On Tuesday, President Joe Biden formally announced his campaign for reelection in 2024 and asked voters to give him more time to “finish the job” and extend his time in the White House four more years.
Biden, America’s oldest president, would be 86 at the end of a second term. He is betting on his over 50-year experience in Washington. With no Democratic challengers considered ‘serious’ by political analysts, Biden faces a battle to retain the presidency in a bitterly divided nation.
In his first public appearance since the videotaped announcement, the president offered a preview of how he plans to navigate the presidential candidate and president roles. He used a speech to building trade union members to spotlight his accomplishments while undercutting his GOP rivals.
During his appearance, Biden showcased the construction jobs he touted as being created since he took office.
“We — you and I — together, we’re turning things around, and we’re doing it in a big way,” said Biden. “It’s time to finish the job. Finish the job.”
The president’s campaign announcement, which came in a three-minute video, comes on the fourth anniversary of his declaration for the White House in 2019 when he promised to heal the “soul of the nation” amid the presidency of former President Donald Trump — a goal that has continued to remain elusive.
“I said we are in a battle for the soul of America, and we still are,” said Biden. “The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer.”
While the option of seeking reelection is a given for most modern-day presidents, it has not been the case for Biden. Many Democrat voters indicated they would prefer a candidate other than the president. The preference is in part because of his age. He called the concerns “totally legitimate” but didn’t address the issue in his launch video.
The president is predicting to run again on the themes that buoyed the Dems last fall, particularly preserving abortion access.
“Freedom. Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. There’s nothing more important. Nothing more sacred,” said Biden in the video. He depicted GOP ‘extremists’ as trying to roll back access to abortion, limit voting rights, ban books, and cut Social Security.
“Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take those bedrock freedoms away.”
President Biden says he will run on his record
As the campaign begins to take shape, Biden plans to run on his record. He spent most of his first two years as president dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and pushing significant bills, including the bipartisan infrastructure package and legislation to promote climate measures and high-tech manufacturing.
President Biden also has multiple unmet promises and policy goals remaining from his first campaign that he’ll ask voters to allow him additional time to fulfill.
“Let’s finish this job. I know we can,” said Biden in the video, repeating a phrase he used a dozen times in his February State of the Union address.
Vice President Kamala Harris appeared alongside Biden in the video and planned to attend a Howard University political rally in Washington Tuesday evening, kicking off her own efforts in support of the reelection effort and speaking on abortion access.
In the video, the president speaks over short clips and photographs of key moments in his presidency and flashes of Americans while taking shots and showing images of outspoken GOP foes, including former President Donald Trump, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He urges his supporters that “this is our moment” to “defend Democracy. Stand up for our personal freedoms. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights.”
President Biden also plans to highlight his work over the past two years, leading a global coalition to support Ukraine’s defenses against Russia’s invasion, returning the U.S. to the Paris climate accord, and shoring up American alliances. However, public support in the United States for Ukraine has waned in recent months. Some voters question the tens of billions of dollars in economic and military assistance flowing into Kyiv.
The president continues to face lingering criticism over his administration’s chaotic 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal. His economic policies and border policy could also be a turn-off for voters. His son, Hunter Biden, and as many as ten family members for influence peddling, falsifying tax documents, and other allegations remain under investigation.
As a 2020 presidential candidate, Biden sold voters on his familiarity with Washington’s power and international relationships.
Recent polls have shown low approval ratings, with many voters preferring an alternative to Biden.
President Biden’s reelection bid comes as the nation endures uncertain economic times. Although inflation is ticking down slightly after hitting the highest level in a generation, volatility continues in the monetary system and banking industries. Further downturns could significantly affect his campaign for the highest office.
“If voters let Biden’ finish the job,’ inflation will continue to skyrocket, crime rates will rise, more fentanyl will cross our open borders, children will continue to be left behind, and American families will be worse off,” said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel in a statement.