"What Are Biden’s 2024 Chances?"


A fascinating column by Blow: Charles Blow offers a fascinating column in today's New York Times.

He's wondering about what could happen next year. The headline on the column says this:

What Are Biden’s 2024 Chances? I Asked These Democratic Campaign Veterans.

In recent weeks, Blow has spoken with "several political advisers who’ve run campaigns for Democratic presidents to get their assessments of Biden’s advantages and challenges."

Just to be clear, we're talking about people who have run successful campaigns for Democratic presidential candidates. Blow is wondering how President Biden's chances look at this point in time.

First, an observation. For ourselves, we're scared stiff about Biden's chances next year. 

We're frightened about the possibility of an event involving his physical health. We're also scared about the possibility of an event which might seem to involve his mental health/cognition.

Politely, concerns like these are euphemistically described as concerns about "age." After praising Biden's policy record, Blow turns to this matter first:

BLOW (4/13/23): Most of these political pros agreed that Biden’s age will be a significant issue to overcome—one reason they’d prefer a rematch with Donald Trump rather than a contest against a younger, first-time Republican presidential candidate who’d be able to draw a more stark generational contrast. It’s unclear how the age issue will play out, but as Kraft put it, the Republicans “are going to do this ‘Sleepy Joe’ thing to the fare-thee-well.”

We're very, very concerned about possible problems here. As he continues, Blow continues discussing Trump:

BLOW (continuing directly): The other reason Trump is the preferred opponent is that, as Francis observed, “he is damaged goods, and he’s going to be more damaged.” The consensus was that Trump’s legal problems will help him in the primaries but weaken him in the general. The consideration is simple: Among those who voted against Trump-created chaos in 2020, who would vote for Trump in 2024 after he’s sown even more chaos?

We'll go ahead and say it again. We remain very concerned about President Biden's age.

We can imagine a world in which Biden becomes very beatable. A bit later, Blow raises a surprising point of concern:

BLOW: [James Carville] raised perhaps the most interesting concern, one I wasn’t expecting: “The biggest story in my mind out of 2022 is abysmally low Black turnout.” Specifically, he said, “it’s a problem with younger Black voters.”

In the most recent midterm elections, even in places where Democrats fielded strong Black candidates against flawed Republican opponents, Carville considered Black turnout underwhelming. But he isn’t sure what’s causing this problem, or how to fix it.

I talked to Terrance Woodbury, a founding partner at the consultancy HIT Strategies, which researches Black voter sentiment. A January survey found that three-quarters of Black voters don’t believe their lives have improved since Biden became president, despite his administration’s “initiating or completing” a majority of the Black agenda, Woodbury said.

Woodbury underscored what can only be described as a glaring communications failure, particularly when it comes to young people. As he said, “It’s not that we haven’t made progress,” it’s that younger Black voters “don’t know about the progress.”

We don't think we've ever read about low turnout among black voters, and especially among younger black voters, in 2022. Blow doesn't offer any statistics, but he and Woodbury seem to agree that a problem does exist.

Woodbury says that younger black voters don't know about all the progress Biden has achieved with respect to "a majority of the Black agenda." We aren't hugely surprised to hear that. We also had no idea that Biden had accomplished some such thing, nor do we have any idea what Woodbury is talking about.

We're very scared about Biden's age. We're also concerned about this. It seems to us that the political and journalistic elites of our blue tribe are floating along on a dream concerning one lone matter:

Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail!

Other than that, what has been goin' on?

We don't have the slightest idea what Biden has done for young black people. Beyond that, we think such people have been exposed to a deeply disillusioning brand of upper-end national journalism over the past dozen years.

We seem to see the fruits of that disillusionment everywhere we look. Our loftier tribunes chase Trump around while engaging in a fraudulent-seeming performance of racial concern. 

As they do, they don't seem to have any idea of how their overall project might look, or of the degree of alienation their posturing might imaginably bring on.

Are young black voters peeling away from upper-end Democratic politics and upper-end blue tribe journalism? We don't know the answer to that, but it seems to us that it ought to be much more fully discussed.

We love the chance to praise Blow's work; we hope he returns to this topic. We expect to get specific with at least one example of the alienation to which we refer within, let's say, the next week.

We're very scared about next year. On occasion, we think we can maybe and possibly see a bad moon coming on.


