The “will he or won’t he?” guessing game is over for the Democratic Party. For now.
“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy, to stand up for their fundamental freedoms,” President Joe Biden said in a video message posted to Twitter on April 25, 2023. “I believe this is ours.”
“That’s why I’m running for reelection as President of the United States,” Biden continued. “Join us. Let’s finish the job.”
“When I ran for President four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America — and we still are,” President Biden said in his video announcement. “The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer. I know what I want the answer to be. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”
“Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms,” Biden went on. “Cutting Social Security that you’ve paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy. Dictating what health care decisions women can make, banning books, and telling people who they can love. All while making it more difficult for you to be able to vote.”
Biden’s announcement has been met thus far with a predictable blend of fear and trepidation from the left.
“In offering himself as a candidate again, Mr. Biden is asking Americans to trust him with the powers of a commander in chief well into his ninth decade,” wrote Peter Baker for the New York Times following Biden’s announcement.
“At age 80, Mr. Biden is already the oldest president in American history, and, if he were to win, he would be 86 at the end of a second term, nearly nine years older than Ronald Reagan was when he left the White House in 1989,” mused Baker.
“While Mr. Biden presides over a more unified party than his potential challenger does, many Democrats privately worry that the president may not be up to another campaign,” Baker fretted. “His overall approval rating remains mired at just over 42 percent, according to an aggregation of polls by the political website FiveThirtyEight, lower than 10 of the last 13 presidents at this point in their terms.”
“While polls show that most Democrats have favorable opinions about Mr. Biden, a majority of them would still rather he not run again,” admitted Baker. “In a survey by NBC News released this week, 70 percent of Americans, including 51 percent of Democrats, said he should not seek a second term. Seven out of 10 of those who did not want him to serve four more years cited his age as a factor.”
“Biden announces reelection bid, saying battle for nation’s soul isn’t complete,” began Kevin Liptak, Arlette Saenz, Maegan Vazquez, and Jeremy Diamond for CNN yesterday.
“Little enthusiasm for another Biden run amid concerns about his age,” the quartet wrote, echoing the NYT. “No major challengers are expected to emerge, and Biden is likely to enjoy an easy path to his party’s nomination. Only two challengers are in the race: author Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.”
Still, an easy path to his party’s nomination isn’t the same thing as an easy path to reelection. Then there are those low approval numbers to consider. Of his predecessors, very few incumbents have been able to cinch a second term with such low numbers.
“There was the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan,” admitted CNN. “Struggles on border policy. Fluctuations in energy prices. Missteps with longstanding allies. Supply chain issues and shortages for everyday items and essentials like Covid-19 tests, baby formula and certain medications. And investigations into his family, which have accelerated under the House GOP majority. And, of course, the pervasive inflation woes impacting global markets and Americans’ spending power.”
President Biden is quick to dismiss these and other concerns about his reelection chances.
“Well, they’re concerned about whether or not I can get anything done,” Biden told CNN host Jake Tapper in October. “Look what I’ve gotten done. Name me a president in recent history that has gotten done as much as I have in their first two years.”
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)