Joe Biden advisers ‘mull over one term pledge’ amid age concerns

Joe Biden’s advisers are reportedly discussing whether the US presidential hopeful should make a pledge to serve only one term in the White House to counter concerns about his age.

The former US vice president, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2020 election, would be 78 at the start of his first term and 82 if he won a second.

Politico reported that chatter about making a one-term pledge had re-emerged in the wider Biden adviser world given his continued strength in nationwide polling.

The article referenced four people who "regularly talk" to Mr Biden saying it would be virtually inconceivable for him to run for re-election. 

No candidate in their eighties has ever won the White House.   

The idea would be for Mr Biden to promise to hand over to a more youthful vice president after his first term, effectively ushering in the next generation of Democrat leaders.

However the Biden campaign poured cold water on the idea and other senior Democratic strategists warned promising to serve only four years would make Mr Biden a “lame duck” president. 

The conversations have arisen with Mr Biden polling nationwide at almost 29 per cent, way above left-wing senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who hover around 16 per cent.

Voting begins in Iowa in the first week of February.  Mr Biden’s age – he would be the oldest person ever elected to a first term in the White House – has been a constant question throughout this year.

One Biden adviser told Politico: “If Biden is elected he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”

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Another was quoted saying: “He’s going into this thinking, ‘I want to find a running mate I can turn things over to after four years but if that’s not possible or doesn’t happen then I’ll run for reelection.’ But he’s not going to publicly make a one term pledge.”

However Kate Bedingfield, Mr Biden’s deputy campaign manager, tweeted: “Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about.” 

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