By Arab News
By Dalia Al-Aqidi *
America’s 2020 presidential election continues to make headlines in the domestic and global media due to the uproar surrounding it and the failure of the majority of former President Donald Trump’s supporters to recognize its impartiality, followed by the attack on Capitol Hill and its never-ending repercussions.
The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol will hold a new round of hearings in September, while the US Department of Justice continues to investigate whether Trump took steps to overturn the election result. All these efforts are aimed at preventing the former president from holding public office in the future.
Although there are still several months until the midterm elections are held, both parties have already begun to discuss their potential 2024 presidential candidates. It is unusual to publicly discuss this sensitive issue at this time. However, the circumstances the US is facing and the Biden administration’s failure to face fundamental challenges, from the shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the overt Chinese threat, have put the Democratic Party in a critical position.
Due to President Joe Biden’s embarrassingly low approval rating, liberal US media outlets have not been shy to point out that, if he decided to run for a second term, the White House would likely return to the Republicans.
A Newsweek report published on July 23 said that, despite the evidence and testimony presented in the congressional hearings, Trump is still favored to defeat Biden in a 2024 rematch if both politicians ultimately become their respective party’s nominees. The million-dollar question is whether or not they will be nominated.
Several names are circulating in both circles. Although it would be logical to consider Vice President Kamala Harris as a possible candidate to run against Biden in the Democratic primary, no political strategist would dare mention her name due to her abysmal job performance.
Politicians like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Sen. Amy Klobuchar could be considered. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the party’s nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020, might try his luck again.
Last week, 78-year-old political activist Jerome Segal announced that he had decided to pursue the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for 2024, focusing his campaign on job security and peace in the Middle East — two issues the Biden administration has so far failed to deal with.
On the other side, Republicans seem to be hesitant when it comes to Trump, who has been hinting that he will announce his presidential campaign after the midterms.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be the perfect presidential candidate. He would be hard to beat due to his job performance in his state. He is young, determined and well supported by several high-ranking Republican politicians. In a recent survey conducted by Suffolk University and USA Today, DeSantis surpassed Trump in hypothetical presidential primary polling that combined first and second choices among possible candidates.
Former Vice President Mike Pence potentially has his eyes on a bid to lead his party in 2024. He has been attending conservative events to endorse several midterm Republican candidates. At a conference of students in Washington last week, Pence distanced himself from his former boss by outlining his vision for the conservative movement. “Now, some people may choose to focus on the past, but elections are about the future. And I believe conservatives must focus on the future to win back America,” Pence told his audience.
Other names have also surfaced as potential runners, like former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Regardless of all these names, the two sides’ goal remains finding the best candidate to win the critical 2024 presidential race. The US has never been more ready for change and, if it were up to the American people, they would vote for a new president today.
- Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @DaliaAlAqidi