By W. James Antle III, The Week
The week ahead of President Biden’s 79th birthday — Saturday, Nov. 20 — there was a considerable amount of drama involving Vice President Kamala Harris. The two are not unrelated.
Biden is the oldest person to ever serve as president. He will turn 80 shortly after next year’s midterm elections. That by itself increases scrutiny of the official who is, as the cliche goes, a heartbeat away. But Biden’s age and performance in office has many Democrats speculating he won’t run again in 2024 at the same time they are starting to worry Harris wouldn’t be an upgrade.
If that speculation is correct, it means Harris doesn’t have nearly seven years to show she can grow into the job and see her popularity rebound. She has a little over two years at most. Biden is unlikely to announce his intentions until relatively late in the cycle, unless a health problem forces his hand, because he will not want to automatically become a lame duck — giving Harris even less time to publicly prepare.