  1. tl;dr
    "What Are Biden’s 2024 Chances? "

    Hmm. But do your tribal chiefs want him to run in 2024? That's far from obvious...

    ...super-easy to manage, sure. But being a laughing stock all over the world? Not to mention all that influence-peddling business, the invaluable Hunter's paintings, and so on... Sure, they may not care. But eventually it might become a problem, don't you think?..

    1. Yes, Biden is a laughingstock. Remember, February of last year, he kept predicting that Russia would invade Ukraine? Hilarious.

    2. Are you saying, dear dembot, that Ten Percent is a prophet? Or, perhaps, The Prophet?

      ...but that's even funnier. Thanks for the laughs, dear...

    3. No one could have predicted the mainstream media would fail to find a Republican voter who isn't a bigot.

    4. There is nothing illegal about taking advantage of a bunch of mouth-breathing bigots, to line your pockets.

  2. If Somerby was a true Democrat blogger he would speak positively about Biden's chances or not speak of then at all.

    1. If Somerby were a loyal American
      he would have been horrified by
      Trump’s rape of our Capitol.

    2. We love our performative horror these days, don't we?

    3. I don't think horror is performative when it results in investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of 1/6. Pearl-clutching is a Republican thing.

    4. "Pearl-clutching is a Republican thing."

      Times a gazillion.

  3. Bob clearly senses an opening in his dream of electing Trump and thus humiliating MSNBC,
    his only true passion.

  4. "We're frightened about the possibility of an event involving his physical health. We're also scared about the possibility of an event which might seem to involve his mental health."

    There is a psychological literature on cognitive changes during aging. Change is highly variable depending on the individual, their health, their medications, amount of exercise, and whether they have remained mentally active. There are also stereotypes that affect public thinking that are incorrect and unfair to people over 65. For example, studies of learning abilities of elderly people show that their ability to learn is the same as younger people's but their expectations for themselves are lower, so they tend to rely on cheat-sheets and learning aids more than is necessary out of a lack of confidence. The main impact of aging is on reaction times (speed to press a key in response to a stimulus on a screen), but these only matter in motor tasks such as driving or video game playing (also women are slower than men at all ages). We aren't talking about minutes but milliseconds.

    There are certainly impairments arising from health issues (even if not everyone elderly has them) but these show up on tests and can be diagnosed and dealt with effectively. Normal younger people use work-arounds to deal with memory and attention deficits. For example, younger forgetful people have devices to find their keys or remind them about appts. It is unlikely anything short of dementia (which is a long, slow degenerative disease) or stroke (which is now treatable with quick response) would make it difficult for Biden to do the job of president. His physician said he was capable of doing the job after his last physical.

    Further, the leadership qualities of a politician have nothing to do with aging. Decisions are being made via teams of people with expert input and do not rely solely on one guy's judgment, just as they do not for younger presidents either.

    What impairs people's cognition? Conditions like diabetes, medications with side effects, lack of sleep, alcohol use and smoking, disease like Parkinson's. Unlike Trump, Biden has made his medical records public and there are no listed causes for concern. Beyond that, combatting stereotypes, 70% of elderly over 70 are healthy, without chronic ailments.

    Somerby appears to be having some medical issues of his own. He should not impose those on Biden, whose health may be very different. I am 75 myself and have no major health issues, take no prescription medications, but I could not ride a bike the way Biden does (nor could I at 40). I do walk regularly and playing bridge at tournaments keeps me mentally active. Each older person is individual in their health. Many are no longer alive at our age, but their issues are theirs, not Biden's and not mine, and no one should assume Biden cannot run if he is doing the job well during this term, as he demonstrably has been.

  5. Health is affected by lifestyle and medical preventative care. Rich people live longer and are healthier longer than poor people. Biden is rich:

    "From the age of 50, the wealthiest men analyzed could expect another 31 healthy years of life – compared with the least well-off, who could only expect another 22 to 23 healthy years. For women, the wealthiest were projected to enjoy 33 more years of good health, compared with 24 for the poorest."

    Beyond that, how many presidents who are younger have served despite poor health? FDR, JFK, Reagan.

