Biden formally announces re-election campaign



Biden speaks from the White House Rose Garden on April 24, 2023. (Associated Press)

President Joe Biden is running for re-election. 

Exactly four years after he announced his last run for the white house, Biden released a video of his 2024 campaign for president with the Democratic party on April 25.

“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a battle for the soul of America,” said Biden. “And we still are.”

He reiterated his previous arguments, claiming he is the candidate of “freedom, democracy, dignity, and equal rights.”

Though his platform and policies remain largely unchanged, Biden and his campaign chose to frame the election as a battle against right-wing extremism.

“MAGA (Make America Great Again) extremists (people who strongly believe in Donald Trump’s ideology) are lining up to take down those bedrock freedoms,” he said.

He continued by attacking stances on policies held by some members of the Republican party (GOP).

“Cutting social security that you’ve paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy,” he said. “Banning books and telling people who they can love.”

The campaign concluded the video with the slogan “Let’s finish this job!”

Since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, Biden’s performance as president has faced controversy.

The president’s approval rating currently stands at 42.7 percent, while his disapproval is at 52.7 percent.

Biden’s approval and disapproval ratings from the FiveThirtyEight polling aggregate. (FiveThiryEight)

Supporters of the president cite historic accomplishments such as the administration’s successful aid to Ukraine and Biden’s nomination of the first black woman to become a Supreme Court justice: Ketanji Brown-Jackson.

They also tout his success in helping pass major pieces of legislation through Congress. 

These include COVID-19 relief, expansions to Medicare, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, and the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes the most significant piece of climate legislation in U.S. history.

His accomplishments helped him and the Democratic Party endure the 2022 midterm elections, which subverted expectations of huge Republican victories.

On the other hand, his critics claim he has failed to fully execute the goals of his agenda.  Some Democrats argue his presidency has not been able to make community college free, expand voter rights, or eliminate the filibuster.

They also blame him for foreign policy issues, such as being unable to handle the influx of migrants on the southern border, improperly storing classified documents, failing to stamp out the inflation crisis, and revoking American military presence from Afghanistan.

A top concern for voters is his age; Biden became the oldest president in American history, entering office at 78 years old. He is currently 80 years old, and if he were to win reelection, he would exit office at 86 years old, calling his health into question.

His opponents have used his tendency to stutter and miscommunicate in order to argue he is unfit to run for office due to his age.

In response to Biden’s perceived failures, multiple alternative candidates have announced their own campaigns to oppose him.

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump announced his reelection campaign shortly after the 2022 midterm elections. Trump and his allies claim the 2020 election was rigged in Biden’s favor, and he hopes to reignite a political movement to continue enacting his administration’s agenda.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley announced her own campaign in February, presenting herself as a more youthful, rational, and unifying candidate than Trump and Biden.

Finally, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson revealed his intention to run for president in an interview with CBS News. He then formally launched his campaign on Wednesday, April 26, emphasizing “farmland values” and vowing to be a “drama-free president”.

Likewise, primary challengers for the Democratic nomination have also launched their campaigns.

The first was Marianne Williamson, a self-help author and “spiritual advisor” to Oprah Winfrey.  She previously ran for the Democratic nomination against Biden in 2019 before suspending her campaign in January 2020.

The most recent opponent to Biden is attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr, the son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy opposes  Biden’s platform of environmental policy and skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccine.

Though most Americans disapprove of Biden, experts find it unlikely for him to lose the nomination.

Every incumbent president has run for their party’s nomination since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, and none have failed to win their party’s nomination since Chester Arthur in 1884.

Biden is seen as the safe choice among moderate and centrist Democratic voters, an attribute that won him the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Though he was the frontrunner for the majority of the Democratic primary race, progressive Vermont senator Bernie Sanders surpassed him in nationwide polls.

Biden only became the frontrunner again after receiving several last-minute endorsements from other moderate candidates, which allowed him to win primary elections in several states on March 3, 2020. He became the presumed winner when Sanders suspended his campaign a few weeks later.

Though Biden is likely to achieve success in the Democratic primary, it remains to be seen if he will retain his position in office in the 2024 presidential election.