Though there has yet to be any official word regarding whether President Joe Biden will indeed seek a second term in the White House, the New York Times reports that first lady Jill Biden dropped a big hint toward the affirmative during last week's state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron.
While the president has long signaled his intention to pursue another four years in the Oval Office, he has not announced a definitive decision, but according to the Times, Mrs. Biden let it slip to the French leader that she and her husband were indeed "ready" for the re-election campaign.
Even so, the Times was quick to point out that the exchange occurred during a "lighthearted moment," but still suggested that the first lady's apparent candor in the presence of a key foreign ally could be indicative of which way the wind is blowing. Furthermore, Fox News noted Wednesday that, according to a senior Biden advisor, the entire first family "fully" supports another presidential quest in 2024.
On the heels of a stronger-than-expected Democrat showing in the midterm elections, Biden appeared to reaffirm earlier statements indicating that he does plan on running again in 2024, as Fox News reported at the time, but stopped short of making the definitive call.
"This is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run, but we're going to have discussions about it," Biden declared.
Media speculation was rife over the long Thanksgiving holiday that the president and his closest relatives would be mulling the prospect of another campaign during their getaway to the exclusive enclave of Nantucket, Massachusetts, as Fox News reported separately, but that, apparently, was not on the cards.
That weekend, Biden was approached by photographers and asked how deliberations about 2024 were proceeding, to which he replied, "We're not having any. We're celebrating."
Though Jill Biden may be feeling bullish about her octogenarian husband's chances of electoral success in two years' time, Vice President Kamala Harris recently seemed rather more reticent on the topic, as Mediaite recently noted.
Speaking to reporters after a speech delivered aboard a Philippine Coast Guard ship, Harris' attention was turned to the fact that former President Donald Trump had just announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination, and she was asked whether she thought a Democrat ticket comprised once again of Biden and herself would prevail in such a matchup.
"Well, as the president said," began Harris, "he intends to run. And if he does, I will be running with him."
The vice president continued, "And I have no doubt about the strength of the work that we have done over these past two years. We have delivered unprecedented relief for the American people through the height of the pandemic."
Harris' reluctance to discuss her own re-election prospects, let alone the president's, could be the result of ongoing concerns – even among Democrats – about her suitability to serve as the party's future standard-bearer, with some suggesting that if Biden does opt to run again, he needs to jettison his highly unpopular and frequently problematic vice president from the ticket.
Though Jill Biden may have projected nothing but confidence to Macron on the subject of a run for another term, it was just days prior that her husband – when showered with an admirer's shouts of "four more years" during a public appearance – cryptically responded, "I don't know about that," as Newsweek noted.
Whether the Bidens really are now riding a renewed wave of post-Midterm optimism, or the nerve-wracking reality of the president's clearly declining cognitive state will intervene and put the brakes on campaign plans for the next cycle, only time will tell.