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On Monday, Martin and Times colleague Alexander Burns appeared on “The View” to promote their politically-buzzed book “This Will Not Pass,” which has made major headlines about the turbulent final weeks of the Trump presidency and the behind-the-scenes drama among Democrats, including tensions between Team Biden and Team Kamala Harris.
Martin expressed his amazement at how “it’s not clear” whether the incumbent president will pursue another four-year term.
“We have not had a first-term president in recent years where it was uncertain that they’re going to be a candidate and the next reelection and that is the case with Biden. And so that makes this all the more interesting,” Martin said.
President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“The View” guest co-host Ana Navarro, who staunchly supported Biden in the 2020 presidential election, defended his honor by pointing to jokes he made at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner alluding to his 2024 bid, but Martin wasn’t convinced.
“He wants to run. He’s told people that we talked to for our book that he plans to run in 24 for reelection unless there’s a health issue intervening,” Martin told Navarro. “A lot of Democrats don’t believe that. They’re convinced he’s not gonna run.
“Based on what?” Navarro pushed back.
“Based on the fact that he’ll be 82 years old in 2024 and that they’re just skeptical that he’s gonna serve a full second term or if he wants her a full second term, which raises the question of, ‘Well, if not Biden, who?’ And that’s what shapes the Kamala Harris news here.”
“She’d only been in the Senate for a few years and doesn’t have the relationships in Washington that Biden has, and so she was not able to kind of fill the role that Biden did when he was VP on Capitol Hill. And she didn’t have a foreign policy experience either. So I think her challenge has been sort of finding her niche, and it’s created tensions with the West Wing,” Martin continued. “We have a scene in the book in which she’s feeling disrespected because she sees staffers in the West Wing when she walks into the room who are not standing for her, and they always stand for President Biden when he walks into the room. And she had her chief of staff telephone somebody in the West Wing and say, ‘She’s noticed this. Please tell the staff when the VP walks into the room they are to stand.'”
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris shake hands during a ceremony to sign the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Burns then chimed in, pointing out the “unmistakable context of identity” regarding the tensions between Biden and Harris.
“The Biden inner circle is overwhelmingly White, it is largely male, and they have largely been with Biden for a very, very long time,” Burns said. “And so anybody who has been new to the Biden operation, they will tell you right away it is a tough nut to crack. It is tough to get close to this president and that’s been the case for the vice president too.”
There has been much speculation about Democrats potentially competing in a primary against Biden, who is suffering from historically bad polling.
Analysis from The Washington Post recently ranked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg above Vice President Harris, who also has had poor favorability. Among others listed include former 2020 candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, California Gov. Gavin Newsome and even New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.