CNN’s Anderson Cooper and former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod on Saturday discussed the possibility that President-elect Joe Biden may only serve for one term due to his advanced age, with Axelrod declaring that Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris is the “presumed frontrunner” for the 2024 election.
“I mean her age, Joe Biden’s age, the potential that he may only serve one term,” Cooper remarked on CNN just hours after the network projected Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race over President Trump.
Biden will be 78 in January when he takes the Oath of Office, and Harris turned 56 last month.
“This is a unique political situation,” Axelrod agreed. “Because never has a vice president entered office on the first day as the, kind of, presumed frontrunner for the nomination four years later.”
The former chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns added that Harris is “seen by many on the left of the party as sort of their person in the administration, the person who is going to bring different voices into the discussions.”
“There’s also pressure associated with that. So it’s a really unique situation that she’s going to have to navigate,” he noted.
Cooper suggested that Harris would be wise to keep an ear to the progressive voices in the Democratic Party if she is considering running at the top of the party’s ticket in four years.
“If she is thinking about the next step, if four years from now President-elect Biden decided not to run, if she does not respond to the left of the party, that is going to harm her down the road,” Cooper said. “And yet, clearly if there is going to be a lot of compromises being done, there’s a lot of folks on the left of the party who are not going to be happy.”
“We’re getting way ahead of ourselves,” Axelrod acknowledged, but added, “You win a general election by speaking to the broad sweep of the country.”
Harris, a former district attorney who has described herself has a “progressive prosecutor,” was not progressives’ first pick to be Biden’s running mate, but the California senator is still considered to be to the left of Biden.
The Associated Press and the major networks projected Biden as the winner of the presidential race on Saturday after battleground Pennsylvania was called for the former vice president, putting him over the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win. The call came four days after Election Day on Tuesday as several swing states remained too close to call due to razor-thin margins between Trump and Biden.
President Trump has launched lawsuits alleging voter fraud and has not conceded the race.