Joe Biden has been on a mission to take over the White House for more than three decades. But now, a major problem stands in his way: age.
In efforts to ease widespread concerns, Biden has many a time said he wouldn’t seek re-election if his mental or physical health starts to decline. He has also referred to himself as a “transition candidate,” acting as a bridge to a younger generation of leadership.
As reported by Politico in December of 2019, four sources close to Biden’s campaign echoed his sentiment.
“If Biden is elected,” a campaign adviser said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for re-election.”
“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser added.
Another adviser explained it this way: “He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years.'”
To reiterate, Biden said he wouldn’t run if his mental state declines, which it has.
During his first press conference since taking office, Biden hinted that he will be running in 2024.
“On a related note,” a reporter asked, “have you decided if you are going to run for reelection in 2024? You have not set up a reelection campaign as your predecessor had at this time.”
Biden bellowed in laughter. “My predecessor needed to. My predecessor, oh God, I miss him,” he said. “My plan is, yes, that is my expectation.”
Later in the press conference, a second reporter brought up the possibility of a 2024 run.
“You also just made news by saying you are going to run for reelection,” the reporter said.
“I said that is my expectation,” Biden replied.
“So, that is a yes that you are running for re-election?” the reporter probed.
Biden started to get testy.
“I don’t know where you guys come from,” he said. “I am a great respecter of faith. I have never been able to plan for 3.5 years ahead for certain.”
“If you do, will Vice President Harris to be on your ticket?” the reporter continued.
“I would expect that to be the case,” Biden said. “She’s doing a great job. She’s a great partner.”
“Do you believe you will be running against former President Trump?” the reporter asked.
Biden snapped: “Come on, I don’t even think about it, I have no idea. I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party, do you? I know you don’t have to answer my question, but do you?” he said. Look, the way I view things, I become a great respecter of fate in my life. I set a goal in front of me to get things done to the people I care most about, which are hard-working, decent American people who are having it stuck to them. I would like to change the paradigm.”
For someone that has been sweating for the presidency since his first run in 1988, it makes sense why he’d want to remain in power for as long as he can. But, as he gets older, things may start to fall apart quicker than they came together.