President Joe Biden made it official early Tuesday: He will run for reelection in 2024, despite the fact that he would be 86 at the end of a second term in the White House.
Biden has widely been expected to announce the bid, even though his first term has been plagued by foreign and domestic policy missteps and an approval rating stuck in the low 40% range. He made the announcement in a video shot earlier this month at his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, vacation home.
“Joe and Kamala are running for reelection, and we need your help to spread the word. Share this video with your friends!” the video, entitled “Freedom,” announces.
The video begins with a scene from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, followed by an image of an abortion rights protest as Biden warns ominously that “MAGA extremists are lining up” to threaten democracy.
“Cutting Social Security that you’ve paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy,” Biden says. “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 already faces a primary challenge from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and there have been rumors that California Governor Gavin Newsom and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin could enter the race. However, the Democratic National Committee has already declared it will not sponsor in debates and that it is fully behind Biden.
Biden is scheduled to meet with key donors on Friday. His campaign message is likely to emphasize his “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan and his response to the COVID pandemic.
The Republican field could expand, but as it shapes up now, Biden is likely to face a rematch with former President Trump, who leads by a wide margin in polls. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his bid in the coming weeks and could pose a challenge to Trump.
At 80, Biden is already the oldest president in history. He moves stiffly, takes a record amount of vacation time, and often loses his train of thought while speaking in public. Should he win reelection, he will be 86 when he leaves office in January 2029.
A recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that just a quarter of Americans want Biden to run again, including less than half of Democrats. Biden’s approval rating is 43% in the Real Clear Politics polling average.