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Former President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod said he thinks President Biden has a “50-50 shot” of winning in the 2024 election and that the current president faces the risky bet of trying to “cheat nature.”
“I think he has a 50-50 shot here, but no better than that, maybe a little worse,” Axelrod told The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd in an interview. “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.”
The column defends Axelrod, opening with a declaration from Dowd that he is “not a prick,” and noted that Axelrod has said Biden was a great vice president and did wonderful things as president.
But, the column notes, “Axelrod drew Biden’s ire because he urged the president to consider stopping at one term.” Axelrod earlier this month suggested that Biden needs to decide if it’s still wise to run, following a recent poll showing Biden trailing former President Trump in key swing states.
“I don’t care about them thinking I’m a prick — that’s fine,” Axelrod told Dowd. “I hope they don’t think the polls are wrong because they’re not.”
Dowd’s column was published Saturday, two days before Biden turned 81. She argues that Biden “has a healthy ego,” thinks that he doesn’t get the credit he thinks he deserves for his accomplishments, and has fought for the presidency all his life.
“He needs to gather the sharpest minds in his party and hear what they have to say, not engage in petty feuds,” Dowd advised Biden.
Axelrod’s suggestion to Biden to consider stepping ahead broke open some lingering tensions between the Biden and Obama teams. Former Biden White House chief of staff and longtime Biden confidant Ron Klain shot back, complaining about past pointed criticisms of the president from Axelrod.