Electoralism/Democratism

Neither party’s top 2024 candidate can admit he might not run

By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

resident Biden keeps saying he will run for reelection in 2024. Disgraced former president Donald Trump wants everyone to know he is leaning toward a run. (“I am certainly thinking about it and we’ll see,” Trump said in a recent interview. “I think a lot of people will be very happy, frankly, with the decision, and probably will announce that after the midterms.”) Neither Biden nor Trump could say anything different, but party insiders on both sides have their doubts.

The moment Biden hints he will not run, he becomes a lame duck and Vice President Harris becomes a 2024 candidate (and target for potential rivals). Trump’s insatiable hunger for attention demands he maintain the status of 2024 frontrunner. In addition, his fundraising racket and status as a kingmaker in the 2022 midterms would shrivel as soon as he backs out. Moreover, so long as he is a 2024 contender he can frame any criminal indictment that might come his way as a political stunt to keep him off the ballot. Therefore, in all likelihood, he will keep the prospect of a presidential campaign alive right up until he decides he would rather not face rivals and a daily barrage of questions about his 2020 loss.

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