Liberal newspaper columnist David Ignatius says Biden should not run for reelection
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a prominent liberal voice in the media and supporter of President Biden, has joined the ranks of those who believe he should not run in 2024.
The column bluntly calls for Mr. Biden — and Vice President Kamala Harris — to drop out of the 2024 race.
“Biden’s age isn’t just a Fox News trope; it’s been the subject of dinner-table conversations across America this summer,” Mr. Ignatius wrote in a column published Tuesday.
The president, he said, has been “successful and effective,” citing his domestic agenda achievements and handling of foreign affairs, namely helping Ukraine fight off Russia without involving the U.S. military.
But Mr. Biden shouldn’t run again and risk undoing all that he has achieved, he wrote.
“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,” Mr. Ignatius said.
The president’s age is a key liability in the 2024 race, he wrote. Mr. Biden would be 82 at the start of a second term, and 86 when he left office.
Recent polls have found that most voters think that he is too old to serve another term successfully. A recent Associated Press-NROC poll that showed that 77% of Americans believe Mr. Biden is too old to run again.
The columnist said voters would turn to Vice President Kamala Harris to replace Mr. Biden on the ballot. But Mrs. Harris has been unable to gain the significant traction that he thought she would as the first female vice president.
He cited her 39.5% approval rating average tallied by the polling website FiveThirtyEight.
Mr. Ignatius, appearing on MSNBC, admitted he didn’t know why the vice president hasn’t become a stronger candidate, calling her “a person of enormous talent.”
“I’d love for her to get that feel that politicians have with the public…to have traction, become known, become a familiar person, somebody who’s a plausible leader, a plausible president,” Mr. Ignatius said. “I think that’s the challenge that she’s faced.”
In his column, he said Mr. Biden should have “resisted” choosing Mrs. Harris as his running mate in the 2020 election and instead should have considered Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who was at the time a House lawmaker.
Mr. Biden, “has never been good at saying no,” Mr Ignatius wrote.
Mr. Ignatius said Mr. Biden “should’ve stopped” his son, Hunter Biden, from joining the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, and he “certainly should have resisted Hunter’s attempts to impress clients by getting Dad on the phone.”
House Republicans this week launched an impeachment inquiry into allegations Mr. Biden used the power of the vice presidency to help his family pocket millions from foreign business deals. At the center of the probe are Mr. Biden’s efforts while vice president to oust Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma. The impeachment is also focused on witness testimony that Mr. Biden phoned in to Hunter Biden’s business meetings and sat in on several of them.
“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,” he wrote.
He admitted that there’s no clear person to take Mr. Biden’s spot on the ballot and that the only way to get him to step aside is to convince him that Trump is “truly vanquished.”
Mr. Biden has given no indication he plans to drop out.
Those close to Mr. Biden say that his “political mission” is to beat Mr. Trump out of the presidency, which he did in 2020.
“I hope Biden has this conversation with himself about whether to run and that he levels with the country about it,” Mr. Ignatius said. “It would focus the 2024 campaign. 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 Democratic nominee today.”
• Mallory Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.