Less than a year after Joe Biden won the White House, many are already looking ahead to the 2024 race — and it’s no secret that a bid for a second term may not be in the cards for the 78-year-old president. Worse still for Dems: Their second choice might be a no-go, too.
A stunning new report from Axios claims that Vice President Kamala Harris may already out of the running for 2024, with some Democrat insiders expressing concern that “she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump.”
“The presumptive nominee”
President Biden indicated as recently as March that he does plan to seek re-election in 2024. But that hasn’t slowed speculation about who Dems might put up in the off chance that he doesn’t.
“Harris would be the presumptive nominee if Biden didn’t run,” Axios reported Friday. “Administration sources believe it would be nearly impossible to unseat the first Black woman vice president.”
Apparently, not everyone agrees. Axios further reported:
One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f*****g up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f*****g up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.'”
The outlet’s sources cited “Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness,” both concerns that have risen to the forefront in the wake of a recent trip to the U.S.–Mexico border by the vice president that fell far short of expectations.
Some Democrats were even willing to go on the record with their criticism.
“I’m sure her planners told her that if you’re going to go down to the border, go to something that’s safer to go to, that is, politically safer,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, said in an interview after Harris’ trip, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The epicenter is down there in the Lower Rio Grande, the lower part of my district down there,” Cuellar added. “If you look at the numbers that are down there compared to El Paso, you’re not going to get a true picture of what’s happening.”
Out before it even starts?
Axios also reported Friday that Harris’ office hasn’t been on the best of terms with the West Wing.
The outlet alleged:
Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director.
None of this bodes well for Harris as Democrats continue to weigh their options going into 2024. Is she out before the race has even started?