wednesday.
“Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about,” Bedingfield said.
Joe Biden himself denied the reports when questioned on Wednesday. “No. I never have. I don’t have plans on one term. I’m not even there yet,” he said.
Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about. https://t.co/mXNEnX6GrU
— Kate Bedingfield (@KBeds) December 11, 2019
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) December 11, 2019
Needless to say, the reports that Joe Biden would only be a one-term president sat well with neither progressives nor conservatives. Writing at Slate, Jordan Weissmann argued that the former vice president should sit the 2020 race out if he has no plans to take his candidacy to 2024.
“For starters, if Biden thinks there’s a chance he simply won’t be able to handle the job in five or six years, he should realize there’s a chance he won’t be able to do it in two or three either,” argued Weissmann. “Being president is hard; it tends to age politicians rapidly, and Biden shouldn’t gamble on his ability to fill the role.”
“As the man seems to realize, he would enter office a lame duck, making it harder to pressure recalcitrant senators to go along with his legislative proposals,” he continued. “He’d only have four years to enact his agenda before his successor took over. And Democrats would lose the benefit of running a sitting president in 2024.”