James Carville says Biden could change his mind about 2024 bid, boasts about Democratic bench

President Biden intends to run for reelection, but he could still change course, according to longtime Democratic political consultant James Carville.

“Well, right now it is pretty clear he intends to run, but you know you can always change your mind and I think the age issue is going to be key,” Mr. Carville said on Bill Kristol’s podcast when asked whether Mr. Biden will run again.

Mr. Carville, 78, pointed out that Democratic leaders in the House — Reps. Nancy Pelosi of California, Steny Hoyer of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina, who are all of them north of 80 years old — chose to pass the torch this year to a younger generation of party leaders.

“All of them are younger than Biden would be at the end of his second term, probably younger than mid-second term,” he told Mr. Kristol, a former neoconservative bigwig who became a leading anti-Trump voice and registered Democrat.

Mr. Biden celebrated his 80th birthday in November. He is the oldest person to assume the presidency.

“And I’d say, I just got the latest census numbers on my computer, and as of this moment, there are 333,361,411 people that live in the United States. Could we please find somebody under 75 to be our president? Just for the fun of it?” Mr. Carville said. “OK, try that.”

Mr. Carville said Mr. Biden may have been the only candidate that could have beaten former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election in part because other candidates relied on the “idiotic strategy” of running too far to the left, but he said that is not the case in 2024.

Democrats, he said, have a deep bench, and Mr. Trump is no longer at the peak of his political powers.

Mr. Carville rattled off a series of Democrats that he sees as serious contenders for the party’s nomination if Mr. Biden exits stage left. The list included Govs. Gavin Newsom of California, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Roy Copper of North Carolina, as well as Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Carville said people should not underestimate former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and said Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia has a track record of winning tough elections in a battleground state.

“My point is that they want you to believe that without Biden, there’s nothing underneath. The fact is, there’s as much as I’ve seen any party have at any given time, talent,” he said. “If all of these people ran, which I would encourage every one of them to do, people look and they go, ‘You know what? These people can string a sentence together.’

“I think it would be good for the party. I just think that it’s me being 78,” he said. “People say, ‘Why don’t you go run this campaign?’ The only thing I can run in my life is my mouth. Go get somebody else.”

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