    Andrew Jackson: "When the 62-year-old was inaugurated, he was remarkably thin, and had just lost his wife to a heart attack. He suffered from rotting teeth, chronic headaches, failing eyesight, bleeding in his lungs, internal infection, and pain from two bullet wounds from two separate duels."

    Grover Cleveland: "When the 62-year-old was inaugurated, he was remarkably thin, and had just lost his wife to a heart attack. He suffered from rotting teeth, chronic headaches, failing eyesight, bleeding in his lungs, internal infection, and pain from two bullet wounds from two separate duels."

    William Taft: "At one point weighing over 300 pounds, Taft was obese. Through aggressive dieting, he lost nearly 100 pounds, which he continually gained and lost throughout his lifetime. Taft’s weight initiated sleep apnea, which disrupted his sleep and caused him to be tired during the day and sometimes sleep through important political meetings. Due to his excess weight, he also had high blood pressure and heart problems."

    Woodrow Wilson: "Along with hypertension, headaches, and double vision, Wilson experienced a series of strokes. These strokes affected his right hand, leaving him unable to write normally for a year. More strokes rendered Wilson blind in his left eye, paralyzing his left side and forcing him into a wheelchair. He kept his paralysis a secret. Once discovered, it instigated the 25th Amendment, which states that the vice president will take power upon the president’s death, resignation, or disability."

    Eisenhower: "The 34th president endured three major medical crises during his two terms in office: heart attack, stroke, and Crohn’s disease. Eisenhower instructed his press secretary to inform the public of his condition after his heart attack in 1955. Six months before the election of 1956, Eisenhower was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and underwent surgery, from which he recovered. One year later, the president had a mild stroke, which he was able to overcome."

    JFW: "Although this young president projected youth and vitality, he was in fact hiding a life-threatening disease. Even through his short term, Kennedy chose to keep secret his 1947 diagnosis of Addison’s disease — an incurable disorder of the adrenal glands. Due to chronic back pain and anxiety, he developed an addiction to painkillers, stimulants, and antianxiety medication."

    George H.W. Bush: "The senior George Bush almost died as a teenager from a staph infection. As a naval aviator, Bush was exposed to head and lung trauma. Throughout his lifetime, he developed several bleeding ulcers, arthritis, and various cysts. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation due to hyperthyroidism and, like his wife and family dog, was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease."

    And yet he lived until age 94, a record surpassed by Jimmy Carter who is now 98.

    And, please remember, that we have the office of Vice President so that there is continuity should a president be incapacitated or die in office.

    1. Correction:

      Grover Cleveland: "Cleveland was the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms, and suffered throughout his life with obesity, gout, and nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). When he discovered a tumor in his mouth, he underwent surgery to remove part of his jaw and hard palate. He recovered but ultimately died of a heart attack after his retirement in 1908."

    2. Correction: JFW should be JFK

    3. Ronald Reagan: "Reagan was the oldest man to seek the presidency and was considered by some to be medically unfit for the position. He struggled constantly with poor health. Reagan experienced urinary tract infections (UTIs), underwent removal of prostate stones, and developed temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) and arthritis. In 1987, he had operations for prostate and skin cancers. He also lived with Alzheimer’s disease. His wife, Nancy, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and one of his daughters died from skin cancer."

      Reagan was 77 at the end of his 2nd term and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years after leaving office.

      "The percentage of people with Alzheimer's dementia increases dramatically with age: 5.0% of people age 65 to 74, 13.1% of people age 75 to 84 and 33.2% of people age 85 or older have Alzheimer's dementia. Two thirds of people with Alzheimer's dementia are women."

      At age 85, Biden would have an 11% risk of Alzheimer's (33.2 x .33). That means he has approximately a 90% chance of not having it. That isn't a huge risk, especially given his underlying health up to this point.

      To date, Biden has (1) controlled Afib, (2) gastric reflux causing throat clearing/cough, treated by Pepcid, (3) seasonal allergies (hayfever), (4) high cholesterol treated by statin, (5) stiffness due to osteoarthritis of the spine, (6) heat/cold sensory deficit in his feet, mild peripheral neuropathy, (7) preventative excision of skin lesions, (8) he doesn't drink or smoke, his BMI is 24.7 (normal), normal blood pressure.

      Biden is arguably in much better health than Trump, even with Trump's failure to disclose any specifics about his health, due to his diet, weight, ability to exercise, and blood pressure.

