In a speech marked by slurring, President Joe Biden’s recent gaffe may have unintentionally hinted at the Democrats’ 2024 plans when he mentioned California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Addressing a group of world leaders, Biden remarked that Newsom “could have the job I’m looking for” if he desired it. While initially taken as a jest, the comment raises speculation about a potential Freudian slip.
Persistent rumors have circulated about Democrats considering Newsom as a replacement for Biden in 2024. The California Governor has faced accusations of running a “shadow campaign” for the upcoming election, including from members within his own party.
As Newsom enhances his international profile with global travels, Biden grapples with a diminished approval rating and internal discontent within the Democratic Party. Notably, Biden has been relatively inactive in campaign activities.
During a speech at a welcome reception for APEC Leaders in San Francisco, Biden suggested that Newsom “could have the job” he is “looking for” in the upcoming 2024 election.
“I want to talk about Governor Newsom,” Biden said.
“I want to thank him. He’s been one hell of a governor, man.
“Matter of fact, he could be anything he wants.
“He could have the job I’m looking for.”
Biden’s noteworthy comment occurred at “the most significant event with world leaders in San Francisco in recent history,” as per the APEC 2023 website. Recently, there have been rumors of California Governor Gavin Newsom running a “shadow campaign,” especially during his trips to Israel amid its conflict. Following that, he visited China to meet with Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.
Critics, like Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), argue that Newsom’s global travels resemble a shadow campaign, waiting for the moment to replace Biden. LaMalfa describes Biden as the “starter” and Newsom as the “backup quarterback” in the 2024 race.
Amid growing Democratic concerns about Biden’s nomination, voices like former Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Obama advisor David Axelrod question the wisdom of Biden’s candidacy. Axelrod emphasized that Biden must decide if it’s in his best interest or the country’s.
Some see Biden as a “transitional president,” better suited for 2020 than 2024. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) accused Newsom of running a shadow campaign without announcing it.
Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, praised Newsom’s contribution to the campaign. While Newsom claims he won’t run against Biden in 2024, Axios suggests that potential Democrat alternatives are preparing in case Biden unexpectedly drops out.
Surveys by Fox News and Quinnipiac University reveal a 59% disapproval rate for Biden’s job performance. A CNN poll also indicates Biden trailing Trump by four percentage points in a hypothetical 2024 matchup. Democratic figures like Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Marianne Williamson are running in the primary against Biden.
As Biden approaches 81 on November 20, the speculation surrounding potential replacements and concerns about his candidacy persist.