Amid the widespread speculation that President Joe Biden will not seek a second term in office in 2024, attention has turned to whether Vice President Kamala Harris is actually his heir apparent and obvious successor to the White House or whether the Democratic Party should hold an open primary contest to choose Biden’s replacement.
VP Harris’ husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, quite naturally believes the nomination should go to his wife, and he reportedly has suggested that fellow Democrats must fall in line and support a Harris campaign in 2024, according to Townhall.
However, Harris is even more unpopular and perceived as less electable than Biden, and reports also indicate that Emhoff’s demand that other Democrats support her has not been particularly well received, even within the White House.
Emhoff tells Democrats they must support Harris’s 2024 bid
Politico reported Tuesday on how majorities of both parties were less than thrilled with their apparent frontrunners for the 2024 nomination — former President Donald Trump for the Republicans and President Biden for the Democrats — and how members of both parties were searching for alternatives.
With regard to Biden, the seemingly obvious alternative would be Harris, and the outlet noted, “If Democratic voters have barely started to consider Biden alternatives, the topic is increasingly consuming the would-be successors themselves, as well as their spouses. Doug Emhoff, the Second Gentleman, has told Democrats the party must rally around Harris should Biden not run.”
That hasn’t gone over very well, though, as Politico reported that Emhoff’s demand was met with “eye-rolling” in the White House, “where officials believe Harris is on stronger footing now than she was in her first year but remain skeptical about her viability in 2024.”
“Those doubts are shared by most Democratic lawmakers, whose dread about 2024 extends from the specter of nominating an octogenarian with dismal approval ratings to the equally delicate dilemma of whether to nominate his more unpopular vice president or pass over the first Black woman in the job,” the outlet added.
One unnamed House Democrat was quoted as having said, “The next question we’ll get after saying we don’t want Biden is: ‘Do you want Kamala?'” — and that, apparently, is a question that many Democrats would prefer not to have to answer.
Harris is not the “heir apparent” or “next in line” for the presidency
That trepidation about the electability of VP Harris is nothing new, as Townhall reported separately in August on an ABC News panel discussion on “This Week” in which it was determined that Harris was not the unquestioned “heir apparent” or “next in line” to succeed Biden if he chose not to run for a second term as president.
Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson argued that Harris “should be” in such a position but was not due, at least in part, from a failure of the Biden administration to adequately make use of the vice president’s assets and strengths.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl was a bit more blunt, however, of the prospects for both Biden or Harris to be the Democratic nominee in 2024.
“You talk to Democrats privately, key Democrats on Capitol Hill, leaders in the party, and there is just trepidation about this. There is a sense among many of them that he shouldn’t run,” Karl said of Biden, then added of Harris, “And also, a sense that if he doesn’t run, that the primary is wide open and it’s not just Kamala Harris’ to take.”