Imagining a Winning Ploy for the Democrats for 2024
In a logical world, the Democratic Party in the US really would have been expected to have an easy win in the 2024 presidential election. After all, the likely Republican candidate is a former president who was defeated at the polls, and who is an inarticulate, capricious, semi-literate, untruthful narcissist who, it seems, with increasing probability, has also had a long criminal career, though the final disposition of his 91 indictments remains to be seen.
The Democrats currently occupy the White House, and the incumbent has had some tangible legislative success during his first term. But the Democrats sometimes seem to have a particular talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. To this end, they currently are deeply riven. One faction (the “don’t rock the boat” faction) is determined that the low-risk path is to go with the incumbent, Joe Biden, as their candidate for president, while the other faction is terrified of the incumbent being seen as too old and a bit enfeebled, which they fear will scare off the undecided vote, and desperately hope that Biden will step aside and make room for a younger candidate. Ironically, the presumptive Republican challenger is only three and a half years younger.
The Republicans, and especially the more extreme wing of that party, focus on every slip Biden makes while speaking as evidence of extensive cognitive decline, which is a bit disingenuous, as the entire political class in Washington knows that Biden, as a young man, had a massive speech impediment, and has had to work all his life to overcome it. Most of his errors of speech, but likely not all, can be attributed to the need to continue this type of focussed effort while speaking, which can sometimes distract the speaker momentarily from content.
But one can imagine an innovative ploy which would easily re-unite the factions within the Democrats and set the stage for a massive win. It goes like this: One morning, President Biden gets up and announces that he will make an important statement later that day. The statement might read something like this:
“Fellow Americans, I am intensely interested in continuing to work on all the important initiatives that my administration has launched, and I have no interest in retiring. However, at my age, the idea of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has a diminishing appeal. 12 hours for 6 days a week would suit me better at my stage of life. So, to that end, I wish to announce that I am prepared to stand as the vice-presidential candidate on the Democratic Party ticket for 2024, and the party should, in the coming months, find a suitable candidate to nominate for president. I’ve been vice president before, but I expect that a vice president who has previously been president would be even more useful to someone assuming the presidency for the first time. Furthermore, my prior experience in the legislative branch will continue to assist me in being effective in the particular interactions with the legislative branch expected of a vice president. Rest assured that there will be continuity, and I will remain very much involved in critical decision-making processes.”
Such a step would satisfy both the Biden loyalists and the “it’s time for a younger generation” crowd. Plus, while entirely constitutional, it is so novel that it is likely to attract large numbers of the disaffected who are fatigued with the current somewhat grubby US political scene.
Furthermore, a VP with experience as POTUS would clearly have more influence than the VP would normally have and might go a long way to re-invigorate an elected office often viewed in the US as vestigial.
It would also make Biden unique in US history, which might well have some appeal to him in terms of leaving a unique and notable legacy.
So, here’s hoping that some friend of Joe Biden will have a chat with him about just how exciting and remarkable such a choice could be and how he would then go down in history as both an innovator and an especially astute tactician.
Header image: via @mymixtapez