President Biden Officially Running for Re-Election

"The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer."

This video was released early this morning:

ABC News has some highlights:

“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer,” he said in the video, entitled ‘Freedom,’ which was posted to his social media account early Tuesday morning.

“This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for re-election.”

The video announcement focuses on Biden’s closing argument to the country, making his case for four more years in office to “finish this job” — a line he previewed during his State of the Union address this year.

“Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they’ve had to defend democracy. Stand up for our personal freedoms. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. And this is our moment,” Biden says in the video.

“Let’s finish this job, I know we can.”

As part of that closing argument, the president also calls out “MAGA extremists” for attacking “bedrock freedoms” in the video.

While Biden does not directly name any of his GOP rivals, images from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and members of the Republican Party, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, flash on the screen.

WaPo (“Biden team plans television ads after Tuesday reelection announcement“):

President Biden will buy television ad time later this week to push his reelection message after announcing his campaign Tuesday morning in an online video, according to people familiar with the plans.

The president will also announce the senior ranks of his new campaign team Tuesday. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a top aide at the White House and veteran of Vice President Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign, will become his campaign manager, the people said.

Quentin Fulks, the campaign manager for Sen. Raphael G. Warnock’s winning 2022 Georgia Senate campaign, will join Rodriguez as her deputy, marking the first time a sitting president has chosen a Latina woman and African American man to run his campaign.

A person involved in the process said Rodriguez was the top choice of all of Biden’s senior advisers, the president and the first lady, after an extensive interview process that included a wide array of Democratic campaign talent. A California native, she is the granddaughter of labor leader Cesar Chavez and a veteran of the Obama White House, later going to work for Harris both in her Senate office and as political director on her presidential campaign.

Rodriguez worked as a deputy campaign manager on the Biden-Harris campaign during the general election. In the White House, Rodriguez has been in charge of the office of intergovernmental affairs for Biden, managing his relationships with governors, mayors and county leaders around the country.

Biden has also selected a suite of co-chairs for his campaign, including Reps. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.), among others.

Biden will release his campaign announcement video early Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon he is scheduled to deliver remarks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference.

The launch of his campaign closely echoes the start of his 2020 presidential campaign, which he also kicked off on April 25 and then followed with an event at a union hall in Pittsburgh.

POLITICO (“As Biden readies a reelection launch he fills out his team“) adds:

The first two staff hires will allow Biden to once again demonstrate a commitment to diversity and trust in his party’s next generation of talent. Fulks, 33, is Black, and Rodriguez, 45, is the granddaughter of labor icon Cesar Chavez and the highest-ranking Latino in the White House.

[…]

Rodriguez has never led a campaign before. But she was a senior adviser and deputy campaign manager on Biden’s 2020 run and is close to the president and well respected by the quintet of top Biden aides expected to help guide the reelection effort: Mike Donilon, Anita Dunn, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Steve Richetti and Bruce Reed. She also built up goodwill from her time working in the Obama administration.

“She isn’t the most operational person they could have gone with, but she has close relationships with the president and his staff,” one person who has worked with Rodriguez said. “She gets shit done and doesn’t piss people off while doing it.”

The same could be said for Biden. Granted that the election is a year and a half away, the odds of his getting a second term have to be exceedingly high. The opposition party is in absolute disarray and their core supporters are dying off by the day. There’s not a plausible candidate who can emerge from the MAGA-infested primaries who I can see beating him.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. drj says:

    The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer.

    He is not wrong.

    10
  2. wr says:

    You can’t just spring a shocker like this on us first thing in the morning with no warning. You almost gave me a heart attack from the surprise!

    4
  3. Scott says:

    In politics, I always prefer a positive campaign but if Biden thinks he doesn’t need to be tearing down Trump specifically or the Republicans in general, then he is setting himself up for a loss. Karl Rove, bless his evil little heart, is right: Attack the opponents strength. Trump keeps talking about his four years as being the best President ever! The best economy ever! Best foreign policy ever!
    Don’t let him get away with that. Or Biden will lose.

    2
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: To repeat,

    The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer.

    If that is not a direct attack on the GOP, I don’t know what is. As far as trump goes, I’m not worried about Joe’s ability to handle him. He’s done it before and will again.

    8
  5. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They are already attacking Biden directly, trying to get to the “everybody knows” opinion space. Can’t let that settle into the American zeitgeist.

    https://www.axios.com/2023/04/25/rnc-slams-biden-re-election-bid-ai-generated-ad

  6. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    I would prefer Biden not run, but I’m not sure I see a credible Democratic alternative.
    And there are no MAGA-Republican’s in the field that I could possibly vote for.
    So I’m left with no choice…but considering Biden’s outstanding record, I don’t feel too bad about it.

