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Not Even The New York Times Wants Biden to Run Again

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Now that he's delivered his Tuesday night State of the Union address, President Joe Biden is expected to soon announce his reelection plans for 2024. The 80-year-old president has some detractors, though, including from fellow Democrats, as polls show, and allies in the mainstream media. On February 6, the eve of the address, The New York Times published Michelle Goldberg's opinion piece, "Biden's a Great President. He Should Not Run Again."


Goldberg's piece reads like a true Democratic sycophant – this is The New York Times, after all – as she highlights Biden's supposed successes and bashes "the MAGA movement." In a way, though, that makes Goldberg's concerns even more worthwhile.

His age does play a big factor, and Biden doesn't exactly come off as a young 80. It's actually stunning how in-tune Goldberg is with such a concern:

The arguments for sticking with Biden are not trivial. In addition to his successful record, he has the benefit of incumbency. Primaries are expensive, exhausting, bruising affairs. If only Biden were just a few years younger, it would not be worth the Democratic Party enduring one.

But it’s hard to ignore the toll of Biden’s years, no matter how hard elected Democrats try. In some ways, the more sympathetic you are to Biden, the harder it can be to watch him stumble over his words, a tendency that can’t be entirely explained by his stutter. [Sarah] Longwell said Democrats in her focus group talked about holding their breath every time he speaks. And while Biden was able to campaign virtually in 2020, in 2024 we will almost certainly be back to a grueling real-world campaign schedule, which he would have to power through while running the country. It’s a herculean task for a 60-year-old and a near impossible one for an octogenarian.


While former and potentially future President Donald Trump himself is 78 years old, Goldberg seems doubtful that he'll be the Republican nominee. In that case, it would be someone younger, and much younger if that someone is Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the candidate that Democrats are really worried about, as Guy highlighted

As Goldberg pointed out in her piece, "chances are good that Biden's competitor will be someone much younger, like Ron DeSantis, who will be 46 in 2024," and she went on to acknowledge the reality of what the country will be like in 2024. "Barring some radical shift in the national mood, the candidates will be vying for leadership of a deeply dissatisfied country desperate for change. For Democrats, the visual contrast alone could be devastating," she admits. 

Goldberg closes her piece in part by pointing to some other names, and Vice President Kamala Harris isn't exactly among them. Guy also addressed how that same day, the outlet published a deep dive report highlighting concerns with Harris as the nominee. In this case, Goldberg seems to actually welcome a primary. 

This time, given all the successes Goldberg believes Biden has to tout, it would actually be a sign of strength to not run again. "He'll cement it if he has the uncommon wisdom to know when the time has come for a valediction, not a relaunch," she ends her piece. 


Monday's opinion piece isn't the only time that Goldberg or the outlet has expressed concerns about Biden. Goldberg last July wrote, "Joe Biden Is Too Old to Be President Again." That opinion piece came not long after The New York Times published at least two other pieces highlighting concerns with Biden running in 2024, and in their news section no less. 

Goldberg's op-ed was featured in the Wednesday morning edition of RealClearPolitics. 

Despite what a normally friendly mainstream media and Democratic voters may think, there are those fully on board with what is likely to be Biden's reelection campaign. 

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who previously served as the House Majority Whip and is currently the House Assistant Democratic Leader, spoke to CNN on Wednesday morning about the address and what it means for 2024. With a laugh, Clyburn responded, "I think so, and I certainly hope so," when asked if Tuesday night was "the beginning of Biden's run for 2024." 

'"Let's finish the job,'" Clyburn offered, referencing a line from Biden's address, before going on to say, "I think that was a great refrain, and I do believe he's led a tremendous foundation for doing that, and I think the American people will respond very positively." 


Again, though, the polls suggest otherwise. 

Clyburn is himself 82 years old and is largely credited with Biden winning the South Carolina primary in March 2020, as well as the Democratic nomination. 

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