1) Improved poll numbers for Biden.
2) Less chatter about whether Biden will — or should — run again.
But, less chatter is not no chatter.
Ryan later added: “The President said from the very beginning he was going to be a bridge to the next generation, which is basically what I was saying.” Ryan attended Biden’s speech in Ohio on Friday touting a new semiconductor plant.
It is true that Biden cast himself a bridge figure.
Now, it’s worth noting here that Biden didn’t say whether his bridge status was a four-year or an eight-year proposition. But there’s no question that when he was running for the presidency, he billed himself as a sort of Band-Aid. The country was reeling from four years of Donald Trump and Biden had the profile — moderate, trusted, etc. — to beat him. Biden cast himself as the necessary man for that job — even if he didn’t represent the future of the Democratic Party.
But the presidency is a hell of a thing. Voluntarily walking away from being the most powerful person in the world is, um, not easy. Plus, Trump appears to be an all-but-announced candidate for 2024, a move that would allow Biden to, again, justify another campaign for the same reasons he ran in 2020.
It’s also worth considering here that Ryan’s comments on Biden are not entirely altruistic. The President’s approval rating is not in great shape nationally and in an even worse place in Ohio. That means that it is incumbent upon Ryan to find ways to break from Biden and the national Democratic Party if he wants to have a chance of winning the seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. It’s in Ryan’s political interest then to be lukewarm (or cooler) on the idea of a Biden 2024 bid.
But he is also far from the only Democrat who has voiced skepticism about a Biden reelection bid.
Again, that was two months ago. And Biden’s political outlook has clearly improved since then. But comments like the one made by Ryan last week should serve as a reminder: There is still considerable doubts within the Democratic ranks about Biden and his ability to run and win again in 2024.