Should Biden Run for Re-election in 2024?

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  • A Threat to Free Speech
  • G.O.P. Election Deniers
  • Republicans Against Birth Control

President Biden with Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, center, and Jon Tester of Montana. Many Democratic officials and voters bear no ill will toward Mr. Biden, but would like a new face to lead the party.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

To the Editor:

“Biden in 2024? Many in Party Whisper, ‘No’” (front page, June 12) raises the question of why so many Democrats seem to be down on President Biden. He is guiding the U.S. out of the pandemic, encouraged and signed major infrastructure legislation, galvanized the international coalition that has enabled Ukraine to resist Russia’s horrific invasion and appointed highly qualified judges who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ideology and experience, and who promise to counter the deleterious effects of Donald Trump appointees.

These and many other accomplishments comprise an excellent record for a president’s first 17 months, especially when the Democrats possessed a razor-thin Senate majority.

Carl Tobias
Richmond, Va.
The writer is a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

To the Editor:

A breathtakingly common theme, whether we read about gun massacres, the economy, climate legislation or crumbling infrastructure, is that our nation feels in crisis, rudderless, lacking a moral compass.

I have great admiration for the decent, calm, highly experienced Joe Biden. But it is now clear to me that our nation needs a much more assertive, energetic leader who can move hearts, minds and legislation against a tsunami of Republican obstructionism, the selfish noncooperation of select Democratic senators, and the relentless lies and conspiracies masquerading as news.

This is a herculean task. I’m not sure who is up to it. But I think Howard Dean is right. Go younger. And go bolder. We need someone with big ideas and the negotiating ability to move public opinion and legislation forward.

Sally Peabody
Peabody, Mass.

To the Editor:

“Biden in 2024? Many in Party Whisper, ‘No’ ” is a thoughtful, interesting analysis of the many pros and cons of President Biden’s running again. But I think many of the points raised are irrelevant, because the controlling issue is the president’s age.

The idea that a man in his 80s (he would be 82 when inaugurated for a second term and 86 by its end) would have the energy to do such a demanding job is simply wrong. I say this as a 90-year-old man who is able to cook, walk, drive, see friends and take part in public life.

But it is clear that anyone’s energy in their 80s is greatly diminished. And as David Axelrod is quoted as saying, “The presidency is a monstrously taxing job.”

Eric Wolman
Little Silver, N.J.

To the Editor:

President Biden may be down but it’s premature to count him out. In 1948 Harry Truman faced similar problems. Few people gave him any chance of winning the presidency. The economy was bad. The world was a mess. He was too blunt for most people. Many felt he was not up to the job. Support within his own party was disintegrating, just as Mr. Biden’s support is declining.

What happened? Truman did not give up, and he won the election. Will Mr. Biden be the 21st-century Truman?

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh, N.Y.

A Threat to Free Speech

Credit…Pablo Delcan

To the Editor:

The New York Times editorial board has said it plans to identify threats to free speech and offer solutions.

One of the most dangerous threats to free speech is the tremendous growth over three to four decades of government agencies, businesses and others barring employees from speaking to journalists. Sometimes bans are total. Sometimes they prohibit contact unless authorities oversee it, often through public information offices.

Legal analysis from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information finds that such constraints in public agencies, although very common, are unconstitutional. Many courts have agreed.

Despite our pride in some outstanding journalism, no news outlet overcomes all the blockages and intimidation of sources that this censorship creates. Quite enough information is successfully hidden to be corrosive.

The press should not be taking the risk of assuming that what we get is all there is when so many people are silenced. We should be openly fighting these controls.

Haisten Willis
Kathryn Foxhall
Timothy Wheeler
Mr. Willis and Ms. Foxhall are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Freedom of Information Committee, Society of Professional Journalists. Mr. Wheeler is chair of the Freedom of Information Task Force, Society of Environmental Journalists.

G.O.P. Election Deniers

Jim Marchant in Carson City, Nev., in March 2021. He is the Republican nominee for Nevada secretary of state and an organizer of a Trump-inspired coalition of candidates who falsely insist the 2020 election was stolen.Credit…Ricardo Torres-Cortez/Las Vegas Sun, via Associated Press

To the Editor:

Re “Far-Right Election Deniers Pressing Closer to Controlling Votes” (news analysis, June 16):

The alarming rise of far-right Republicans who could hold significant sway over the electoral systems of several swing states leaves me feeling incredibly worried.

That we as citizens of the United States would ever have to even ponder whether or not the candidate who won the majority of votes would be certified as the victor in an election is nothing short of horrifying.

Despite knowing better, far too many self-serving Republicans have allowed their party to become a den of showy snake oil salesmen and women who peddle conspiracies and mistruths. The dangerous state our democracy finds itself in now is their responsibility.

Cody Lyon

Republicans Against Birth Control

Hailey Kramer, the chief nurse practitioner at Tri-Rivers Family Planning, said her patients make clear that birth control is a deeply personal decision.Credit…Whitney Curtis for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Missouri Battle on Birth Control Gives Hint of a Post-Roe Nation” (front page, June 14):

Those same Republican conservatives who advocate personal responsibility not only want to ban all abortions for women. Now they also want to deprive women of their ability to prevent pregnancy by taking away funding for methods of birth control.

It’s illogical and unconscionable, but sadly no longer unthinkable.

Merri Rosenberg
Ardsley, N.Y.

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