Why Biden shouldn’t run again — and should tell us that now


Whatever ups and downs I feel about Joe Biden, I will never stop being grateful that he defeated Donald Trump in 2020.

I have been feeling for quite a while that Biden should not seek a second term as president. His age would be reason enough. His low approval ratings would be a strong additional argument. But conventional wisdom always held that, even if Biden realizes this and doesn’t plan on a 2024, he should postpone saying so, in order to avoid lame-duck status any sooner than he must.

But, in an op-ed this week for the Washington Post, Steven L. Isenberg argues exactly the opposite and I find him fairly persuasive. Isenberg is a former newspaper publisher and former chief of staff to New York Mayor John V. Lindsay. His first paragraph bluntly suggests:

“President Biden should announce now that he will not run for reelection in 2024. He should not ask the Democratic Party, or the nation, to assume the risk of a second four-year term that would begin after he reached the age of 82.”

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But the argument goes a bit further and that is its real strength. Biden should do this right away, so Democrats running the midterms will be less tied to a future under the now-struggling Biden.

But there’s more to the suggestion. Once he announces his plans not to run again, Biden can set aside any need to think about how what he says and does will affect his chances for a second term. 

It’s a short piece. He makes several additional arguments for the idea. I don’t know if you can get to it without a Washington Post subscription but you try via this link. But if you can’t, you think of your own list of pros and cons to Biden declaring himself a lame duck.


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