Democrats have privately cast doubt on Joe Biden’s pledge that he will run again in 2024, suggesting the US president “needs time” to accept the inevitable and bow out.
he White House, and Mr Biden himself, have repeatedly maintained that he intends to seek re-election, which, if successful, would mean him being in office until he is 86.
However, one Democrat figure, who has worked with Mr Biden, said: “I don’t think he should run again. There’s serious growing concern [among Democrats]. A lot of people will point to the dismal polls, but many want to give the president some time to come to the right conclusion on his own.
“I think we’re going to see those voices grow louder for new leadership heading into 2024. His role, which he has executed admirably, was as a transition from the tragic Trump presidency.”
Mr Biden (79) won the presidency amid massively scaled-back campaigning during the pandemic, and some Democrats fear he would not fare as well in a much more arduous election next time.
Amid concerns over his age, one personal friend, who has known him for decades, recently told The Telegraph: “His clutch has slipped a little. He has the energy people have at that age.”
In an annual health assessment last week, the White House physician revealed that, while healthy and fit for duty, Mr Biden has “significant spinal arthritis,” and his “ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year ago.”
He is also suffering from an “increasing frequency and severity of throat clearing”.
Mr Biden’s poll ratings have plummeted due to a series of policy failures including the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, inflation and internal Democrat bickering over his domestic tax and spending plans.
His approval rating has fallen by more than a dozen percentage points and is now in the low 40s.
If he does run again, the prospect of him being challenged for the party nomination by another Democrat seems remote.
It is thought more probable that Mr Biden would seek re-election if Donald Trump runs.
In a further signal that Mr Trump will do so, it emerged his team has begun strategising for 2024. (© Telegraph Media Group 2021)
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