The White House's statement about Joe Biden's readiness to run for a second term did not clear up doubts within the Democratic Party about the physical condition of the American leader and his real intentions. Experts are confident: the situation may change
Why are they again talking about a second term
Joe Biden's intention to run for a second term was announced by White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “ Yes, that's his intention '', & mdash; she told reporters at a November 22 briefing, commenting on an earlier article in The Washington Post, which claimed that Biden and his inner circle were informing allies of the American president's intention to run for election in 2024.
The reason why the team of the 46th President of the United States is sending such signals, according to the publication, is the need to allay doubts about his readiness for a second term and allay the fears of those Democrats who believe that as a result of the next elections, Republicans may come back to power. The newspaper writes that the Democratic Party has recently been very worried about the dramatic drop in the approval rating for Biden's activities & mdash; according to a study by The Washington Post, in November he dropped to the lowest since the inauguration, to 41%, while 53% of Americans disapprove of the president. Another poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, shows support of 36%, while 56% of Americans trusted the Democratic president at the beginning of the presidency.
The Atlantic notes that the trend towards lowering Biden's rating was outlined with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. Contrary to forecasts that it will not have a strong impact on domestic politics, Washington's failure in the region has cast doubt on the administration's competence and reinforced pessimism about the country's position in the international arena. A new wave of coronavirus and, as a result, population fatigue from the restrictions imposed by the authorities also contributed. Finally, the rapidly growing inflation – and mdash; despite the president's promises that this scenario can be avoided.
Indicative was the failure of the Democrats in the elections in Virginia, where for the first time since 2009 the post of governor went to the Republican, 54-year-old businessman Glenn Youngkin, who was nicknamed Trump-Light in the American media. The episode was viewed by political scientists as a litmus test of voters' sentiment after Biden's first year, ahead of the 2022 congressional elections. So, in 2009, during the reign of Barack Obama, the victory of the Republican in Virginia became a harbinger of the further dominance of the Republican Party.
Biden was trusted in the party
According to Politico, public statements about Biden's willingness to run for a second term do not convince skeptics from the Democratic Party that he is really capable of it. First of all, Biden's associates are concerned about his age. In 2024 he will be 82 years old, by the end of his second presidential term & mdash; 86, which will be an absolute record for the US leader. Last week's examination and the subsequent conclusion by the president's attending physician Kevin O'Connor that Biden is capable of serving as president, cannot dispel doubts not only of Democrats, but also of voters. So, according to a poll by Politico and Morning Consult, only 40% of voters consider Biden healthy and only 46% are ready to agree with the statement that the president is mentally healthy. It is also being discussed whether Biden, with the current rating, will be able to successfully carry out a new election campaign. If in the last elections he positioned himself as a candidate capable of defeating the current US President Donald Trump, then in the 2024 elections he will face more challenges that he may not be able to cope with with the current approval rating.
In addition, doubts about Biden's forces, as well as the departure of Vice President Kamala Harris to the background, give rise to the realization of the political ambitions of individual members of the Democratic Party. Harris is no longer positioned as the undisputed successor to Biden, and therefore a number of senators are making efforts to build up their political capital, Politico notes. At the same time, The Washington Post writes that Biden's public statements may create obstacles for his possible successors, since not all Democrats are ready to openly oppose their candidacy to the incumbent president. At the same time, Biden's official decision on whether to re-nominate or not is not expected before the congressional elections.
Is the president's decision final
Biden's decision to run for a second term is not final, said Andrei Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council. In his opinion, everything will depend not only on the state of health of the president, but also on the economic indicators of the country and the foreign policy successes of the administration. “ There are few cases in American history where a once-elected president gave up trying to be re-elected for a second term. We can say that four years & mdash; this is not enough time to implement plans, fulfill promises. Of course, there is also such a factor as the president's entourage, which, as a rule, pushes him towards re-election attempts. There is nothing unusual here ', & mdash; the expert emphasized in a conversation with RBC.
At the same time, Kortunov recalls that such an elderly man has never been at the head of the United States and that in the case of Biden, questions may arise regarding his ability to serve as president. “The second more essential circumstance” it is that Biden has not yet succeeded in acting as a unifier of the country. America, as it was split in November last year, remains split on very many grounds: political, social, economic. These problems have not gone away, and neither have the people who voted for Trump. The question is & mdash; will be able to Biden speak in 2024 as the president of all Americans. There are big doubts on this score '', & mdash; he concluded.
Kennan Institute expert Igor Zevelev noted that neither in democratic nor authoritarian systems, the leader does not want to look like a lame duck. According to him, this situation encourages the struggle for inheritance and makes it difficult to pursue a consistent policy. “ Maintaining talk of Biden's possible nomination for a second Democratic presidential term is aimed at consolidating party members around a moderate centrist component and strengthening its position vis-à-vis the left or progressives. So we will still hear this talk, but this does not mean that Biden will actually run as a candidate in the next election, '', '' mdash; he concluded.
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