Friday, August 14, 2015

A one-term promise is no advantage

Putting aside the issue of whether all this speculation about Biden running for president is real or Politico-esque horseshit, I don't see how promising to be a one-termer would help anyone get elected. If you want to vote for someone for president, it means you want them to be president. And if you want them to be president, why would you want them to leave the presidency earlier than they have to? I understand the alleged Biden one-term commitment is to diffuse concerns about his age, but doesn't the very talk about a single term just highlight the fact that he has an age issue?

On top of that, when a president decides not to run for a second term, it gives up the advantage that the incumbent party usually has to hold on to the White House. So if you are the kind of voter who wants the Democrats to stay in control of the presidency, a one-term promise from a Democrat will be viewed as a disadvantage. So even if there are some people out there who might be more likely to vote for Biden with a one-term commitment, I bet there are just as many, if not more people who would be less likely to vote for him with such a commitment.

Any way I look at it, it seems like a bad thing for a candidate to promise in a primary fight. Am I wrong? What am I missing?

(via Memeorandum)