Opinion

SHEFFIELD: Democrats Are Better Off Ditching Biden Before 2024

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Carrie Sheffield Contributor
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Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that Democrats should replace Biden as their nominee in the 2024 presidential election. You can find a counterpoint here, where FreedomWorks’ Kilian Laverty argues that Democrats can’t afford to ditch Biden.

If Democrats were smart heading into 2024, they’d encourage President Biden to step down and instead put up an actual, moderate candidate to take his place.

You see, Biden defeated Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary (with lots of help from Big Tech and Big Business) because Biden was supposed to be the grownup in the room, the Establishment darling, the anti-socialist firewall. 

Instead, Biden has turned out to be an incompetent, weak, pushed-around Trojan Horse, the vessel for some of the hardest left policies imaginable. On the campaign trail, Biden promised he didn’t support defunding the police, but in office he’s pushed to do just that. During the campaign, Biden said he’d restore America’s “soul” but instead he and his pals divided us further by race, sexual orientation and gender. Biden said he’d help the most vulnerable among us, but he’s thrown open the southern border to opioids and weapons that have decimated U.S. citizens, including inner cities ravaged by crime and poverty. He promised us financial prosperity, but instead people report they are falling further behind economically than when Biden took office. 

Biden also brings significant family baggage that is now his own. A shocking 67% of registered voters said they believe Hunter Biden selling access to his father is an impeachable offense for President Biden if he was complicit in it, according to polling released last week by Harvard University’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris, a firm run by Democrat Mark Penn. 

“Biden has a big liability with Hunter Biden’s business revelations,” Penn, who worked for former President Bill Clinton, wrote Wednesday in an emailed analysis of his monthly polling. “The laptop is seen as genuine (58%), the majority thinks Biden was part of Hunter’s business interests (58%) and that Hunter sold influence and access to Joe Biden (60%). If these are found to be true, 67% believe they are an impeachable offense for Biden.”

Some observers believe Hillary Clinton is mounting a high-profile comeback campaign – stepping into the Met Gala glitz and scaremongering about Roe v. Wade – waiting in the wings to step in for Biden. But of course, she’d bring heavy family baggage of her own.

My colleague Dave Spencer at Practically Political told me he thinks Biden stepping aside would liberate him rather than making him a lame duck. It’s an intriguing idea: without the constraints of hard-left primary reelection prospects, Biden could be the president he would have been in his younger days. This was the man who for decades supported the Hyde Amendment, which banned public funding for abortion. Biden was the man in 1982 who supported a constitutional amendment to give individual states the right to overturn Roe v. Wade and make state-based decisions about abortion policy. Biden was also the man who opposed a tax credit for rich families to pay for child care and previously rejected the idea of a confiscatory wealth tax.

Spencer, the great-nephew of Nelson Rockefeller, said he voted for Biden but would prefer to see Biden step down for a Democrat from a more conservative state like Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky or Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina.

As a conservative, I won’t be voting for any Democratic Biden replacement, but I’d much rather see a more reasonable Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick or New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in the White House over the bumbling, rudderless Biden. Given Biden’s pervasive, embarrassing gaffes and mental freezes, it’s no wonder that a poll on the eve of Biden’s State of the Union by ABC News/The Washington Post found that 54% of Americans didn’t believe Biden has the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president.” Politico/Morning Consult polling last fall found similar results.

Heading into 2024, I will be pushing hard for the most viable, conservative candidate to win, and that certainly won’t be Biden or any possible Democrat replacement. But for the sake of our $30 trillion-indebted country, any more centrist Democrat would be a competent alternative to Biden.

Carrie Sheffield is the Tony Blankley Fellow for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism at The Steamboat Institute and co-host of the Practically Political podcast.