Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t even won his party’s nomination yet, much less the 2020 presidential election.
But he’s already reportedly making plans for 2024, according to reports – and those plans involve going back home to Delaware.
That is, if you buy the “leak” from inside his campaign.
Citing four sources “who regularly talk to Biden,” the Politico website said the former veep is planning to make his possible presidency a one-and-done deal.
“If Biden is elected, he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection,” someone identified only as a “prominent adviser to the campaign” told Politico.
Even for a potential first term, Biden – who will be 78 on Inauguration Day – would be the oldest president ever at any point in any term.
President Ronald Reagan was younger on his last day in office than Biden would be on his first.
Reagan, who had to duck questions about his age throughout both the 1980 and 1984 campaigns, was 69 when inaugurated for his first time, 73 for his second and 77 upon his departure from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Biden would be 5 years older right out of the gate for his first time – and one source told Politico that could have big implications for any thoughts of a second term.
So instead of running for reelection, he would consider himself a one-term “transition figure.”
“I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it,” the source told the website.
But the report was… as the ex-vice president might say… malarkey.
“Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, said via Twitter.
Biden himself refused to confirm the report.
“No. I never have,” he told reporters outside an event, sounding a little testy over the matter. “I don’t have plans on one term. I’m not even there yet.”
If he was sounding annoyed, that’s because the initial report indicated that’s exactly what he would say if asked – since he needs to keep his options open.
“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 reelection,’” someone identified as a “top Biden advisor” explained to Politico. “But he’s not going to publicly make a one-term pledge.”
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Besides, Biden has mentioned the issue before.
And while he didn’t admit he was going to limit himself to one term, he didn’t exactly rule it out, either.
“I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you’ll see,” he told The Associated Press in October. “It doesn’t mean I would run a second term. I’m not going to make that judgment at this moment.”
Biden’s age has been an issue Democrats have been whispering about since the moment he threw his hat into the ring.
And his behavior on the campaign trail hasn’t done much to calm those murmurs.
Already prone to gaffes throughout his five decades in politics, they’ve only seem to have gotten worse in recent months as he continually botches dates and confuses details.
Biden has admitted the questions are legitimate.
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“I think it’s totally appropriate for people to look at me and say if I were to run for office again, ‘Well, God darn, you’re old,’” he said in October.
But he claimed he’s in top shape both physically and mentally – and earlier this month got into it with an 83-year-old voter in Iowa who called him too old.
“Let’s do push-ups, man, let’s take an IQ test,” he challenged.
When the 83-year-old said he wasn’t voting for Biden, he got even testier.
“You’re too old to vote for me,” he told the man.
With an attitude like that, Biden won’t have to worry about running for a second term… because he likely won’t serve the first one.