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Tipsheet

Dems Once More in Disarray, as NYT Reports Biden 'Irked' By Party Members Questioning His Plans for 2024

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Yet another report, from what would normally be considered a friendly outlet, has bad news for the Biden White House. On Monday, The New York Times reported that "Biden Irked by Democrats Who Won’t Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer on 2024." This comes less than a month after NBC News had published a report claiming that Biden was "rattled" by his low approval ratings, and mere weeks after another report from The New York Times indicated growing dissatisfaction within the president's own party about his intentions to run again. 

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As this piece began early on:

Mr. Biden has been eager for signs of loyalty — and they have been few and far between. Facing intensifying skepticism about his capacity to run for re-election when he will be nearly 82, the president and his top aides have been stung by the questions about his plans, irritated at what they see as a lack of respect from their party and the press, and determined to tamp down suggestions that he’s effectively a lame duck a year and a half into his administration.

...

This account of Mr. Biden’s preparation for re-election and his building frustration with his party’s doubt is based on interviews with numerous people who talk regularly to the president. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. But several said the president and his inner circle were confounded by Democrats’ discussions about a Plan B when the one person who has defeated Donald J. Trump has made clear he intends to run again.

While the report says it spoke to many "on the condition of anonymity," those Democrats mentioned by name who appear to not be as all in as they could be include Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). He did not indicate whether he would consider a presidential run against Biden or if he planned to back him. 

"We’re just trying to do our daily thing, brother," Sen. Manchin is quoted as saying. "Trying to do what we got to do that’s good for the country."

Even Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is mentioned, as he wouldn't say if he expected Biden to run again or not. Schumer responded "If he runs, I’m for him," and reportedly repeated that same line when asked if he thought Biden would do so. 

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Another point mentioned in this most recent report and the one from earlier this month is when Biden will formally act on his intentions to run for re-election:

What Mr. Biden will not do, aides say, is quiet the critics by filing his paperwork to run in 2024 before this year’s midterm elections, a step being considered by Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden’s advisers feel the move would suggest panic and create a significant fund-raising burden two years before the campaign. Should the midterms go poorly, however, the president may feel pressure to formalize his intentions sooner than what they see as the modern standard — former President Barack Obama’s April 2011 declaration.

For now, the president is relying on personal diplomacy, as he did with Mr. Sanders, the Vermont independent, and the power of the presidency, to ward off would-be competitors.

There are also those cited who speak to their issues about fellow Democrats not being entirely on board with the nation's oldest president running again:

Other interviews with Democratic lawmakers yield grave doubts about whether Mr. Biden ought to lead the party again with some concluding he should but only because there’s no clearly viable alternative.

“I have been surprised at the number of people who are openly expressing concerns about 2024 and whether or not Biden should run,” said Representative Adam Smith of Washington, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, recounting a recent dinner of Democrats in the capital where several speculated about who could succeed the president.

More worrisome for Mr. Biden, some ambitious Democrats have found that calling for the president to retire is a sure way to win attention. Former Representative Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, who’s hoping to unseat Gov. Henry McMaster, 75, said the president should cede the nomination “to a new generation of leadership,” as he put it on CNN last week.

In some respects, Mr. Biden invited this moment. Running in the 2020 primary, the president presented himself as “a bridge, not as anything else” as he sought to rally skeptical Democrats to his candidacy. Consumed with ejecting Mr. Trump from office, the party’s voters answered that call but thought little of the implications of having an octogenarian in the Oval Office four years on.

Now, over half of Democrats say they don’t want Mr. Biden to run again or aren’t sure he should, according to recent surveys.

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It's worth including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as well in the discussion, whom the report does not mention. The squad member would not definitively say when asked on CNN's "State of the Union" earlier this month if she would endorse Biden running again in 2024. 

"Should he run again, I think that we’ll take a look at it," the congresswoman respond, as she also laughed while host Dana Bash continued to press her. 

Beyond what fellow Democrats are saying privately or on record, are the polls indicating that voters, including Democratic voters and those who voted for Biden in 2020, do not want him running again, or at least aren't entirely enthusiastic about it. 

The New York Times referenced a Yahoo! News/YouGov survey conducted June 10-13 which found that nearly two-thirds of respondents, at 64 percent, thought Biden should not run again. This included a plurality of Biden voters from 2020, at 40 percent.

Earlier this month, citing multiple polls, FiveThirtyEight in a June 3 edition of Pollapalooza noted that "Americans Are Unusually Lukewarm About A Second Biden Term."

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