“If Joe Biden wants to run for re-election, he should say so clearly and soon — and then start acting like it,” Yglesias wrote. “Alternatively, if the president is not sure he wants to run again, he should take that as a strong sign that he shouldn’t — and then make that announcement soon, too,” he continued, emphasizing the word “soon.”
While Yglesias acknowledged it is still early for a typical incumbent president to announce his candidacy for re-election, he argued that, given Biden’s unique attributes, such an announcement is needed.
“Yes, it’s abnormally early for an incumbent president to be making an official announcement. But for all modern incumbents, a re-election campaign has been a foregone conclusion. For Biden, it isn’t,” he wrote.
“And for many Democrats in Washington, the presumption now — partly because of his age and party [sic] because of his policies — is that he’s not running,” he continued.
Yglesias noted, “Many Democrats see his tenure thus far as reflecting tendencies they usually see in a lame-duck president,” such as “prioritiz[ing] ambitious foreign policy goals … over domestic issues such as inflation,” along with “compromis[ing] his diversity goals to hand out senior jobs to old friends … while simultaneously outsourcing most of the staff work to the left wing of the party.”
Some Democrats who do not believe Biden will run for re-election “are currently casting around for alternatives to Vice President Kamala Harris,” Yglesias reported.
He recalled how “in March 2021 [Biden] convened a roundtable meeting with historians to discuss his potential legacy and his ‘think-big, go-big mentality’.”
“This is the kind of thing presidents normally do in the March after they get re-elected. That’s when they turn the page on practical politics in favor of efforts to define themselves in the eyes of history,” he noted.