    4. 10% is an enormous risk!!!!! A 1 in 10 chance the most powerful man in the world's brain will cease to function?

      You're so crazy and partisan you don't even think about what you write before you write it.

      Oh wait, I forgot. You're just trolling. Carry on.

    5. A 1 in 10 chance that his brain will gradually function worse and worse until he will die 10 years later. Early signs are subtle and not going to impair performance, even of a president. Look at Reagan. 1 in 10 is a very small chance. It would be a longshot in horse-racing. He would have a 12% chance of a heart attack (excluding adjustment for risk factors such as smoking/drinking).

      Younger presidents have those risks too. Trump has them in spades.

    6. Would you get on an airplane if there was a 1 in 10 chance it would crash into the side of a mountain?

      Not such a very small chance anymore is it, cretinous scrag?

    7. We weigh the risks against the need to live our lives. Also people are not actuarial in calculating risks, so they do stupid things, risk or not.

      In Biden's case, the best predictor of the future is the past. He has been performing fine as president and doing a good job. I will vote for him again because of that, not because of some nebulous "this could happen" or "that could happen" that most likely wouldn't materialize. If he gets sick or dies, we have a vice president. Further, that could happen to anyone elected, at any age. It happened to JFK at a young age, and it happened to Reagan at an old age (but he got lucky and survived the attempt). Age is no protection against bad luck, nor is it a guarantee that something bad would happen during Biden's second term.

      They are saying that 80 is the new 60. That reflects the ability of health care advances to keep people functioning well for longer. I would vote for a 60 year old candidate, so why not a healthy 80 year old?

      I would much rather have a president who can read and who is willing to do the work, instead of watching TV all the time and throwing hamburgers at the wall, regardless of age. It doesn't impress me that Trump cannot walk down a ramp without holding someone's hand, that he cannot play golf without driving his cart up to the tee, and that he gets red faced just walking around. He is not a healthty man and he is more likely to get Alzheimer's or die suddenly than Biden is, even if Trump is slightly younger. Health matters more than age.

    8. It's sad and strange the best Democrats can do is Biden. It sends a message that the Democratic party is not together and needs reform. Being better than Trump isn't the point.

    9. Biden is a consensus candidate. Being better than Trump is exactly the point. Whatever people's reasons for rallying behind Biden, he has performed beyond expectations and done an outstanding job. If his age were not a question, there would be greater enthusiasm for his candidacy, but I fully believe Democrats will rally behind him again, especially if Trump is nominated. He has proven that he can beat Trump.

    10. 9;10,
      Why? Because he's the most radical Left-wing President ever, per "the Others"?

  6. This over-concern for Biden's age by Somerby is ridiculous given that Trump spent four years during which he never fully did the duties of the job, made many mistakes, engaged in criminal behavior, and arguably has been the worst president ever. Compared to that Biden's age is irrelevant. For one thing, Biden can read. For another, he will not refuse daily briefings or shun hard intellectual work.

    If our country can withstand Trump, for no better reason than a series of odd events put him into office, then we can hope that a competent and effective president like Biden will be able to do a good job in a second term. Even a young candidate could have a catastrophic health incident in his 50s or 60s, so there is no way to guarantee that wouldn't happen, but Biden's vigor given his age suggests he will be more like Carter and George H.W. than Fetterman (who Somerby is obviously trying to evoke, despite Biden having no history of depression or stroke).

  7. I’ve heard that the WH is haunted, but who knew Grover Cleveland was possessed by Andrew Jackson.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the cut-and-paste error. Fixed above.

    2. Anonymouse 5:42pm, thanks for the interesting info.

  8. It isn’t age that matters but level of health. There are people younger than Obama’s age who are dead.

  9. “Fraudulent seeming performance of racial
    Does Bob imagine black people simply
    looked away from Trump’s treatment of
    Ruby Freeman and the mob he sent for
    like racist white men like Bob did?
    We’re they, like Bob, dismissive of this
    because there were not enough Republicans
    on the committee? (Bob won’t tell you
    why that was). When Tucker Carlson
    berates the Tennessee 3 because one
    of them talks like an ignorant sharecropper,
    just like MLK did, are they going to
    ignore it like Bob does today?