    9
  7. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Oh wait…I could vote for the Kennedy failson…because I welcome the return of measles epidemics.
    /:snark

    2
  8. Kylopod says:

    I didn’t want Biden to be the nominee in 2020, and part of the reason was that I anticipated just this very situation. But now that we’re here, I think it would be a monumental mistake to go with someone else. First of all, if he were to announce that he wasn’t running, who would run instead? Harris is the most obvious choice, but I don’t believe it would be uncontested. Other big-name Democrats would almost certainly step up to challenge her, even if Biden quickly got behind her. Whether you think Biden is a strong candidate or not, his running creates a unity in the party that would be nearly impossible to achieve if he were to step aside. And unity is something we absolutely need if we’re to win in 2024.

    I’m also a big believer in the power of incumbency. Not only do incumbents usually win, but non-incumbents from the president’s party rarely do. (Since 1928, only one did–George H.W. Bush in 1988. That’s a factoid I can’t get past.) Biden’s low approval ratings right now are a concern, but I don’t think the situation would be improved by going with someone else–I think they’re more a reflection of dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party than dissatisfaction with Biden in particular.

    That may not be the most inspiring message I can give, but I am actually somewhat (cautiously) optimistic about the Democrats’ chances at keeping the presidency next year. (I’m not at all optimistic about the Senate, though.) For one thing, historically it’s not uncommon for presidents to suffer low approval ratings in the odd-number year before an election (Reagan’s approval in Apr. 1983 was about the same as Biden’s now), then see them rise in the following year. In some cases it could have been due to an improving economy, which is very much not a sure thing right now. But I also think that during election years, people increasingly judge the president relative to the other party, rather than saying whether they approve or disapprove of him in an absolute sense.

    I sincerely hope that Biden’s approval numbers rise by next year, though I also think that with the current level of polarization, they don’t need to be astronomically high in order for him to win.

    8
  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Yep. Looks like he’s been at bat about 11 times and has done pretty good in the past: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_history_of_Joe_Biden

    It takes more than just hate and a drive for revenge to build a successful campaign.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    Biden’s approval ratings will rise, if for no other reason, Dem voters will accept that he’ll be the party’s candidate.

    1
  11. Tony W says:

    The Republicans are playing into Biden’s hand by continuing to support Trump.

    I predict a theme of “we need professional leadership, not some clown”.

    And it will work.

    2
  12. steve says:

    I really wish there was another choice. Just being better than Trump is a low bar.

    Steve

    1
  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Joe Biden is, so far, the best president of my lifetime.

    Kennedy
    Johnson
    Nixon
    Ford
    Carter
    Reagan
    Bush 1
    Clinton
    Bush 2
    Obama
    Trump

    Not the most exciting, not the most groundbreaking, but in terms of an honest job performance evaluation, he’s the best I’ve seen.

    14
  14. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @steve:
    That is a low bar…one that Biden cleared by a mile.
    While I am concerned about his age, and what four more years in a stressful job will do to him, I also think his accomplishments speak for themselves…and they are saying that he deserves another term.

    2
  15. Kathy says:

    @steve:

    You just say that because 99.99% of the people on the planet clear that bar.

    2
  16. Andy says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    I would prefer Biden not run, but I’m not sure I see a credible Democratic alternative.
    And there are no MAGA-Republican’s in the field that I could possibly vote for.
    So I’m left with no choice…but considering Biden’s outstanding record, I don’t feel too bad about it.

    That’s pretty much my view. Biden is too old, but the potential alternatives I could stomach from either the Democrats or Republicans would have little chance in a primary.

    I’m not as confident as James about Biden winning, though. If the election were held today, then probably yes, but it isn’t, and 18 months is a long time in politics. And even healthy people Biden’s age can die with little notice.

    4
  17. James Joyner says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: That he got elected to the US Senate at 29 and kept a lock on the seat is incredibly impressive. But I think the fair batting average is how he’s done in Presidential contests and the average is much lower there, since he had three failed bids for the Democratic nomination.

    @Michael Reynolds: I guess it really depends on your metrics. LBJ and even Obama got more big legislation passed but both were bad to mediocre on foreign policy. Vietnam pretty much forces LBJ into the bad category as does Iraq for Bush Jr. Reagan affected considerably bigger changes in both the zeitgeist and the political landscape and managed to win the Cold War on his watch. But he did have Iran-Contra on his watch.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    LBJ is a tough call, as @James Joyner: points out, Viet Nam, but on the domestic front, Civil Rights, Medicare and Medicaid. There is a very short list of Prez’s that can top those domestic accomplishments.

