David Axelrod, a senior Obama adviser, is just one of dozens of Democrat officials, elected politicians, and voters who voiced their frustration and doubts about President Joe Biden’s potential second term.
In interviews with nearly 50 Democratic officials and disappointed voters, the New York Times found plenty of people willing to vent their frustration over Biden’s inability to advance key parts of his agenda and increasingly view him as weight that must be cut if they hope to succeed in 2024.
One of those people was former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who said, “The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue.”
Age was a deep concern to nearly all Democrats interviewed by The Times. Biden will be 82 by the time a winner is announced in 2024. Despite this, he has repeatedly insisted he will run again in 2024. Following his intention, there has been little internal discussion of who might take his place should he back down.
Howard Dean, the 73-year-old former Vermont governor and DNC chairman, has been calling for a new generation of leaders to step up for years. “The generation after me is just a complete trash heap,” he said, adding that he voted for Pete Buttigieg in 2020.
Many Democrat voters who were interviewed feel the same. Alex Wyshyvanuk, 33 from Maryland, said he wouldn’t be enthusiastic to vote for Biden again.
“I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person. Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024.”
Overall, the general sentiment for Democrats is one of anxiety and fear for the future.