The White House is now countering rumors about Biden’s future political career amid worries over his age and whether or not VP Kamala Harris is a good successor.
“That is his intention,” White House media secretary Jen Psaki said to reporters this Monday when asked if President Biden would go for a second term in 2024.
Democrats and pundits had been talking about whether Biden would aim for reelection before he turned 79 recently, the oldest United States president in history. Voters have said to pollsters they are getting more worried about the president’s mental and physical health, despite his doctor last week saying that he was “fit for duty.” Dr. Kevin O’Connor did mention the severity and frequency of his “‘throat clearing’ and coughing as he speaks during engagements.”
The uncertainty around Joe Biden has heightened scrutiny of Kamala Harris, as his heir apparent. Psaki was also questioned about the VP’s role in the choice to renominate Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Harris voted against his appointment as chairman back in 2018.
“The VP is first in the room and the last in the room, and someone that the president sees as his partner, and somebody he speaks to and seeks the counsel and advice from on almost every decision,” she said. “So, certainly, she was spoken to, and this choice was discussed with her.”
Powell has spearheaded the Federal Reserve “for four years amid an especially tumultuous time in the country,” according to Psaki, mentioning the covid pandemic. She also defended the fed chairman, who will be opposed by lawmakers like Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, from criticism about his climate change positions.
Reports came up during the weekend that Joe Biden and his aides were trying to deal with concerns of allies as the president craters in popularity polls. But their efforts will stop the field for other possible candidates, like Harris or Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
“The only thing I have heard him say is he is planning on running for reelection,” former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd said to the Washington Post. “And I am glad he is.”
Author: Scott Dowdy