Biden Privately Told Aides He'll Only Serve One Term

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December 11, 2019

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden reportedly told aides that he plans to only serve one term if elected in 2020.

Four anonymous sources close to the Biden campaign told Politico that it is "virtually inconceivable" that the 77-year-old former vice president would seek a second term in the 2024 election. "If Biden is elected," one campaign adviser said, "he's going to be 82 years old in four years and he won't be running for reelection."

The sources told Politico that the former vice president has ruled out publicly promising to only serve one term, calling an open declaration a "nonstarter" and a "gimmick." Instead, Biden plans on "quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise."

That reporting matches what Biden himself told the Associated Press in October when asked if he would commit to a single term. "I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you'll see," he said. "It doesn't mean I would run a second term. I'm not going to make that judgment at this moment."

The Politico report comes four years after CNN's Carl Bernstein reported that Biden was considering making a single-term pledge if he entered the 2016 race. "One thing that I keep hearing about Biden is that if he were to declare and say, because age is such a problem for him if he does, I want to be a one-term president," Bernstein said.

Republican presidential candidates Bob Dole and John McCain both considered making the pledge to assuage concerns about their age, though neither ultimately made such a decision.