Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

President Biden is ready for reelection run, first lady says

President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, leave after his speech art Independence Hall on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. It was his second visit to Pennsylvania in three days. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)  (TOM GRALISH)
By Mariana Alfaro Washington Post

President Biden is ready to seek re-election as he believes “he’s not done,” first lady Jill Biden said Friday in one of the clearest signals yet that the president will pursue a second term.

The Associated Press’s Darlene Superville asked the first lady – who is in Nairobi – about her husband’s 2024 plans. Biden has said he intends to run for re-election, with an official announcement expected in the spring, possibly March or April. If he wins, the president would be 82 at his second inauguration and 86 at the end of his second term.

“Is there any reason for any of us to think that he is not running again?” Superville asked the first lady. “We’ve heard him say several times that it is his intention to run.”

Jill Biden laughed, then said: “Are you not believing this, Darlene, I mean, how many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?”

“He says he’s not done,” the first lady added. “He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”

Superville – who co-wrote a biography on Jill Biden with Julie Pace – asked if all that’s left for the president and his team to do is “figure out a time and place for an announcement.”

“Pretty much,” the first lady said.

Jill Biden said her husband was elected “because people wanted steady leadership, and I think they saw that in Joe.”

“Look at all that Joe has done, has accomplished,” she said. “He brought us out of the chaos.”

Americans, she said, are “just starting to see” the Biden administration’s legislative successes – including the Chips and Science Act and the bipartisan infrastructure deal – come into fruition.

On Twitter, the couple’s grandchild Naomi Biden – who is in Nairobi with the first lady – shared the AP interview, adding: “Preach nana.”

While some have questioned whether the president should run in 2024 given his age, the Democratic Party’s better-than-expected performance in the midterms has eased Biden’s path to a re-election run. He underwent his annual physical exam earlier this month, and his doctor noted that the president remains “a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute duties of the presidency.”

And while no campaign announcement has been made, the president has traveled the country in recent weeks to promote his administration’s accomplishments. The push to highlight the administration’s legislative success comes as a February Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that more than 6 in 10 Americans believe the president hasn’t accomplished much since taking office.

Biden has so far gone unchallenged in his party in the early goings of the primary process, with no major candidate running against him. The Republican race has two major candidates thus far: former president Donald Trump, who launched his campaign in November; and Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. The former South Carolina governor announced her candidacy in mid-February. More Republicans are expected to join the race, but not many Democrats have voiced interest in challenging President Biden.

Jill Biden dismissed a question from the AP on whether she’s the deciding voice on whether her husband runs for reelection.

“He makes up his own mind, believe me,” she said.