Washington: US President Joe Biden is preparing to announce his re-election campaign next week, a media outlet has reported.
Biden’s team has been working on a video that could be released on Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of his 2020 election run, The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified officials, who, it added, have warned that the official announcement could be delayed.
President Biden has been signalling a willingness to seek a second term even as a debate rages, including in the Democratic party, about his fitness for it given his age. He is 80 now and already the oldest President in US history. He will be 86 at the end of his second term if he wins.
Biden said last October that it’s his “intention” to seek a second term and that he will decide in consultation with his family. He repeated that in an interview with a US media outlet in February. Though he did not go any further, his wife, First Lady Jill Biden did, saying he will run as he is “not done yet”.
The 2024 run will be his fourth campaign for the White House. He first ran in 1988 and then in 2008, which was won by President Barack Obama, who picked him for his vice-president. Biden was widely expected to run in 2016, at the end of Obama’s second term, but gave it a miss.
Biden succeeded on his third, in 2020, and now his fourth.
As sitting President, the Democratic party nomination is his, even though two people have announced so far their desire to seek it as well – self-help author Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a nephew of late President John F. Kennedy and son of Robert F. Kennedy, whose run for the White House was ended by his assassination. Neither of them is capable of mounting a credible challenge to the President.
The Republican line-up is still taking shape with former President Donald Trump, who has already announced; Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the UN and Asa Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas the others. Also preparing to jump is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has emerged as the palatable Trump; former Vice-President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
All eyes are on Trump. He leads all polls of Republican contenders, but is beset with mounting legal troubles, including an indictment in a New York court. He won’t be deterred by these cases, he has said, and he could, legally and constitutionally, continue his run even if was jailed.