(The Hill) — President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he will run for reelection, ending months of speculation over whether he will seek another term.
Biden, who turned 80 years old in November, announced his second bid after months of saying he intends to run and with questions lingering over whether his age and mental stamina would prevent him from holding the office again. Biden would be 82 at the start of a second term. He was the oldest president ever to be sworn-in when he took office in 2020.
The White House suggested in January that a formal re-election announcement would come after Biden’s State of the Union address but had not signaled since a definitive time. Biden in recent weeks has hinted that he plans to run for reelection but left timing up in the air until reports surfaced late last week that his team was preparing to make the announcement via video on Tuesday.
His campaign apparatus has slowly started to take shape. He’s reportedly expected to name senior White House official Julie Chavez Rodriguez as his campaign manager. White House aides Anita Dunn and Jen O’Malley Dillon are likely to play a central role in the campaign from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Some former aides are also expected to be by the president’s side on the trail, including ex-chief of staff Ron Klain, who said on his way out in February that he looks forward to being with his old boss in 2024. Former communications director Kate Bedingfield, who served as deputy campaign manager in 2020, also left the White House in February.
Biden and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this month announced next year’s convention would take place in Chicago. And top Democratic donors are reportedly expected to meet with Biden in Washington this week.
The announcement Tuesday came on the four-year anniversary of Biden launching his 2020 campaign.
Biden has been plagued by dismal approval ratings amid an uncertain economy and record-high inflation throughout his first two years in office, though he saw an uptick after Democrats performed better than expected in November’s midterms even as many in his own party expressed hesitancy over supporting him during the race.
There has also been a lack of enthusiasm in recent polls about another Biden bid where in some cases nearly half of the Democrats surveyed said they wanted to see another candidate run in the primary.
Biden won the 2020 election against then-President Donald Trump, clinching 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and winning the popular vote by over 7 million.
Trump, who was arraigned in April on 34 counts of falsifying business records, announced in November that he plans to run for another term, setting up a possible rematch of Biden versus Trump in 2024 – an option both Democrats and Republicans are less than thrilled by.
Biden at this point though is still expected to be the Democratic presidential nominee. The only Democrats to announce campaigns challenging him are political outsiders and unlikely to draw significant support. Author Marianne Williamson, who ran in 2020, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has promoted anti-vaccine conspiracies, have both formally jumped in the race.
The president has also faced hurdles in other areas. His poll numbers began to steadily sink following the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, which is now the subject of an investigation by the GOP-controlled House.
So is his son, Hunter Biden, who House Republicans are probing over a host of matters, namely tying his business dealings abroad to his father. Those investigations have so far produced little fruit.
Republicans flipped the House in the midterms contest but landed a far narrower majority than projected. Meanwhile, Democrats held onto the Senate, marking the first time since President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House that a president did not lose a single incumbent senator of the same party during his first midterm election.
Before that, he achieved some legislative accomplishments with a Democratic-controlled Congress for two years, including the Democrats’ sweeping climate and tax bill and the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure law, which the administration touted on a nationwide tour.
Biden kicked off his third year in office with a visit to the U.S. southern border, after Republican lawmakers lambasted him for being too late to show up amid constant attacks that his administration is the cause of the influx of migrants.
He also made a historic surprise visit to Ukraine in February as the first president to set foot in an active war zone without a U.S. military presence. Biden’s time so far in office has largely been marked by his response to the war in Ukraine.
Domestically, the president’s tenure has been marked by high inflation and the debate over if the U.S. is heading for a recession, the fallout from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, and multiple mass shootings, including a school shooting in Nashville that took the lives of three nine-year-olds and three adults in April. The president has repeatedly called for Republicans to act on gun control measures following his signing of a bipartisan gun bill in June, which is considered one of his biggest accomplishments.