Why Kamala Harris May Become President by 2023; Death, Disability, Old-Age Burnout or Strategic Resignation Are All Possible
Kamala Harris Will Become The First Female President By 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 10, 2020) - It is quite possible that Kamala Harris will become the first female president by 2023 - as a result of President Joe Biden's possible death, disability, burnout perhaps exacerbated by old age, or a strategic resignation - suggests public interest law professor John Banzhaf. Of those, a strategic resignation in 2023 may be the most likely, he predicts.
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Although Biden has already suffered two cerebral aneurysms, postoperative hospitalization for a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), with subsequent pulmonary embolism, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), mild diverticulosis, non-cancerous tubular adenoma, gallbladder removal, and he remains on chronic anticoagulation to reduce the risk of stroke, he is in generally good condition for a man his age.
Indeed, the American Federation for Aging Research has calculated that Biden's 4-year survival probability is just over 79%.
But this calculation is based upon population estimates for average men, most of whom have been retired or semi-retired by the time they reach this age, and does not - and cannot possibly - take into account the extraordinary physical, mental, and emotional stress the job of President entails.
Biden's Death From A Medical Problem
Nevertheless, there is at least a small possibility - probably about 20% - that Kamala Harris could become president because of Biden's death from a medical problem.
Moreover, although the probability that Biden would suffer a stroke or other serious disability during his four-year term is also small, even a slight mental or emotional problem - of a severity which would not seriously affect most men that age - could significantly impair the ability of any person called upon to make frequent decisions involving life-and-death (e.g., everything from military combat and rescue missions to regulatory trade offs), hundreds of billions of dollars, the health and welfare of hundreds of millions of Americans (e.g., COVID-19 or other epidemics, climate change, etc.), and ultimate responsibility for nuclear weapons.
Thus there is a possibility that Kamala Harris might become president if Biden were to suffer from a disabling condition, even one which would not seriously affect most men his age. In other words, he could be forced to step down for medical reasons.
But, says Banzhaf, a more likely scenario is that Biden could resign before his term ends because of burnout, perhaps exacerbated by his age and the few estimated remaining years of healthy life.
The Battle For The Soul Of The Nation
Biden, whose earlier reluctance to seek the office was initially overcome only when Trump blamed the violence in Charlottesville on "both sides," then grew as an effort to prevent Trump from remaining in office for another four years, and as "Battle for the Soul of the Nation" and to "Unite for as Better America."
But, suggests Banzhaf, many of these initial goals, plus other pressing ones such as dealing with the pandemic, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and other treaties, repairing or replacing the Affordable Care Act (depending on what the Supreme Court decides), etc. can probably be accomplished by 2023.
At that time, faced with only a few remaining estimated years of healthy life, and possibly also suffering from some additional medical problem brought on by his advanced age, Biden may well decide that it would be better to prolong his life and preserve his health by stepping down, and freeing himself from the many stresses of what many have called the most stressful position in the world.
If that isn't enough to persuade him to resign before 2024, he may also see it as a shrewd political move.
A Republican President
Assuming that he would probably be too old (and perhaps also even too tired) to successfully seek a second term in 2024, there's a real chance that a Republican could be elected president.
But if Biden stepped down in 2023 so that Harris could then assume the presidency, she could then run in 2024 as an incumbent with a far greater chance of winning the election, and doing so without having the party become divided as different Democratic candidates challenge each other's records as they vie for the nomination.
Biden would then also earn an additional place in history as the man who put the first women into the White House.
In short, for his own health and lifestyle, and as a very shrewd political move, Biden might well consider resigning the presidency in 2023, perhaps after getting some assurances from Harris that she would continue to pursue certain Biden policies, suggests Banzhaf.