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OPINION
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Is This the Democrats' 2024 Pick?

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Twitter/@TheDemocrats

I suspected this would happen sometime after the anticipated bloodbath at this November's midterm elections, but Democrats are already saying out loud what every normal American already knows: That they've got to find someone else to run for president in 2024. 

Long-time Democrat strategist Steven Isenberg was none-too-subtle in this weekend's Washington Post with the headline: "Quit, Joe, Quit! Biden could save the midterms with a one-term pledge."

Isenberg is not quite as aggressive in the column as the headline suggests, but the message is clear. He wants Biden out, now, so Democrats running in the midterms can remove themselves from his horrible record and unpopularity. 

Isenberg also does what one must around the narcissist-in-chief... he appeals to his considerable ego. 

He would bolster this agenda, and silence the unnecessary polling questions and their unsettling results, which sap his hold on voters' patience and confidence, by making a one-term decision and announcement before the midterms.

Why not direct all Biden’s strength to moving public opinion and Congress toward comity and achievement over the next two years? Biden stands a better chance of a favorable congressional result for the Democrats in November’s election, and of being able to pass legislation during the rest of his term, if the focus is on the House and Senate candidates and their positions on the issues. His age, and his presidency, would be greatly reduced as an issue this fall.

In a strange way, the column comes off with an "Actually... Biden's a great president, and because he's so great, he should announce he's only running for one term because that's what truly great presidents do" sort of message. 

He isn't fooling anyone, though. 

Meanwhile, over at The Atlantic, journo Mark Leibovich makes a strong case for why Biden shouldn't run with the subtle-as-an-elephant's attitude headline: "Why Biden Shouldn't Run in 2024"

Leibovich focuses most of his analysis on the obvious fact that Biden is not fit for office. Or... well... he won't be fit (wink, wink): 

There is nothing like the U.S. presidency to accelerate the aging process. This has been well documented, usually in those side-by-side photos of spry incoming presidents seen next to dramatically older-looking versions of themselves upon departure. Yet Biden keeps insisting that he will run again. The White House reaffirmed as much on Monday night via a tweet from the president’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre. “To be clear, as the President has said repeatedly, he plans to run in 2024,” she wrote. It was an instant classic in the genre of political statements that raise far more questions than the one they were supposedly meant to answer.

Luckily, the message came equipped with everyone’s favorite political qualifier—“plans to.” Plans, after all, can change. In this case, the sooner the better.

Stepping aside would permit Biden to shed the demands of being a disciplined candidate (never his strong suit). It would be immediately liberating, allowing the president to focus on what he’s extremely well suited to: being a familiar mensch and champion and consoler to a country in dire need of one. He could off-load all of the burdens and suspicions that come with electoral ambitions. Nothing buys goodwill for a politician like self-removal from consideration.

"It all feels impolite to point this out—disrespectful, ageist, and taboo, especially given the gross Republican smears about Biden being a doddering and demented old puppet,'" Leibovich tut-tuts... but, he's right... and so are Republicans. 

Not only will he be too old in 2024, but he's too old in 2022. 

After the House Democrats are spanked this November like the insolent brats they are, the pressure will be nearly insurmountable for Biden to step aside. 

So, who benefits? Who's in the best position to pick up the presidential mantle and win the day for Democrats?

Conventional wisdom would tell you that it's really between Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to sweep in and continue Biden's agenda. 

But, you didn't join our VIP family to hear conventional wisdom... I'll go out on a limb and tell you who I think has the inside track for the Democrats in 2024. 

It brings me no joy to say it, but right now, Governor Gavin Newsom in California is doing it all right, from a Democrat's perspective, that is. 

He's an outsider not tied to the disaster that is the Biden Administration, and unlike Kamala and Pete, he can run against the policies that even Democrats agree are harming our country. Harris and Buttigieg will be a lot like 1968's Hubert Humphrey. 

After Lyndon Johnson decided he wouldn't run for re-election in 1968 because he was so unpopular (even though he was actually more popular than Biden is now, if you can believe it), Humphrey, Johnson's Vice President, couldn't politically run in opposition of the sitting president, so he was forced into a no-win situation. 

Robert Kennedy primaried Humphrey, and if not for the evil work of Sirhan Sirhan, he would've been the nominee. Instead, it fell to Humphrey, who had no way of running on his own ideas and was married to Johnson's failures. 

So it will be for Kamala and Pete. 

Newsom, on the other hand, has tons of money, huge support from Hollywood, and a craven political appetite with no shame. He's been a disaster for the Golden State, but he runs virtually unopposed in the one-party bastion. 

The bonus factor of his shamelessness has allowed him to posture in the most obvious manner and let the party power-center in Washington know that he's ready to run and will be organized, funded and ready the moment Biden calls it quits. 

In fact, look for Newsom to begin his maneuvers immediately after election day. 

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