Politico reported on Wednesday that Democratic candidate Joe Biden has signaled to aides that he would only serve one term if elected president. Biden would already be the oldest president ever elected if he wins the presidential election in 2020.
According to the report, Biden's age has become a pressing concern in elite Democratic circles as the candidate has solidified his standing in the Democratic primary. Anonymous sources who regularly talk to the candidate told Politico that it is virtually inconceivable Biden would run for reelection in 2024 as the first octogenarian president.
The report cites an anonymous advisor who argues that Biden could mollify younger voters on the left by presenting his presidency as a transitional figure to the next generation of Democrats.
“If Biden is elected,” a prominent adviser to the campaign said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”
By signaling that he will serve just one term and choosing a running mate and Cabinet that is young and diverse, Biden could offer himself to the Democratic primary electorate as the candidate best suited to defeat Trump as well as the candidate who can usher into power the party’s fresh faces.
“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser said. “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.”
Another top Biden adviser put it this way: “He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years but if that’s not possible or doesn’t happen then I’ll run for reelection.’ But he’s not going to publicly make a one term pledge.”
Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz and deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield both tweeted denials that Biden or the campaign had been mulling the idea of a one-term presidency.
Not sure what orbit of advisors reporters talk to, but count me with @KBeds, this is not a conversation we are having among people who actually are running the campaign. Also - hope everyone is seeing all the endorsements coming out for @JoeBiden https://t.co/0i2CtE1MVp— Greg Schultz ?? (@schultzohio) December 11, 2019
Regardless, Biden's age is still a concern in the minds of many voters. The issue of Biden's age was called into question after the candidate lost his train of thought mid-sentence during the presidential debate in September. The candidate's increasing number of gaffes has also fueled reports that call into question the candidate's age and fitness for the highest political office in the land.