Biden Makes It Official: He’s Running Again in 2024

President Joe Biden formally announced that he would seek reelection in 2024, readying a historic campaign against a Republican field dominated by his predecessor while economic uncertainty clouds his case for a second term.

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden formally announced that he would seek reelection in 2024, readying a historic campaign against a Republican field dominated by his predecessor while economic uncertainty clouds his case for a second term. 

Biden, 80, implored voters to let him “finish this job” he began when he took office and put aside any worries about his age. The president is on track to easily be renominated, but faces a tough general-election battle to remain in the White House with the nation as divided as ever. 

Biden made his decision official with a three-minute video released Tuesday, in which he said his promise to heal the “soul of America” following Donald Trump’s presidency is not yet fulfilled and that the nation still faces threats from “extremists” in the Republican Party. The announcement came on the fourth anniversary of when he launched his presidential campaign in 2019.

“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom,” Biden said. “This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”

Already the oldest person ever elected US president, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term and faces intense scrutiny about his fitness to serve another four years in the White House. His kick-off message shows he is betting that voters will reward him for his decades of experience and record, while looking past age concerns.

Biden had long said he intended to seek a second term, making the official announcement somewhat of a foregone conclusion. He hadn’t felt pressure to declare his candidacy earlier because he faced no serious opposition for the Democratic Party’s nomination, his advisers said, even though polls showed large numbers of Democrats prefer he not run again in part because of his age.

The Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the November midterm elections quieted talk of a significant primary challenge. Trump has emerged as the clear GOP frontrunner, galvanizing Democratic opposition and further bolstering Biden’s case to run again.

Biden’s announcement suggested he will run on similar themes that propelled Democrats in the midterms, such as protecting abortion rights, voting rights and the social safety net.

“Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans,” Biden said in the video. “But around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take those bedrock freedoms away.”

Still, the nation’s deep political divisions likely mean a hard-fought campaign for Biden, even if Trump emerges as the GOP nominee, despite the former president facing a criminal indictment in New York and scrutiny over his role during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that could lead to more charges.

Biden’s announcement allows him to kick off fundraising for the race, which will likely require even more money than his 2020 campaign, the first in US history to raise $1 billion. He has also assembled an initial team of advisers to lead his reelection operation.

Earlier: Biden’s 2024 Campaign Takes Shape Ahead of Official Announcement

Biden chose Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a senior White House official and veteran of the 2020 campaign, to manage his 2024 campaign. Quentin Fulks, who managed Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock’s 2022 reelection campaign, will be her deputy. The president’s selection of a Latina woman and a Black man to lead his campaign is notable, given that his inner circle in the White House, which will play a large role in the campaign, is almost entirely White. 

Kamala Harris, a potential Biden successor who has come under fire from some Democrats for her performance as vice president, will reprise her role as Biden’s running mate.

Senator Chris Coons, from Biden’s home state of Delaware, and South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, both longtime allies of Biden in Congress, will serve as campaign co-chairs. That group also includes Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a rising Democratic star, and Hollywood mogul and Democratic megadonor Jeffrey Katzenberg.

To encourage campaign contributions, top donors are invited to special events this week, including a Friday night dinner with Biden and meetings Saturday with senior members of his team, according to two people familiar with the matter. 

The campaign has not yet scheduled events for Biden, but the president and vice president will appear before key constituencies Tuesday in their official capacities. Biden is scheduled to speak to the North America’s Building Trades Unions about his domestic agenda, and Harris will address an abortion rights rally at Howard University, a historically Black college she graduated from in Washington.

Read More: Joe Biden Is Acting Like He’s Running for Reelection in 2024

Biden’s reelection run will stand in stark contrast to his experience in 2020, when his campaign faltered before Democrats came to believe he was best suited to defeat Trump and coalesced around him. He then drastically curbed in-person events because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president enters this race virtually undisputed as the Democratic standard bearer. His only declared opponents are self-help author Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Other potential contenders have thrown their support behind Biden. 

This time around, Biden will have to manage an intense campaign schedule while also running the country. His most urgent task is a stand-off with Republicans over raising the US debt limit. The president so far has refused to negotiate with GOP lawmakers, accusing them of holding the economy hostage with demands to cut spending as a condition of raising the borrowing cap.

If the two sides don’t reach an agreement, the US could default on its debt for the first time, which could trigger a major recession, as well as widespread political fallout. 

The public will blame Republicans for their brinkmanship, the president’s aides say, adding that his record of passing major legislation on infrastructure, climate, health care and chip manufacturing contrasts well with the GOP’s agenda. Republicans, at the same time, have blamed the president’s policies for fueling inflation, which has persisted despite multiple Federal Reserve rate hikes. 

Trump preemptively attacked Biden in a statement Monday before the announcement over his handling of the economy, inflation, the Afghanistan withdrawal and immigration. The former president repeated the false claim that he lost to Biden in 2020 because the election was “rigged.”

The Republican roster remains dominated by Trump, who has maintained his grip over the party despite some officials who want to see him step aside in favor of new leadership. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, his top rival, has suffered multiple setbacks in recent weeks as Trump has surged in polls and as donors and lawmakers openly question DeSantis’s viability. 

(Updates throughout)

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