Needed: A Fresh Face Atop the 2024 Democratic Ticket


John Fetterman (Photo: Kris Krüg/PopTech-under CC license)

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.)

David Brewster
David Brewster
David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.


  1. David, You and McCaffrey are SPOT ON………….
    Your comments give me hope in the process as acknowledgement of this administration’s failures can’t be covered up.
    Especially agree on Inslee and would add Clinton.

  2. There is not a scintilla of doubt that the Democrats need a fresh face in 2024.

    Someone, perhaps, who may remind us of Michael Douglas in the American President.

    Face it, Biden won in 2020 almost only because his name was not Donald Trump.
    I would have voted for an orangutan if the ape had a ‘D’ after its name.

  3. Uh, while I think Fetterman is an intriguing candidate with some potential to punch through the Democratic Party’s growing “educated cosmo cultural elite” branding problem, isn’t it a little premature to anoint him the future of the party and tout him as our ideal presidential standard bearer? Seems to me we might want to wait to see how he does in November before dialing up the hype machine to eleven.

    • I agree that Fetterman has clay feet and Democrats certainly need to have a better presidential candidate. But Fetterman may have enough chutzpah to break up the conventional wisdom that Biden should run again in 2024, and he would certainly be mediagenic (until he’s not).

  4. Sadly, I agree. At our house we talk about this daily. I try to find someone on the horizon who inspires me with authenticity, acumen and a compass for decency. Someone who evokes what Zelensky does on the world stage.

  5. Watch the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election between Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke, who came close to defeating Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate. If he upsets the incumbent all eyes will be on Texas.

  6. As someone who supported Biden when he first ran for President, I have been waiting for the chance to offer my thoughts on this question.
    President Biden should not run again. Whether he could win is problematic. Too many “unknowns.” Against Trump, anything is possible, but only with a different Vice-President nominee.
    I am very disappointed. Where did my “Scranton Joe” go? He took a moon shot on overly progressive programs and the rocket didn’t get off the launching pad. Why he gambled like this is uncharacteristic of the man.
    My disappointments are several, (1) Afghanistan, (2) The “border,” and (3) Build Back Better, especially.
    There was no reason to leave Afghanistan. And to pull out the US military first? The last guys out should be the guys with the guns. There was no reason for the Afghan Army to stand and fight. I too would have shed my uniform and left for the border.
    The border. Why did he immediately abandoned Trump’s polices. Trump, yes. But the policies? Maybe, over time. Slow as you go. But overnight?
    “Build Back Better?” With Joe Manchin already on the record as to what he would support. 100 Senators means 100 Presidents.
    Having vented on these issues, he will be remembered for NATO and Ukraine. As former Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he still gets it. Russia – Putin- is the biggest danger. Throw in China because we opened the door with George Bush’s insanity on Iraq. And then Afghanistan. While we were wasting trillions, Bush opened the door to Russia and China and now Biden is trying to hold them off.
    So yes, time for Joe to go. But the Democrat bench is so very thin.
    Thank you President Biden for your bi-partisan approach to Foreign Affairs. And why you left “Scranton Joe” behind, I will never understand.

  7. Maybe someone could explain, what the deal is with Biden immigration policy.

    I am aware that much of it is simply lies; these days that’s just how we roll. The Wide Open Border – it’s bad that US citizens believe this, perhaps worse that Central Americans and Haitians do (until they get there.)

    But is there real cause for dissatisfaction? Trump was better? Do people want The Wall, seriously? Or is it just pure fabrication?

  8. I want to say “Amen,” but then I read about how the Biden administration has been “professional?….”

    The Democrats are a spent force, captured by the identity politics and Marxism of the looney left. As Bill Maher, who I am not normally a fan of, has said “they have gone mental and no one calls them out on it.” (apologies if I didn’t get the exact wording.)

    The Democrat party needs a long sojourn in the wilderness (the Biblical kind,) to do some self examination. I doubt that will happen. They are too much in thrall to the AOC wing. Open borders, endless money printing, all of it….am I the only one who feels a reckoning coming?

    Too bad most of the Repubs are just as bad if not worse.

  9. Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky is more than a mere fresh face. A former State Attorney General, he followed in the footsteps of his father, also a Gov, of the Bluegrass State. One of his strengths, politically, is that not only is he NOT from the Ivy League, he is from Mason Dixon Country–patently not one of the coasts–and he won, narrowly, in the state that produces Mitch McConnell and the wacky Rand Paul.

    He is attractive–in all aspects, intelligence, articulate, a governor, and dare I say handsome. A Beshear candidacy will draw cries of betrayal from the Jayapal crowd who will continue to believe that the path to the White House is to ignore rural and middle-America.

    Oh well, it’s worth a try. Go Andy.

    • I’d prefer not to continue to placate the whole Mason-Dixon racist imagery by giving points to a retrograde region. Andy may be a nice guy but points to a candidate because he or she is from trom The South is a loser for me.


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