By Kaden Scharnow
President Joe Biden recently released a video announcing his intention to run for reelection in the 2024 election, asking voters to give him a chance to “finish the job” and extend his presidency by another 4 years. Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term, extending his record as the US’s oldest president. But despite concerns over his old age, he hopes his first-term achievements and over 50 years in legislative office will overshadow them. With no democratic competitors, he faces a smooth path to his party’s next nomination for candidate. However, he still faces a tough election, with the country as divided as it is.
In his first public appearance since the announcement to a crowd of building trades union members, Biden showcased the tens of thousands of construction jobs that were created with legislation he signed into law. “We — you and I — together we’re turning things around and we’re doing it in a big way,” Biden said. “It’s time to finish the job. Finish the job.” In response, the crowd erupted in chants of “Let’s Go Joe.”
He addressed the difficult election ahead in a statement challenging the safety of the “soul of America” with, “The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer.” But not many Democratic voters are convinced. There are still concerns over the president’s age, and whether he’s physically fit for another term in office. However there are also many people who don’t want another Trump Presidency, fearing the problem on abortion the US faced last June 2022.
He stated in the announcement video that some freedoms were at risk with a Republican presidency, addressing the rolling back access to abortion, cutting social security, limiting voting rights, and banning books, ideals some Republican extremists advocate for. “Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take those bedrock freedoms away” said Biden.
In the video, Biden also showed clips of significant moments during his presidency, and flashes of Republican foes like DonaldTrump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. He insisted to supporters that “this is our moment” to “defend democracy. Stand up for our personal freedoms. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights.”
He also pointed out the alliances formed, like the United States’ position in supporting Ukraine against the Russian invasion, although support for Ukraine has softened as of late, and some voters question the billions of dollars in military and economic assistance flowing to Kyiv. Biden also faces lingering criticism over the controversial authorization of the withdrawal of US troops and citizens from Afghanistan in 2021.
A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORG Center for Public Affairs Research showed just 47% of Democrats actually show support for reelection, rising from 37% in February. The verbal (and sometimes physical) stumbles Biden’s taken has created fodder for harsh critics.
Several hours after the announcement, White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, initially refused to clarify if the President would serve all 8 years with a second term, but later clarified in a tweet that, “I wanted to be sure that I didn’t go into 2024 more than is appropriate under the law. But I can confirm that if re-elected, @POTUS would serve all 8 years.”