    1. MLK didn't talk like an ignorant sharecropper.

    2. Some ignorant sharecroppers are good speakers.

    3. MLK had a doctorate.

    4. MLK plagiarized his dissertation.

    5. That doesn’t make him ignorant. Not sure how much he borrowed without attribution. Somerby does that almost every day here.

    6. The contention that MLK sounded like a sharecropper is Tucker Carlson’s.

    7. MLK was great, but he was not perfect.

    8. Miss the point much?

    9. Tucker Carson never said MLK talked like an ignorant sharecropper.

    10. Ignorant sharecroppers are good, decent people.

    11. What is behind the idea that one of them talks like an ignorant sharecropper? This is the idea of the original commenter? They imagine it's possible that people could think one of them talks like an ignorant sharecropper?

      What is the basis for that original commenter? Why did you write that? What does an ignorant sharecropper talk like? Tell us the reason why you introduced the concept of ignorant sharecroppers into the discussion.

    12. Apparently, the original commenter has racist tropes in their head that associate contemporary black politicians with ignorant sharecroppers.

  10. It shows you how ridiculously old Biden is.

  11. There is low turnout among all young voters.

  12. What is ridiculous about being old?

  13. Nothing. Some work of noble note may yet be done. But sitting in the big chair? Really bad idea.

  14. What if they'd said that Churchill was too old to return to government during WWII?

  15. Does anyone think that the president does the heavy-lifting himself? If Trump could do the job without paying any attention to it, why couldn't Biden do a better job? Even if Biden had incipient Alzheimer's (it is something that comes on very slowly), why wouldn't he be better than a traitor who shares secrets with Putin, wasted money on a wall that was never built, and used public office to grift, including millions and billions (Saudis) laundered through his hotels and golf courses. A Biden with incipient dementia could never do as much harm as Trump did.

  16. The second amendment is evil.

  17. I'd vote for Terry Schiavo, before I vote for a Republican. Schiavo never tried to suppress the votes of black people, or put sexual predators on the Supreme Court, who want to make women 2nd class citizens.

  18. They’d have found a better prime minister and won the war sooner.

  19. Like Chamberlain?

  20. In the next year and a half we will hear a
    lot of puffed up Republican talking points
    Masquerading as advice for “our tribe.”
    I think the kids call in “concern trolling.”
    It looks like the DOJ is looking into
    Trump lying about the election results
    to raise money. These may be new
    legal waters, but we know Bob’s
    Interpretation: “If Trump really believes
    their was election fraud he’s entitled
    to the money of gullible lower middle
    class voters and use it anyway he
    wants. Leave the poor man alone,
    he’s disordered!! “
    We should ask, early and often as
    this process grids on, “What WOULDN’T
    Bob excuse from Trump based on
    his own willful megalomania?

  21. Bob wrote, "We don't have the slightest idea what Biden has done for young black people." Right!

    On the contrary, Biden has done at least one thing to hurt young black people. Namely, discouraging school choice, which means keeping black young people stuck in failing schools.

    1. Somerby reads Kevin Drum. Today Drum says the unemployment rate for young black people is 5%, an all-time low.

    2. David doesn't give two shits about black unemployment anymore. That was only important as a talking point when Trump was president for him to boast about how wonderful Trump was doing. He will ignore it now.

      David, President Biden tried to give $10K college loan forgiveness to millions of blacks struggling to get by, and then a bunch or republican dicks (with absolutely no standing other than they're huge dicks) brought it to the supreme court where we will now hear the most corrupt bought and paid for supreme court in history tell us it would be unfair.

    3. "School choice" in Davidspeak means destroying public education.

  22. I see being old as a big downside. One gets less smart and has less energy. I wouldn't vote for myself for President, even though I agree with myself on every issue.

  23. Does anyone have less energy than Trump? Old people don’t get less smart. Wisdom and experience come with age. That is measureable in the workplace. But repeating stereotypes makes you sound stupid, David.

  24. In academia, those working at universities with mandatory retirement take their pensions and go work at a more enlightened university. No one thinks they are too stupid to be hired at another place, when they are still productive.

  25. Somerby is being coy when he claims he is scared about 2024; like most of his blog posts, he is childishly taunting Dems in an effort to resolve whatever trauma blackened his soul, and likely at the behest of his minders.

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