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Biden announces re-election bid, challenges Trump and history

WASHINGTON — President Biden formally announced on Tuesday that he will seek re-election, arguing that American democracy still faces a profound threat from former President Donald J. Trump, as he raised the possibility of a repeat of the highs between the two next year .

In a video of a group of Trump supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the president says “fighting for our democracy” “is my first term job,” but it’s not complete, while he Mr Biden’s predecessor is suggesting that a comeback campaign in his old office would jeopardize fundamental rights.

“Across the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take away those basic freedoms,” Mr. Biden said, using Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to describe the former president’s ally. “Cut Social Security you pay your whole life while cutting taxes for the very rich. Mandating what health care decisions women can make, banning books and telling people who they can love. And making it harder for you to vote.

“When I ran for president four years ago,” he added, “I said we were fighting for the soul of America. And we still are.”

The official announcement finally ended all suspense over Mr. Biden’s intentions and effectively cleared the way for another presidential nomination barring unforeseen developments. While he has repeatedly and consistently said he intends to run, Mr. Biden delayed his kickoff by a few months, prompting fresh speculation. Now his team can assemble the formal structure of a campaign organization and raise money to fund it.

Biden named Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a senior White House adviser and granddaughter of iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez, as his campaign manager. Quentin Fulks, a Democratic operative who most recently ran Sen. Raphael Warnock’s 2022 re-election campaign in Georgia, will serve as her primary deputy . But the operation is expected to be overseen from the White House by a top aide to the president.

While he described himself during the 2020 campaign as a “bridge” to the next generation, a comment that some interpreted as suggesting he would only serve another term, Mr Biden concluded that he hadn’t actually Be ready to hand over the torch however. Aides said his decision was driven in part by his antipathy for Mr. Trump and his belief that he was the Democrat best equipped to prevent the criminally indicted and twice-impeached former president from regaining the White House belief.

By presenting himself again as a candidate, Mr. Biden is asking Americans to trust him with the powers of commander-in-chief until he enters his ninth decade. At 80, Mr Biden is already the oldest president in US history and if he wins, he will be 86 by the end of his second term, almost nine years older than Ronald Reagan when he left the White House in 1989. At 76, Mr. Trump is not young anymore. If he can return to the Oval Office and finish his new term at 82, he will personally outlive all presidents except Mr. Biden.

As Mr. Biden officially begins his campaign, he at this point appears to be a virtual lock to win the party’s nomination. While many Democrats had hoped he would step aside to a younger candidate, no strong challenger for the nomination has emerged. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the iconic slain senator and an outspoken critic of vaccines, and Marianne Williamson, a self-help author , whose 2020 campaign failed before the first round of voting, announced forward bids but offered few obvious threats to the incumbent.

If Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump face off again next year, it will be the second time since Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson in 1956. Candidates face off for the first time in consecutive presidential elections. It would also be the first time the president has been challenged by a predecessor since Theodore Roosevelt attempted a comeback in 1912, defeating his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, in a three-way race won by Woodrow Wilson.

Although Biden leads a party that is more united than his potential challenger, many Democrats privately worry that the president may not be up to another campaign. His overall approval rating remains stuck at just over 42 percent, down from 10 of the past 13 presidents in office at this point, according to polls compiled by the political website FiveThirtyEight.

While polls show a majority of Democrats favoring Mr. Biden, a majority of them still want him out of the race. In an NBC News poll released this week, 70 percent of Americans, including 51 percent of Democrats, said he should not seek re-election. Of those who didn’t want him to serve another four years, seven in 10 said his age was a factor.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump face a tight race, with recent polls from Yahoo News, the Wall Street Journal and the Morning Consult showing the president is slightly ahead, while surveys by The Economist and Harvard University’s Center for the Study of American Politics have him trailing at what time. Mr. Biden faces similarly mixed results against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Mr. Trump’s strongest challenger for the Republican nomination.

Biden’s announcement represents the latest chapter in a long run in public office by the Castle County Council in 1970.

Over 36 years in the Senate, eight years as vice president and campaigns for the White House in 1988, 2008 and 2020, Mr. Biden has become one of the most familiar faces in American life, known for his resilience in the face of adversity. famous. and his usual gaffes. Yet the affable, sycophantic, cross-aisle dealmaker has struggled to translate decades of goodwill into his promised unified presidency.

With the narrowest partisan gap in Congress, Mr. Biden has scored some of the most ambitious legislative victories of any modern president in his first two years in office, including a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package; a $1 trillion dollars to rebuild the nation’s roads, highways, airports and other infrastructure; and major investments to fight climate change, lower prescription drug costs for the elderly, treat veterans exposed to toxic burn pits and build the nation’s semiconductor industry. Some of those bills passed with Republican support.

In the process, he revived an international coalition that had fractured under Trump, rallying NATO and other partners around the world to oppose Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. With bipartisan support, he has pledged more than $100 billion to arm Ukraine’s military and help its government and people survive the Russian onslaught.

However, his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after 20 years to comply with the deal Mr Trump struck with the Taliban led to a catastrophe in 2021 as militant militants took over the country, fleeing the swarm of Afghans A suicide bomber killed 13 US troops and 170 Afghans during the evacuation of US planes from Kabul.

Mr. Biden has also struggled to secure the U.S. Southwest border, where illegal immigration has surged, and he has had mixed success in stabilizing the post-pandemic economy as inflation rose to a 40-year high and natural gas prices soared to record levels . While both are starting to retreat and the unemployment rate is near record lows, many Americans remain jittery about the economy.

Perhaps most frustrating for Mr. Biden, his hopes of healing the rift that widened under Mr. Trump have so far been dashed, as American society remains deeply polarized while his predecessor continues to be a divisive force and an inspiration to white people. Suprematists and anti-Semitism.

The president’s critics say Mr. Biden is divisive because he has attacked Mr. Trump’s “extreme MAGA Republicans” who paint him as a socialist bent on destroying the country. No matter who they nominate, Republicans hope to challenge Mr. Biden next year, tying him to the country’s economic problems and portraying him as a reckless leader captured by the party’s radical left.

Even as Mr. Biden officially postponed his re-election bid, his team has been quietly making plans for the upcoming campaign. Top advisers including Anita Dunn, Steven J. Ricchetti and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon will oversee the campaign from the White House, though the operation’s official headquarters will almost certainly be in Wilmington, Delaware, led by Ms. Chavez Rodriguez.

But this is very different from any campaign Mr Biden has ever run. Long before the ubiquity of social media and modern technology, his first two bids for the White House both failed at the end of the first caucus, and his 2020 campaign has been distorted by the Covid-19 pandemic, It made it impossible for him to move on. Basically isolated at home in Delaware.

This time, his aides said he planned a vigorous campaign travel program but would rely heavily on digital communications that bypass traditional news outlets. With his opponents being criminally indicted by a local Democratic New York prosecutor for covering up hush money payments to porn stars, and with Biden’s own Justice Department investigating inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and illegally refusing to pay out confidential documents.

While Mr. Biden has remained publicly silent on Mr. Trump’s legal issues, the former president has sought to accuse the current president of using the judicial system against him out of partisan animosity. There is no evidence to suggest that, but Mr. Biden’s own handling of classified documents is under investigation by a special counsel, while his son, Hunter Biden, is being investigated by another federal prosecutor.

Mr. Biden’s strategists recognize that he has significant weaknesses early in the campaign, but they are banking on the idea that no matter how ambivalent swing voters view him, they are staunchly opposed to letting Trump Mr. returns to the White House. If they face another Republican, they plan to argue that anyone who wins the party’s nomination must take the same radical stance as Mr. Trump.

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