There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right? Inside the 2024 soul-searching that’s happening in every corner of the Democratic Party.

On a Tuesday evening in April, nearly half a century after Joe Biden first publicly mused about running for president, an unsettled cross section of the Democratic Establishment assembled at Pinehurst, a golf resort in North Carolina. Inflation was at a 40-year high, Biden’s disapproval rating sat at 56 percent, and editors at the New York Times were readying a front-page report about how his signature achievement — $1.9 trillion in coronavirus-relief spending — has “barely registered with voters.” The lobbyists, donors, staffers, and elected officials were gathering for the spring policy meeting of the Democratic Governors Association, and the scheduled sessions concerned such topics as health care and diversity in governance. But between panel discussions, in the hallways and at the cocktail reception on the lawn, conversation shifted from grim — the midterms — to grimmer: the state of the party’s planning for 2024, when Biden will stand for reelection on the eve of his 82nd birthday.

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