I watched Mort Kondracke’s “Democracy in Peril” forum on Folio Tuesday night, and noted some refreshing cold water dispensed by one guest, the admirable Seattle resident and MSNBC pundit Gen. Barry McCaffrey. He observed, after saying how much he admired Joe Biden as a person and the professionalism of his administration, that 1) Joe is too old, 2) that if he runs in 2024 he’ll lose badly, 3) same for Kamala Harris. That said, McCaffrey advised 4) Democratic presidential aspirants to get started right now, testing their appeal and messages. As for the lame-duck argument, McCaffrey noted that 5) a sitting president has all sorts of powers at hand, so “lameness” is a misnomer. Besides, 6) Biden is already widely perceived by the public (not the pundits) to be a lame duck.
Thanks, I needed that. More folks need to have the courage to remark on the emperor’s garb.
Right on cue, pundits nominated such a prospect, John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who won the Democratic nomination for Senator, running to the left of cautious moderate Conor Lamb, by 59 percent to 26 percent. Lt. Gov. Fetterman oozes blue-collar appeal, even sporting tattoos and shorts!
Maybe Fetterman, a novice in national politics, will have the chutzpah to break the taboo and say he’s actively considering a presidential run? That would free up others to say, kinda-sorta, that they too have the presidential bug. And others need to confess that for Democrats to hold out hope of a Biden-Harris (or Harris-??) victory in 2024 is delusional. Democrats need to have fresh faces, on the young side, with light baggage. And voters need time to test-drive them.
As it is, we’ll probably have Biden decline to run in early 2024, followed by a crazy, divisive, risky scramble to find Anyone But Kamala. Not the way to defeat Trump or a Trumpkin. (Note that I never mentioned Jay Inslee.)