On Wednesday, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, a powerful figure in Democratic Party politics, strongly supported President Biden for re-election and cautioned fellow members of the party against running against the current president.
"I'm all-in for President Biden," Clyburn said to CBS' Robert Costa during an interview. "I think he's demonstrated, in these two years … that he is deserving of re-election. And I do believe he will be re-elected irrespective of who the Republicans, they put up."
Clyburn holds the position of assistant Democratic leader in the House and is a highly respected and influential supporter of the White House. His endorsement of President Biden in 2020 was significant, as it is believed to have helped secure South Carolina for Biden during the Democratic primaries, revitalizing Biden's campaign after losing in Iowa and New Hampshire.
He stated that he has had conversations with President Biden and has urged him to seek re-election by running against the recently formed Republican majority in the House.
"I've told him on many occasions that I believe that he ought to announce for re-election and get the playbook laid down by Harry Truman back in 1948 and use that as their mantra upon which to run for re-election," Clyburn said.
In 1948, during the Democratic President Harry Truman's term, the Republican Party controlled Congress and prevented many of Truman's Fair Deal bills from passing. Truman referred to it as a "do-nothing Congress" and campaigned just as fiercely against the Republican majority as he did against the Republican nominee Thomas Dewey, ultimately resulting in a historic victory in the presidential election.
President Biden, who holds the record as the oldest person to ever hold the office of the President of the United States, has not yet officially announced his candidacy for re-election. However, it is expected that he will do so in the near future. His 2020 opponent, former President Donald Trump, announced his intention to run for the White House again in November. According to The Hill, President Biden's campaign launch is expected to occur in February around the State of the Union address.
Despite this, President Biden does have several weaknesses as a candidate, which include his age. Additionally, his approval rating remains low, hovering around the low 40s, according to most opinion polls. Furthermore, the recent controversy surrounding a special counsel investigation into his handling of classified documents has provided House Republicans with many opportunities to investigate his administration and potentially neutralized a line of attack he could have used against Trump, who also has his own issues with alleged mishandling of classified materials.
Still, Clyburn believes Biden is primed for re-election and praised him for "passing more progressive legislation than any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson."
When questioned about whether he thinks Biden will face any challengers he replied "I don't think he will, and I don't think he should."
"The history is very clear on what happens when you challenge a sitting president like this," the congressman said, referring to 1980 when Senator Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter in the primary, which many believe led to Carter losing to Reagan.
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