In the wake of Joe Biden’s trip and fall at the Air Force Academy graduation, the chorus of questions asking if the octogenarian president is still a viable candidate for 2024 grew a little louder. Does the Democrat Party have anyone on their bench if Biden is no longer their choice? ABC News Political Director Rick Klein appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to address the issue.
“I’ve talked to a lot of Democrats who said their worst fear is one trip or fall away,” Klein told Berman and Riedel. “Now, he got up, he seems fine, he’s going to have to show that he’s fine over time, but yeah, it was undeniably a scary moment for a lot of Democrats because there really is no political back-up plan. They’re all-in on a man who’s eighty years old and, there’s no question, at times he looks physically shaky.”
So, if it’s not Biden, Klein says the choice would become a free-for-all. “I don’t think that Vice-President Harris gets a clear shot at all. I think you have a number of governors who get in the race, you know, (California Governor) Gavin Newsom, (Illinois Governor) J.B. Pritzker. You might see some people in the Biden cabinet. Obviously (Transportation Secretary) Pete Buttigieg is one of them. Gina Raimondo, the Commerce Secretary, is another. I think we see some real wild cards, people from the business world, maybe, that might get in. But, the point is it’s a pile-up.”
The race for the Republican nominee, Klein added, is already open-ended, once you look past Donald Trump. “It’s hard to see how you get from here to there for Chris Christie or for Mike Pence, but I do think the dynamics will be different once you talk about the base, once you have candidates in there that are not trying to be Trump-lite… I’m intrigued by Tim Scott… He’s going to have some big moments between now and when the voting starts.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images