Democratic strategist David Axelrod said President Joe Biden‘s belief that he can “cheat nature” to win in 2024 has a “50-50 shot” of landing, with the former adviser comparing the president’s hopes to those of Hillary Clinton.
Axelrod said in an interview with the New York Times that relying on former President Donald Trump to miss the mark in 2024 and lose rather than Biden landing voters and winning, a similar tactic exercised by Clinton in 2016, could be detrimental to the president’s reelection campaign.
“I think he has a 50-50 shot here, but no better than that, maybe a little worse,” Axelrod said. “He thinks he can cheat nature here, and it’s really risky. They’ve got a real problem if they’re counting on Trump to win it for them. I remember Hillary doing that, too.”
Axelrod’s comments are the latest in a string of observations from the former adviser to former President Barack Obama. In the last two weeks, he said Biden’s “age issue” is hanging over him and that the president “needs to decide” if becoming the Democratic nominee “is wise.” Last week, Axelrod called on Biden to “get out or get going” on his presidential campaign.
This comes as Biden, the oldest president in U.S. history, turns 81 on Monday. Several Republicans and even some Democratic allies have expressed everything from criticism to concern over Biden’s ability to serve in the White House, particularly as he would be 86 at the end of his second term. A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that two-thirds of Democrats believe Biden is too old to be president, the latest numbers following a string of incidents, including trips and falls, malapropisms, and losing his train of thought.
Biden and Clinton also share similar campaigns in terms of the strength of third-party candidates running against them. The president reportedly confided in the former secretary of state in September about independent candidates overshadowing his general election campaign, and Clinton told Biden he needed to take the third-party threat seriously and come up with a way to compensate for it.
Many of Clinton’s allies have blamed third-party campaigns, including Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party nominee and recent 2024 presidential candidate, for Trump’s victory in 2016. Trump at first was considered a long-shot candidate, but wins in the caucuses both in Iowa and Nevada positioned him to be the Republican nominee in 2016.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll also found that Trump is leading Biden in five battleground states, as well as making inroads among black and young voters — two voting blocs that were crucial to Biden’s win in 2020.
Democrats and their allies have criticized groups such as No Labels for preparing a unity presidential ticket, saying it could harm Biden’s chances of reelection even further and aid the GOP, something No Labels has denied it is trying to do.
No Labels Co-Chairman Ben Chavis said the centrist political organization would pull out of the contest if polls showed Biden with a significant lead over Trump or if Trump is not selected as the GOP presidential nominee in 2024.
Original Author: Rachel Schilke