Former Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly signaled that he would serve just one term as president if he is elected in 2020 — a move that is likely meant to allay concerns about his age.
Four people who regularly speak with Biden, including close campaign advisers, have said it is unlikely the 77-year-old would run for reelection in 2024 should he take the White House in 2020, according to a new report from Politico.
“If Biden is elected, he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection,” one prominent campaign adviser said.
The same adviser added that the single-term strategy essentially makes Biden “a good transition figure,” a potentiality which will place greater emphasis on picking a strong running mate that adds diversity to the ticket.
“He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years but if that’s not possible or doesn’t happen then I’ll run for re-election.’ But he’s not going to publicly make a one term pledge,” said another top Biden adviser.
Multiple advisers told Politico that any potential Democratic running mate would likely be significantly younger than Biden and would likely not be a white male. The latter qualification may be taken under consideration in the hope of attracting more young voters and those from different sociocultural demographics.
Last week, during a campaign appearance in Iowa, a voter accused Biden of being too old to run for the presidency, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr. Biden responded to the man by challenging him to a push-up contest.
“You’re too old to vote for me!” Biden then told him.
Biden has repeatedly faced calls from critics to take a single-term pledge, encountering these from the moment he announced his run for the White House in April. However, he has publicly resisted the notion, telling one adviser that it was a “nonstarter.” Biden referred to the notion as a “gimmick,” according to the Politico report.
During an October interview with the Associated Press, Biden said he wouldn’t limit himself to just one term in the Oval Office but also that he wasn’t entirely committed to running again in 2024, either.
“I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you’ll see. It doesn’t mean I would run a second term. I’m not going to make that judgment at this moment,” the former vice president said.
One campaign adviser told Politico that Biden could always take the one-term pledge and later reverse the decision, provided that he’s healthy and Democrats want him to be their candidate in 2024. However, others, including John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, say Biden taking such a pledge calls attention to a weakness during the election cycle and disempowers a potential presidency by limiting himself to just four years.
Biden is the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, according to recent poll averages compiled by RealClearPolitics. Biden currently leads Bernie Sanders by more than 10 points nationwide, but he is polling lower in some early voting states.