Rep. Dean Phillips challenges Biden, citing age concerns. Will a new generation lead Democrats?
Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips, a 54-year-old multimillionaire, has embarked on a bold primary challenge against President Joe Biden. This unconventional move doesn’t stem from policy differences, as Phillips’ voting record aligns perfectly with Biden’s. Rather, it revolves around concerns about Biden’s age, with Phillips arguing that a new generation of dynamic Democrats would better serve the nation.
Despite praising Biden’s virtues, such as decency and strength, Phillips has consistently urged him not to seek re-election, asserting that he may not be well-equipped to defeat Donald Trump for a second time. Having represented Minneapolis suburbs since 2019, Phillips, a former gelato company executive, resigned from a House leadership position, seen by many as a strategic move before launching his challenge.
Phillips is scheduled to announce his presidential bid in New Hampshire on the filing deadline for the state’s primary, where Biden won’t be on the ballot due to the state’s defiance of the Democratic National Committee’s guidance. While polls indicate Democrats’ concerns about Biden’s age, there’s no clear alternative, making Biden’s nomination appear inevitable, given support from elected Democrats, major donors, and party operatives.
Despite his reservations about Biden’s candidacy, Phillips has recently lauded the president’s achievements. Notably, he praised Biden for saving America and overseeing a resilient economy in his September newsletter. The potential candidacy has drawn attention since late July, with Phillips suggesting third-party candidates challenge Biden directly. While he hints at not running in 2024, he encourages Democrats to consider compelling alternatives if Biden solidifies his legacy and passes the torch.
This move towards generational change aligns with Phillips‘ previous stance, as he was among those calling for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s resignation in April, citing concerns about her ability to serve due to prolonged absences from Washington, emphasizing that his critique applies irrespective of gender.