Boston Herald

Raimondo for president!

RI’s ex-gov may be just the thing if Biden walks after one term

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Doubts over President Biden’s re-election prospects are stoking speculatio­n — or maybe just wishful thinking — that he won’t run in 2024, opening the door to another centrist like former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Biden is publicly insisting he plans to run again, but his tanking approval ratings and shaky performanc­e in office say something else.

Biden will be 81 in November 2024. Never in history has a candidate at that age been considered a serious contender.

If Democrats are slaughtere­d in the midterm elections, Biden will be toast, no matter what he says. He will get most of the blame if Republican­s take over Congress.

Biden has now gone 100 days without a media interview. Polls show only two in 10 Americans are happy with the direction the country is heading — a dismal number that shows just how poor Biden is doing.

The best possible outcome for Democrats is for Biden to gracefully step aside and just finish out his first term — clearing the way for others to jump in.

And if voters are looking for another moderate like Biden — instead of a far left candidate — that could be Raimondo, who’s currently serving as Biden’s Commerce Secretary.

Raimondo is known as a pro-business centrist who endorsed the doomed candidacy of billionair­e Michael Bloomberg in 2020. Despite that mistake, she was considered for Biden’s VP and was plucked to join the president’s cabinet after he took office.

A new book reports Raimondo actually suggested Biden drop out of the race to clear the way for Bloomberg, a move that earned her the mistrust of Biden’s top advisers and some progressiv­es. Raimondo also clashed with labor groups as Rhode Island governor.

The Harvard- and Yaleeducat­ed Raimondo is considered a centrist like Biden, and she may not be liberal enough for the left wing. But she earned plaudits for her handling of COVID-19 and would be an intriguing choice if Democratic voters reject the far left policies of other liberals.

The most obvious successor to Biden is Vice President Kamala Harris, who would start as the probable front-runner. But her early missteps in office and failed 2020 run aren’t going to scare off potential challenger­s.

That means we could see Democratic rejects like Transporta­tion Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders start to surface with their sights set on another run. Buttigieg and Warren are practicall­y running again already even with Biden still in the mix.

That’s a pretty weak lineup.

Democrats need a serious infusion of new blood if they want to avoid a repeat of 2016 when another former presidenti­al loser, Hillary Clinton, tried again.

Would Hillary try to make yet another comeback? Some Democrats think it’s possible, believe it or not. Republican­s would be so lucky.

The biggest star out there is former first lady Michelle Obama, who would be able to totally bigfoot the field if she wanted. Obama would probably be the Democrats’ strongest candidate, but it’s unclear if she would want to take the plunge and follow in her husband’s footsteps.

If Obama and Biden take a pass on 2024, keep your eye on Raimondo.

 ?? AP ?? WAVING GOODBYE?: Although he insisting he’ll seek a second term, President Biden may well drop out if the Democrats take a pounding in the mid-term elections.
AP WAVING GOODBYE?: Although he insisting he’ll seek a second term, President Biden may well drop out if the Democrats take a pounding in the mid-term elections.
 ?? GETTY IMAGES FILE ?? RHODY TRIP: Then-Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo speaks during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit on October 13, 2015, in Washington.
GETTY IMAGES FILE RHODY TRIP: Then-Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo speaks during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit on October 13, 2015, in Washington.
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