WaPo columnist favored by Biden delivers hard truth, says president too old to seek second term in 2024

September 14, 2023
Ben Marquis

President Joe Biden is seeking a second term in office in 2024, yet it seems that some of his professed supporters in the liberal media aren't too keen on the idea.

In fact, a prominent columnist favored by Biden who writes for a major national newspaper just suggested that the president should not run for re-election next year, according to the New York Post.

That writer, who also seemingly dismissed Vice President Kamala Harris as a viable alternative for Democrats in the 2024 election, largely honed in on Biden's advanced age as the main reason for why he should not run for another four years in the White House.

Biden too old, Harris too unpopular for second term

In a Tuesday op-ed for The Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius attempted to soften the sting of his unsolicited advice for President Biden by first praising him effusively for his "remarkable string of wins" and insisting that he has "has been a successful and effective president."

Despite his supposed achievements, however, "I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for reelection. It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement -- which was stopping Trump."

Ignatius proceeded to highlight "two big liabilities" for Biden in 2024, the first of which was his advanced age, and pointed to a recent AP-NORC poll which found that 77% of Americans, including an astonishing 69% of Democrats, believe that Biden is simply "too old" to be an effective president for another four years.

"Biden’s age isn’t just a Fox News trope; it’s been the subject of dinner-table conversations across America this summer," he wrote as he transitioned to the second of Biden's "big liabilities" -- VP Harris herself.

Citing FiveThirtyEight's polling averages, Ignatius noted that Harris "is less popular than Biden, with a 39.5 percent approval rating," and asserted, "Harris has many laudable qualities, but the simple fact is that she has failed to gain traction in the country or even within her own party."

"Time is running out" for Biden to decide whether to run or not

Ignatius went on to suggest that things might be different if President Biden had chosen a different running mate, either now or in 2020, or if former President Trump were truly already "vanquished" and posed no threat of being re-elected.

He also noted that Biden has a history of being unable to say "No" to others whose actions could prove detrimental to him, and wrote, "Biden has another chance to say no -- to himself, this time -- by withdrawing from the 2024 race. It might not be in character for Biden, but it would be a wise choice for the country."

"Time is running out. In a month or so, this decision will be cast in stone. It will be too late for other Democrats, including Harris, to test themselves in primaries and see whether they have the stuff of presidential leadership," Ignatius continued even as he acknowledged that there currently is "no clear alternative to Biden" -- which Biden himself may use as an excuse to remain in the race rather than trust in Democratic voters to choose a suitable replacement.

"I hope Biden has this conversation with himself about whether to run, and that he levels with the country about it. It would focus the 2024 campaign," the columnist concluded. "Who is the best person to stop Trump? That was the question when Biden decided to run in 2019, and it’s still the essential test of a Democratic nominee today."

Hard truths from a favorite columnist

The laudatory language from Ignatius aside, this column was almost certainly a devastatingly bitter pill for the president to swallow, as Axios reported that Ignatius is one of Biden's favorite columnists to read on a regular basis.

Yet, in many respects, hearing bad news and hard truths from a friend rather than a stranger or opponent is a good thing, and it will be interesting to see if Biden accepts the frank advice of Ignatius and does what around three-quarters of the nation would support and approve of in stepping aside and foregoing another bid for the presidency.

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