DemDaily: Biden Back In The Fight
April 25, 2023
President Joe Biden today announced his intention to run for reelection in 2024, asking Americans to help him "finish the job."
The announcement, which came on the four-year anniversary of his 2019 declaration for the White House, was delivered in a three-minute campaign video focused almost entirely on motivating his base and combating the threat to democracy posed by a right wing worshiping at the altar of extremism.
|“I said we are in a battle for the soul of America, and we still are. The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer...Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. There’s nothing more important. Nothing more sacred.” - President Joe Biden|
It noticably does not highlight the historic progress under Biden's watch over the last two years, which includes some of the most significant legislative victories of any modern president -- and which the administration has struggled to impress upon the American public amid the president's poor approval ratings.
Instead, Biden's opening salvo is framed as a fight for freedom, with the campaign video first featuring images of the US Capitol under attack and an abortion rights protestor in front of the US Supreme Court.
"The work of my first term," says Biden, "has been to fight for our democracy...to protect our rights. To make sure everyone in this country is treated equally," before turning to "MAGA extremists" who are attempting to cut social security, limit a woman's right to abortion, curtail voting rights, ban books and attack LGBTQ rights, while cutting taxes for the very wealthy.
The initial messaging reflects the issues that carried Democrats over the finish line in the 2022 midterms, where exit polls showed 2 in 3 voters believed that democracy was under threat in the United States.
The prominent placement of Vice President Kamala Harris, who is featured 11 times in the video, is likely an indication of a heightened role in the campaign, where she is expected to lead the charge on issues like abortion -- ranked by 27% of voters in 2022 as the most important concern in deciding their vote.
Despite Biden's efforts to unite a bitterly divided nation in the wake of the turbulent presidency of Donald Trump, an April 14-18, 2023 NBC News poll shows 46% of Republican primary voters still prefer the twice-impeached and now criminally indicted ex-president in what could be the rematch of the century in 2024.
Democrats welcome a second Biden-Trump contest -- not just in light of the legal challenges that unfold daily for the former president in numerous courts, but for the fact that Trump is just four years younger than Biden.
While Biden faces a clear path to his party's nomination, his reelection is far from assured amid significant concerns among voters of both parties over his age. At 80, Biden is already the oldest president in American history and would be 86 at the end of his second term.
In the interim, “Let’s finish this job" appears to be Biden's unofficial campaign motto, echoing a mantra he has repeated numerous times, most notably in his February State of the Union address.
In that speech he touted his unprecedented advancements in the areas of gun control, climate change, infrastructure, manufacturing, unemployment, judicial appointments, prescription drug access, veterans benefits, voting and reproductive rights, international relations and management of the worst public health crisis in over 100 years.
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Sources: AP, Biden Campaign, DNC