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Democratic insiders are all in for Biden in 2024.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — At a campaign-style rally on Friday, President Joe Biden had one question for Democratic leaders: “Do you agree with me?”

At the Democratic National Committee’s Winter Meeting, roars of approval and chants of “four more years!” indicated that they were all in for Biden 2024.

Despite low approval ratings, an ongoing classified documents scandal, and polls showing that most voters want the 80-year-old to step down, Biden faces no meaningful opposition to his Democratic Party leadership and an unobstructed path to re-election next year, even before he has officially declared his intention to run.

Even after hours at the hotel bar, where alcohol and opinions flowed freely, serious dissent or discontent with Biden was almost impossible to find during the three-day gathering of elected officials, activists, union leaders, operatives, and donors this weekend.

“If he wants to run, I think everybody will be 100 percent unified behind him. “I mean, maybe 99.9999 percent, but we’re the most united we’ve been in a long time,” said Jon Bauman, a California DNC member and president of a Social Security PAC.

“Eventually, the party will have to shift to younger people having more control, and that’s natural,” said Bauman, better known as “Bowzer” from the 1950s-style rock and roll group Sha Na Na.

There was no evidence of younger Democratic aspirants making behind-the-scenes moves to challenge Biden, nor of the kind of ideological strife that has cleaved the party so frequently in recent years.

Prominent supporters of Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders were among those cheering loudest onstage next to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, waving newly printed signs that read “GO JOE” on one side and “KAMALA” on the other.

“We are very confident in what President Biden is doing, and we will fully support his re-election,” said Judith Whitmer, a Democratic Socialists of America member and former Sanders delegate who won an upset election to become chair of the Nevada Democratic Party a few years ago.

Of course, presidents are always in charge of their party’s establishment, which is not always representative of rank-and-file voters. But, as was the case for former Democratic presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, the first signs of trouble for Biden would almost certainly come from within the administration.

Both previous presidents faced Democratic primary challenges, with Johnson declining to run for re-election and Carter winning re-nomination but struggling to re-establish the party before the November general election, which he lost.

A mobile billboard hired by a small progressive group outside the DNC meeting urged Biden not to run, though the group admitted it was struggling to gain traction. Sam Rosenthal, its political director, stated that he had spoken with “some DNC members” who privately agreed with their campaign but were “too intimidated to say so publicly.”

Only a year ago, Democratic insiders were open about their anxiety and disarray.

As inflation rose and Biden’s legislative agenda stalled, rising Democrats such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared to circle the White House like vultures.

However, Biden’s prospects improved dramatically as a result of the passage of major bills such as the Inflation Reduction Act, improving economic news such as last week’s strong jobs report, and better-than-expected midterm election results, which Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler referred to as “proof in the pudding” of Biden’s political strength.

Biden has “pleasantly surprised a lot of people,” Georgia Democratic Rep. Nikema Williams said.

It helps that Biden is a party member. Unlike former President Barack Obama, who formed his own political organisation outside of the Democratic National Committee and attended only a few of the DNC’s biannual meetings during his eight years in office, Biden has attended every single in-person meeting so far.

Even DNC members who did not support Biden in the 2020 primary used words like “wired,” “locked,” and “sewn up” to describe the White House’s grip on the party, which is now dictating how the 2024 primary will look and where the party’s next national convention will be held.

The president has enough political capital to take on New Hampshire and Iowa, kicking them to the back of the presidential primary calendar in the biggest shakeup to the primary process in decades. The Democratic National Committee approved Biden’s proposal to put South Carolina first on Saturday.

“This isn’t the first time the Democratic establishment has debated whether or not Iowa should remain in the early window, and it’s been shot down time and time again,” said Mo Elithee, a DNC member involved in the calendar rewrite. “It was said that it couldn’t be done. This president got the job done.”

Democrats from New Hampshire and Iowa protested, but they knew they had no chance of standing up to Biden — they couldn’t even hold a press conference at the DNC meeting — and were careful not to criticise Biden or suggest he only promoted South Carolina because he performed better in that state than in theirs in 2020.

“I am not asking you to vote against the president,” Joanne Dowdell of New Hampshire told the DNC’s other 400-plus members, “because it broke my heart to vote against his proposed calendar.”

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