    1
  19. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:
    @Sleeping Dog:

    I think Mr. Reynolds listed the presidents, and Benito, in chronological order, not in ranked order.

    1
  20. James Joyner says:

    @Kathy: Right. But he’s saying “Joe Biden is, so far, the best president of my lifetime.” By what standard?

  21. Scott F. says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: @Michael Reynolds:
    Biden’s record in office has all been accomplished as someone north of 78 yrs old. His performance refutes the “he’s too old” argument by itself. Sure, mental acuity and physical stamina degrade as you age, but it would take an atypically sharp drop indeed to bring Biden from top tier POTUS (when 78-81) to not up to the job (when 82-85).

    2
  22. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Joe Biden is, so far, the best president of my lifetime.

    I was born during the Johnson administration, but… really? You think that Biden has done more than Johnson’s electrification of the south–which Biden (and his three predecessors) haven’t been able to accomplish with high-speed internet? Or Kennedy creating the space race–which sparked so many of the technological advancements in the last half century.

    Biden is who we need right now. He’s a control rod in the nuclear reactor that is current US politics. But… he’s fighting a holding action. He’s not moving us forward, he’s getting us back to normal.

    I just wish he was 20 years younger, so I had no hesitations about him. Unless a new Obama steps in from stage left, Biden is going to get my vote. But, I don’t see Biden as “great”. I see him on the same plane as Carter–an honest man doing the best he can with what he’s given, but… not not “great”.

    I have issues with Biden’s “you must be union” stance. And his “Buy American” push is just Trump’s nationalism wrapped in a different flag. Biden has done little to nothing about accepting the influx of asylum seekers–or even non-citizens who just want to work here.*

    What I would really like is for a young center-left candidate with strong credentials and history to step into the ring, get the backing of Biden, and speak to the 75% of the population that actually agree on most things, and agree to disagree on the rest.

    And then Biden could step into the role that the absence of Carter has left vacant–the Statesman.

    I don’t want Biden in the White House; I want him in Beijing, Taipei, Jerusalem, Gaza, Delhi, Manila, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, and every other capital that the US needs to speak with.

    Joe Biden has done what he needed to do as a President. He can be a far more powerful influence–and do far more good–as a statesman.

    ========
    * If Biden’s rules on immigration were in force in 1920, I’d be living in a region which has undergone multiple wars within my lifetime, and is currently dealing with civil strife that could easily erupt into another war.

    2
  23. Lounsbury says:

    @Scott F.:

    but it would take an atypically sharp drop indeed to bring Biden from top tier POTUS (when 78-81) to not up to the job (when 82-85).

    Yes. The fellow is quite competent and good at being President, a savvy operator. Maybe one need not engage in Michaelesque exaggeration as is his wont, but he is clearly a top tier American President and not merely in light of the bottom-of-the-barrel predecessor.

    and last campaign he proved rather savvy with a good sang froid.

    1
  24. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Scott F.:
    If you look at Biden four years ago and then compare it to today, it’s hard to imagine him four years hence.
    The presidency takes a huge toll on anyone.
    Look how Bush 43 and Obama aged over their terms, and those two were young men in great shape.
    We can argue over Biden’s accomplishments, as others are doing here, but I don’t think you can argue that his age is of no concern.

    1
  25. Scott F. says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Biden is who we need right now. He’s a control rod in the nuclear reactor that is current US politics. But… he’s fighting a holding action. He’s not moving us forward, he’s getting us back to normal.

    From his video, Biden’s argument is clearly that the nuclear core is still overheating and it is too soon for complacency. I suspect he is right. We’re only midway through China Syndrome.

  26. CSK says:

    Do you suppose Biden deliberately picked the day Trump’s rape/defamation trial opens to make his re-election announcement?

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: By the same standard that nearly every BOAT/GOAT contest is settled–the opinion of the person making the assertion. I use a different statement that a friend of Luddite’s provided for me to steal: In my adult lifetime, the Presidency has been populated by an endless parade of doofuses, each one more hapless than the previous. Obama and Biden have broken that chain in my take, but in 2028, the nation will have the likelihood of being led by a Republican doofus that is even more hapless than Trump. Entropy always prevails eventually.

    2
  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    You think that Biden has done more

    That’s not my metric. I said, “an honest job performance evaluation.” If I’m evaluating an employee I don’t just look at end product, I look at the difficulty of the task. LBJ had big Democratic majorities, and relatively rational opposition. It’s easy to win when you have all the advantages. Biden wins when no one thinks he can. He is the more valuable employee.

    7