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Biden May Be Out Of 2024 Race; Aides, Possible Dem Candidates Scurrying: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A breaking report late Wednesday evening claimed that President Joe Biden may not be running for reelection next year after all, which has left top aides scrambling and potential Democratic presidential candidates jockeying for the position.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Biden’s State of the Union address — when many political observers believed he would announce a reelection bid. But he hasn’t, and now, according to sources who spoke to Politico, Biden may not be running again after all.

Four people “familiar with the president’s thinking,” told Politico that plans to launch his 2024 reelection bid this month have inexplicably been shelved.

“A final call has been pushed aside as real-world events intervene,” the sources said. “Now they are coalescing around April.”

Politico noted further: “While the belief among nearly everyone in Biden’s orbit is that he’ll ultimately give the all-clear, his indecision has resulted in an awkward deep-freeze across the party — in which some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president.”

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Although a re-election campaign for Biden was previously considered to be a sure thing, it appears that he has yet to make a decision. Sources close to the president described him to Politico as “a kind of Hamlet on Delaware’s Christina River,” cautiously waiting as he contemplates the specifics of his potential final campaign.

“An inertia has set in,” a Biden confidant told Politico. “It’s not that he won’t run, and the assumption is that he will. But nothing is decided. And it won’t be decided until it is.”

Politico noted further:

Democratic Govs. JB Pritzker of Illinois, Gavin Newsom of California, and Phil Murphy of New Jersey have taken steps that could be seen as aimed at keeping the door cracked if Biden bows out — though with enough ambiguity to give them plausible deniability. Senators like Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have been making similar moves.

At one point, there was a sense of urgency among Biden’s advisers to start planning the campaign kickoff after Donald Trump announced his candidacy in November, Politico reported. However, that sense of urgency has dissipated.

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The Democrats’ stronger-than-anticipated midterms and a newly selected early state presidential nominating calendar, which was chosen by Biden, mean that there is no credible threat of a primary challenge. Additionally, by postponing the signing of campaign paperwork, Biden can avoid having to report a less-than-impressive fundraising total for the first quarter, which is almost over, the outlet continued.

“As the limbo continues, Biden’s advisers have been taking steps to staff a campaign and align with a top super PAC. Future Forward, which has been airing TV ads in support of the president’s agenda, would likely be Biden’s primary super PAC, though other groups would have a share in the campaign’s portfolio, a person familiar with the plans said,” said the report.

According to three people familiar with the conversations, Politico noted, some of Biden’s allies are surprised by the fact that he has only talked sparingly about the possibility of running for re-election. The president’s primary focus remains on the job itself, and he spends very little time discussing the election, apart from occasional polling reviews with his advisers.

The report noted that though First Lady Jill Biden has expressed her support for another run, some people in the president’s inner circle now wonder if the ongoing investigations into Hunter Biden could cause him to reconsider a bid, though others believe that this will not be the case.

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If Biden decides not to run for re-election, it would be a significant political shock, something that hasn’t been seen among Democrats in over 50 years. The last time such a thing occurred was when Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he would not seek re-election, citing the “division in the American house now” and partially halting the U.S. bombing of Vietnam at the time, Politico said.

“Obviously, it creates doubts and problems if he waits and waits and waits,” Democratic strategist Mark Longabaugh, told Politico, adding that he still believes Biden will run and won’t wait much longer to officially declare his candidacy.

“But if he were to somehow not declare ‘til June or something, I think some people would be stomping around,” he added.

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