If President Joe Biden wants to win re-election, then Vice President Kamala Harris should go, suggests Greg Craig, a lawyer who served the Obama and Clinton administrations.
One of the major roadblocks to Democrats winning the White House is 2024 is Biden's age. At 80 years old, he would begin his second presidential term at the ripe age of 82, about five years beyond the average life expectancy of U.S. men. According to Craig, to alleviate concerns about Biden's age, Democrats should focus on the "succession" problem, that is, who would replace Biden if he wins re-election, but passes away in office.
Craig wrote in a New York Times essay:
When considering who should be his running mate in 2024, Mr. Biden would do well to follow what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1944: He expressed a preference for certain candidates but turned the choice of his running mate over to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
I do not suggest that Mr. Biden’s physical condition today is as dire as Roosevelt’s in 1944. However, the risk of Mr. Biden’s death or disability in his second term is such that the selection of his running mate takes on new urgency.
According to Craig, making the selection process more democratic would address the "enthusiasm gap" because in the party's status quo, no one "will excite or inspire a crowd."
More importantly, the process would "allow the Democratic Party to showcase a new generation of younger political leaders who would otherwise be doing nothing more than clapping their hands on the sidelines. Opening up the VP nomination would also give the Democratic Party a chance to test-drive candidates of the future. Who does well in debates? Who does well on the hustings? Who can get voters excited and galvanized?"
Reading between the lines, it's clear that Craig believes that Harris is not the person best suited to help Biden win re-election.
Currently, Harris' approval rating has recently hovered around 40%, which indicates that she is generally unpopular. Still, it's an improvement from the 28% low she experienced in November 2021.
More importantly, the numbers suggest that Harris has largely been a flop. Despite ending her 2020 presidential campaign before the first primary votes were cast, the Democratic Party believed that choosing Harris as Biden's running mate would build inroads with voters of color and women.
And while it may have worked once, Harris has notched no achievements as vice president, and it is becoming clear the powers-that-be are souring on her continuing as Biden's running mate. After all, if the goal is to keep the White House, it will be much easier to replace Harris than undergo a messy primary during which at least a dozen Democrats will battle for their party's nomination.
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