The 2024 presidential election seem far off into the future. But for some factions of the Democratic party, the chance to challenge Joe Biden in the primaries can’t get here soon enough:
“Will there be a progressive challenger? Yes,” said Jeff Weaver, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former presidential campaign manager.
Weaver stresses that he is not advocating for such a primary campaign. But the chatter about a left-wing challenge to Biden, which was virtually nonexistent weeks ago, has suddenly burst into public view in the wake of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) killing the president’s climate and social spending bill.
“He’s deeply unpopular. He’s old as shit. He’s largely been ineffective, unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms,” said Corbin Trent, co-founder of the progressive No Excuses PAC and former communications director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). “People will smell opportunity, and D.C. is filled with people who want to be president.”
A lot to unpack here – the biggest of which is that no credible challenger on Biden’s left has emerged. Yet. Should a challenger of real substance appear, then Biden’s re-election effort gets much more complicated.
We shall see. Progressives have a habit of talking very, very big, but failing to deliver – especially when it comes to political change. Yes, they can influence events inside safe Democratic districts. But in presidential primaries? Biden beat them four years ago. He would likely do so again.
Still…challenges to incumbent presidents – from credible candidates – do affect general election results. Keep an eye on the restless progressives. They may not be able to knock-off Joe Biden in the primaries. But they could make his political life utterly miserable.