In Brief

Did Joe Biden say he would serve just one term?

Democrat hopeful denies report that he would stand down in 2024

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has denied reports that he has discussed with his campaign serving just one term if elected in 2020.

After Politico quoted four people “who regularly talk to Biden” saying it was “virtually inconceivable that he will run for re-election” in 2024, the Democrat candidate said: “I don't have plans on one term. I'm not even there yet.”

Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, also denied the claims. Taking to Twitter, she said: “Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about.”

The Politico report claimed an adviser to Biden believed that publicly announcing a one-term plan “could help Biden mollify younger voters, especially on the left, who are unexcited by his candidacy and fear that his nomination would serve as an eight-year roadblock to the next generation of Democrats”.

It added that by serving just one term and “choosing a running mate and Cabinet that is young and diverse”, Biden could “offer himself to the Democratic primary electorate as the candidate best suited to defeat Trump as well as the candidate who can usher into power the party’s fresh faces”.

The unnamed adviser said: “This makes Biden a good transition figure. I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years to get rid of Trump, I'm willing to do it.”

The BBC points out that in 2024, Biden will be 82 and adds that America has never had a sitting octogenarian president.

One-term pledges are not unheard of in US politics: they were made and adhered to by James K. Polk (1845-49) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81). William Henry Harrison also made such a pledge but he died a month after taking office in April 1841.

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