Advisors to Joe Biden, currently the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, say it is “virtually inconceivable” that the 77-year-old former vice president would seek a second term in 2024 if he defeats President Donald Trump in 2020.
Politico, citing four sources close to Biden, reported Wednesday that the only open question is whether the candidate will make a public pledge not to serve more than one term.
"Only serving one term ruins your political capital" is the type of thing Sanders/Warren supporters say about Biden. If you're focused on post-election day governance you're likely supporting someone else. This is about Trump https://t.co/PbiGkpa3iI— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) December 11, 2019
“If Biden is elected,” one campaign advisor told Politico, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”
The fear among his advisors is that by publicly declaring himself a one-termer, Biden is immediately a lame duck president with little political capital in the event he wins. On the other hand, his campaign is eager to assuage younger voters and those skeptical of his age and make it clear that he is merely a transitional figure for a post-Trump era.
Another impact of Biden becoming the nominee and pledging to serve only one term is that the Democratic primary will basically never end. Some Dems will continue running straight through the 2020 election aiming at 2024. https://t.co/wSesVRlYmo— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) December 11, 2019
“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” one adviser told Politico. “I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it.”
Early in the race, Biden was unequivocal on the issue, flatly declaring that he would not commit to serving just one term. More recently, however, his language on the issue seems to have softened.
If Biden promises to serve only one term if elected, whoever he picks as veep immediately becomes the presumptive 2024 nominee. But if we don't know who he's going to pick, a vote for Biden in the 2020 primaries is essentially a vote to let him choose the Dems' 2024 candidate.— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) December 11, 2019
In an October interview with the Associated Press, however, Biden refused to promise that he would serve only one term but added that he “wasn’t necessarily committed to seeking a second term if elected in 2020.”