A three-way game of geriatric chicken with Trump, Biden and Bernie has younger Democrats and Republicans itching for change.

A collage of Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the main candidates for the 2024 presidential elections.David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

  • The 2024 presidential race is already in sight.

  • It seems that the two oldest presidents in history are preparing for a rematch.

  • And don’t write off 80-year-old Bernie Sanders entirely.

The 2024 presidential campaign, at this early stage, is turning into an epic game of 3-way geriatric chicken.

In one corner is Joe Biden, who at 79 insist he’s run for re-election despite being the oldest president in nearly 250 years of US history.

Senator Bernie Sanders is in another corner. An important political adviser to the 80-year-old socialist. has said he would make a third attempt at the White House as a Democrat, but only if Biden does not run.

And the biggest wild card of them all is Donald Trump. At 76, the man who before Biden held the designation of being the oldest president in US history. it seems intention to get his old job back the power and prestige, revengeY maybe even to forgive himself it should come to that.

No one can exclusively claim a place on their respective party’s primary ballot.

But each of those three men has a great deal of influence right now over his party’s leadership apparatus in what could be an otherwise open presidential campaign.

To many observers, the three have created a power vacuum the likes of which has never been seen before in modern American history. It is also true that Trump and Biden have more of a say in the whole thing.

“Maybe they can have a meeting and shake hands and agree that neither will run,” Trent Lott, the former Senate Republican leader, told Insider in an interview acknowledging the desire for fresh faces in the next generation of presidential candidates. of 2024.

That is a growing feeling.

Mitch McConnell, the current Republican leader of the Senate, recently predicted that there would be a “crowdedfield for the GOP in 2024. Others worry that if Trump, Biden and Sanders don’t get out of the way, then everyone else on the bench will have to wait even longer to forge their own path to the White House.

“I think it’s time to take a fresh look at some new candidates,” Republican Utah Governor Spencer Cox, 47, said in an interview.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley added: “It’s a sad state when parties can’t field candidates in their 40s, 50s and maybe 60s, but have to turn to people in their 70s and 80s. It stunts the consequence of democracy. You lose.” years with that kind of safe strategy.”

Joe Biden and Donald Trump argue in the last presidential debate of 2020.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump exchange words in the last presidential debate of 2020.Chip Somodevilla / SWIMMING POOL / AFP

The only candidate who can beat Trump?

Biden won the presidency in the first place arguing that he was the only candidate among Democrats who could beat Trump.

It’s an argument he’s ready to try to make again as Trump flirts with another candidacy, even if there are plenty of new headwinds now, including his own abysmal public approval rating, skyrocketing inflation and the angst of inside the party that the democrats could not deliver in a growing list of demands from the economy to climate change and safeguarding democracy.

It is also true that Sanders’ aspirations for 2024 remain in their own holding pattern until Biden makes his own formal declaration of his intentions.

After passing stretches of the 2020 presidential campaign in his basementBiden sought to portray himself as a young and active commander in chief.

But that hasn’t always worked. conservatives happily stand out every mispronounced word or verbal stumble as evidence of mental decline. Biden it fell off his bike during a June ride in Delaware. And after a long tour of the Middle East, Biden returned to Washington with an unexpected parting gift: COVID-19.

Biden would be 86 years old when, in 2029, he would complete a second term. It is a fact that the White House does not want to talk about.

“That’s not a question we should be asking,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. answered in June when asked on CNN about Biden’s health and stamina.

Biden recently broken to a reporter during a White House picnic for lawmakers when asked if he should skip a second term because of public opinion polls that say he shouldn’t run.

“They want me to run,” the president remarked. “Read the poll. Read the polls, Jack. You’re all the same. That poll showed 92% of Democrats, if I ran, would vote for me.”

Age is something that neither Trump nor Sanders are willing to discuss.

“78 is not old”, Trump saying a New York Post gossip columnist this week before the funeral of his ex-wife, Ivana, who died earlier this month after a fall at the age of 73.

Although Sanders has not spoken publicly about his intentions for 2024, he recently leaked note written by a top political adviser it outlined a scenario in which he would intervene if Biden did not.

When recently asked about the age of America’s overall leadership, Sanders told Insider: “The problem facing America is not age. It’s the power of a handful of billionaires who, to a significant degree, control life.” economy and politics of the country.

ABC studio set during election night in 1972 with a board showing President Richard Nixon leading by a wide margin over Democratic candidate George McGovern.

Votes are tabulated on the set of ABC-TV news coverage of the 1972 presidential election between President Richard Nixon and Democratic candidate George McGovern. Nixon won 49 states and won a second term.Hulton Archive/Fake Images

‘George McGovern Syndrome’

What drives the three otherwise well-retired men to stay engaged? Pundits cite ego as a major factor for both Biden and Trump.

“The fact that they both made it to the White House makes them think that they both know how to make it to the White House,” Brinkley said. “Once you have the power, it’s very hard to let it go.”

Biden’s insistence on staying in office is likely also due to his own awareness of history. In particular, he has a long-standing fear that Democrats nominating a more liberal candidate like Sanders means giving Republicans a better chance of winning the White House.

“The problem with the Democratic Party is the George McGovern syndrome,” Brinkley said, referring to the anti-war candidate Democrats ran in 1972 against incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon. McGovern won a single state, Massachusetts, plus the District of Columbia. Incidentally, 1972 is the same election cycle when Biden, at age 29, was first elected to the United States Senate.

Given this history, Democratic bosses are likely to continue to rally against the likes of Sanders, or even a Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, as the party’s standard bearer.

Mark Longabaugh, a longtime Democratic operative who worked on the 2016 and 2020 Sanders campaigns, said Trump is the singular driving force behind what’s happening to the rest of the field. If the former president does eventually enter the race, it will be even easier for Biden to stay.

“I think Trump is at the center of the decision just because of the way that Biden and Biden’s main supporters have positioned him as the only one who can beat Trump,” he said.

But Longabaugh also said he’s not entirely convinced either of them will make it to the 2024 primary.

“I think there is a lot of question about the three of them and if they will meet again in 2024,” Longabaugh said. “I may be totally wrong and Biden and Trump are in, and that’s it, and we have a general election. But I see a lot more play on the field of play than is conventional wisdom.”

That’s a view Cox, the 47-year-old first governor of Utah, said he hopes will be carried out.

“A lot can change over the next year, year and a half,” he said. “I certainly hope there are governors on both sides of the aisle, other candidates, who are willing to step up and challenge the status quo who are going to say, ‘Hey, look, for the good of our country, we’re not We’re going to stand on the sidelines and we’re going to go into battle here because we think we have a vision to offer.'”

That democrat bank could include Vice President Kamala Harris, 57; California Governor Gavin Newsom, 54; Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 40; and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, 57.

Potential Republican challengers for 2024 include household names like former Vice President Mike Pence, 63; Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, 43; former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, 50; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 58; and Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, 51; Marco Rubio of Florida, 51; and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, 45.

Lott, a former leader of the Senate GOP, said it was important for new people to take leadership at the highest levels of government.

His own career in politics lasted from the age of 32 until he was 67.

“You have to know when to hold on `them,” said Lott, who left public office to work as a lobbyist, “and when to retire `they”.

Read the original article at Business Insider

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