Joe Biden: second term at 82?
Exactly four years after announcing his first candidacy in the US elections, Joe Biden announced in a video that he would be running for a second term. He also wrote on Twitter that now was the time to take a stand for democracy, finishing the tweet with the words: ‘Let’s finish the job.’ Commentators weigh up the pros and cons of his decision.
El País praises the president and voices doubts in equal measure:
“The clearly social democratic track record continues to be his best guarantee: ... He has approved the biggest investments in infrastructure in decades, finally put the country on the path to energy transition, unemployment is at a historically low level. ... If the Republican Party comes up with a young and competitive replacement, however, Biden’s candidacy could wobble despite his readiness to spread the same message as in 2020 and 2022: Republican extremism poses a threat to democracy. Whether that will be enough to stop Republicans bent on revenge, however, is questionable. The contradictions of running for office at 82 are obvious even to Biden’s voters.”
Democrats have no alternative
Biden has no other option, writes Tomasz Zalewski, who has been Polityka’s US correspondent for many years:
“When Biden ran for office in 2020 he said he wanted to be a bridge to the next generation, which was taken to mean that if he won, he would limit himself to a single term in office. Many commentators are now wondering why he changed his mind. ... Some are citing his patriotism and his loathing of Trump. But I see a different motivation there: there is simply no better candidate for the White House in the Democratic party with real chances of being elected.”
A chance against Republican radicalisation
Biden could succeed in being re-elected in 2024 despite approval ratings that are low even among Democrats, Dagens Nyheter observes:
“The abortion issue will dog the Republicans regardless of whether next year’s candidate is Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis or someone else. This gives Biden a chance. There may not be much enthusiasm for him getting a second term, even among his own ranks. But the determination to mobilise against a Republican candidate, who in turn will have to pander to increasingly extreme voters in the primaries to have any chance of winning the nomination, is extremely strong. That can make a big difference, especially in an election that will be decided in just six or seven states.”
Kamala Harris would be a mortgage
For a successful campaign Biden will need a strong vice president, the Frankfurter Rundschau underlines:
“What if Biden doesn’t make it to the end of a second term in office? Plenty of Americans will be asking themselves this question, as they think about the vice president who would of course have to step up. Kamala Harris is not even pulling her weight in her current office. We can only hope that Biden will find the courage to exchange his ‘running mate’. A new face, a successful high-calibre woman like Senator Amy Klobuchar or Govenor Gretchen Whitmer could inject fresh energy into the octogenarian’s campaign. Harris, by comparison, would be a mortgage.”