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Should Biden run again in 2024?


Yes I know it’s early for discussing this. Sue me if I post too long.

Although I think he’s on the whole done a fine job during the first year of his presidency, I hope he doesn’t.

Here’s why:

(1) All other things being equal, having a president who is in their early to mid-80s is a terrible idea. In geriatric populations dementia risk doubles every five years. That means it’s 700% higher at age 85 than at age 70. And that’s just the most obviously problematic type of the endless physical infirmities that affect people in their mid-80s.

(2) It’s clear that a big underlying reason for Biden’s success in 2020 was a widespread if largely inchoate belief/hope among voters, especially perhaps black voters, that electing an anodyne middle of the road elderly white man — you know, a normal person, as opposed to a woman or a minority or a Jewish radical leftist [sic] — would calm things down after all the Trump craziness, and the Republican party would at least trend back toward being a center right party as opposed to a proto-fascist authoritarian ethno-nationalist cult.

It’s now 100% clear that this strategy didn’t work to put it mildly.

(3) Relatedly, I suspect the Democrats are going to need an at least somewhat charismatic and demographically exciting figure that genuinely fires up the base (which means minorities and women). This will be true even if, as now seems likely, Trump is the GOP nominee.

(4) Small sample size caveats are appropriate, but even so the evidence that there’s some sort of real incumbency advantage in modern American presidential elections is pretty much non-existent. Since the passage of the 22nd amendment, 12 presidents could have been elected to another term. Only six of them have, with four losing a re-election bid, and two others choosing not to run because they almost certainly would have lost.

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