And So it Begins … Washington Post’s David Ignatius Calls on Joe Biden to Not Run in 2024
White House staffers may very well be saying out loud, “Et tu, David Ignatius?” after the Washington Post columnist openly called for President Joe Biden not to run for reelection in 2024 in a Wednesday morning column.
There can be no question about the intent of his opinion, as it is clearly titled “President Biden should not run again in 2024,” but opens with a laundry list of Biden’s accomplishments and successes in his first term. Perhaps most damning is the nuanced and nearly loving tone Ignatius takes, almost as if he’s a loving son giving tough news to a cherished parent that they are no longer able to drive a car.
But that’s clearly an encouraging setup to soften the “painful” blow in which he makes clear that Biden, AND notably, Vice President Kamala Harris, should not run for reelection. The money part of his column:
But 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.
Biden wrote his political testament in his inaugural address: “When our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.” Mr. President, maybe this is that moment when duty has been served.
Biden would carry two big liabilities into a 2024 campaign. He would be 82 when he began a second term. According to a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, 77 percent of the public, including 69 percent of Democrats, think he’s too old to be effective for four more years. Biden’s age isn’t just a Fox News trope; it’s been the subject of dinner-table conversations across America this summer.
Ignatius explains why he is also cool on Vice President Harris, citing recent polling that shows her “less popular than Biden,” adding, “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.”
In his piece, Ignatius suggests strategies for moving forward within the Democratic party in a solution-oriented piece that, given Ignatius’s enormous respect and standing within the established political media ecosystem, will be difficult for the White House and Democratic leaders to ignore.
Ignatius checks many boxes when it comes to left-of-center bona fides: Washington Post contributor? Check. Morning Joe contributor? Aye. Born near the green grasses of Harvard University? Yup.
As I have written before, Biden’s age is an issue, and there is a manner in which people can discuss it that is not ageist. Kudos to David Ignatius for threading a very narrow needle with nuance, respect and courage to say the thing out loud that many, if not most, on the left, are already thinking.
Read the entire column here.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.