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President Joe Biden’s age is starting to weigh on the minds of more Democrats as midterm elections and 2024 draw closer.
Democratic heavyweights like David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, are sounding the alarm about what could happen if Biden, 79, chooses to run for president again in 2024. Biden already faces heavy criticism for gaffes and misstatements many attribute to age, and he would be 86 years old at the end of a second term.
“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,” Axelrod told the New York Times.
Lined up behind Axelrod are a slew of Democrats grateful for Biden’s defeat of former President Donald Trump in 2020, but desire younger leadership in 2024.
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“Democrats need fresh, bold leadership for the 2024 presidential race. That can’t be Biden.”” Lawyer and Democratic National Committee member Shelia Huggins told NYT.
“I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person,” Alex Wyshyvanuk, 33, told NYT. “Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024.”
DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, is 43 years old.
Biden’s poll numbers aren’t helping his case either, with the president’s approval rating continuing to hit new lows.
Some stars within the Democratic Party are already appearing to break with Biden ahead of the midterms and 2024. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, refused to say she would vote for the president in 2024 on Sunday.
“You know, if the president chooses to run again in 2024, I mean, first of all, I’m focused on winning this majority right now and preserving a majority this year in 2022,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN. “So, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it … I think if the president has a vision and that’s something certainly we’re all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes.”
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CNN host Dana Bash then interjected, saying “That’s not a yes.”
“You know, I think we should endorse when we get to it,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “I believe that the president has been doing a very good job so far. And, you know, should he run again? I think that I… you know, I think it’s… we’ll take a look at it.”