The subject of much speculation in recent months, President Joe Biden's plans for 2024 are now beginning to emerge, according to The Hill, with insiders revealing to the outlet that a re-election campaign is indeed being readied for launch.
According to sources familiar with the planning, the outlet added, Biden will likely declare his intentions in February, near the time he delivers the State of the Union address but may wait until April for a more formal campaign announcement.
As part of the ramp-up to the campaign launch, The Hill noted, Biden advisers are in the process of meeting with key supporters and are working on expanding and updating the soon-to-be candidate's digital resources.
In light of Biden's advanced age and persistent speculation about the state of his cognitive abilities, the question of whether he would indeed seek a second term has lingered in the air for quite some time.
However, according to a Biden ally quoted by The Hill, “I think it's all about timing at this point. It seems like he's all in. It's not really 'if' he runs anymore.”
Following the Democrats' stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm contests, Biden had given something of a hint about his future, saying, as Fox News reported, “This is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run, but we're going to have discussions about it.”
Members of the media had posited back in November that the Biden family was spending their Thanksgiving getaway in Nantucket, Massachusetts weighing whether to green light another campaign, but as Fox News, noted at the time, such deliberations were apparently not on the cards just yet.
In December, news reports emerged that first lady Jill Biden dropped a significant hint about the direction of her husband's thinking on the matter during a White House state dinner held in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron.
As the New York Times reported at the time, Mrs. Biden told the leader of France that she and her spouse were indeed “ready” for a re-election campaign, a detail that set tongues wagging all over the political landscape.
The final decision reportedly came, according to the New York Post, during the clan's post-Christmas jaunt to St. Croix, paving the way for the sorts of preliminary maneuvering sources told The Hill is indeed taking place.
As further support for the notion that Biden is indeed gearing up for 2024, he has taken a series of recent steps indicative of a pivot to the middle, something seen by many as crucial to his chances of electoral success.
Axios suggested that a visit Biden paid on Sunday to the southern border as well as his recent joint appearance with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been carefully calculated to project a moderate approach echoing the tone of his 2020 campaign ahead of another run.
Not everyone is buying the apparent attempt at a shift, however, with Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) explaining to the Post, “From his open border to his anti-energy policies to his unsustainable spending fueling inflation, Joe Biden has caused crisis after crisis. One thing is for sure, our country cannot afford another four years of Joe Biden in the White House.”
Despite Biden's apparent confidence in the wisdom of mounting another presidential campaign, recent polling revealed that almost 60% of eligible voters do not believe he should seek a second term, as the Washington Examiner reported last month. Whether his party is indeed willing – once again – to turn a blind eye to the glaring problems his cognitive decline, policy failures, and alleged family corruption all pose, only time will tell.