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Close Biden ally implies president may not seek second term ‘for whatever reason’, boosts Kamala

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(Video: CNN)

A close ally of President Joe Biden has suggested that he may not run for reelection in 2024 “for whatever reason,” and that were this to occur, Vice President Kamala Harris would certainly be on the “short list” of preferred nominees.

Former Connecticut Sen. Chris J. Dodd, described as “a member of the Biden campaign’s vice-presidential search committee and a confidant of the president,” made the remark to The New York Times for a profile about the vice president.

According to the Times, he “said the vice president’s political future could include being a part of a longer list of Democratic candidates should the Biden presidency be limited to one term.”

“I’m hoping the president runs for re-election, but for whatever reason that might not be the case, it’s hard to believe there would be a short list without Kamala’s name on it. She’s the vice president of the United States,” were his exact words.

While seemingly innocuous, the comment drew some confusion from the public:

The assumption is that Harris would be easily crushed by any Republican, much as Hillary Clinton had been in 2016. After all, though the president’s approval rating is exceptionally low, hers is lower. So why put her on the short list?

In fact, why put her on any list at all? Some argued that since she’s the current vice president, it’s unusual to not assume she’d be the presumptive nominee were Biden to choose to bow out of the race:

What’s obviously not known is why Dodd, a close friend of the president, is even entertaining the idea of him not running, when Biden himself has repeatedly signaled that yes, in fact, he does intend to run.

“My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation,” he said in March, less than two months after he’d been inaugurated.

But to be fair, he’s seemingly contradicted himself multiple times by handing Harris tasks way beyond her pay grade. In May, for instance, he allowed the VP to hold a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

“A bilateral meeting at the White House between a U.S. vice president and a visiting head of state – followed by a joint appearance featuring the two – is highly unusual,” Fox News reported at the time.

“The event included a photo-op of Harris and Moon walking and talking before the meeting, which included Moon and several of his aides, and Harris and several of hers,” the outlet added.

That same day, she also took a call with Jordanian King Abdullah II in order to address the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire in Gaza. And, as reported at the time, by then only months into the administration, she’d already spoken to a whole host of other world leaders without the president present.

That was including but not limited to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emanuel Macron.

Some have speculated that the president’s been granting Harris the opportunity to acquire the extensive on-the-job experience needed for her to one day replace him. Some have even gone so far as to predict that the president won’t even make it til 2024.

Take Douglas MacKinnon, a former writer for the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations.

“While acknowledging that President Biden has made known his intention to run for reelection, let’s default to the politically probable. For age and health reasons, Biden may not run for a second term — and some believe there’s a possibility that Harris might very well become president before 2024,” he opined in an April column.

Months later, it appears the president’s health has declined even further. Making matters worse, he’s thus far not yet undergone a physical despite promising he would.

FYI, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has been promising that the physical will occur “soon” for months now …

Vivek Saxena

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