Tuesday saw US President Joe Biden take to Twitter to formally announce his name in the fray. The 80-year-old is possibly set for a rematch against former Republican President Donald Trump. Biden beat Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy,” Biden said in a tweet accompanying a three-minute video. “To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours. That’s why I’m running for reelection as President of the United States. Join us. Let’s finish the job,” he added.
In his first public appearance since the announcement, Biden offered a preview of how he plans to navigate the dual roles of president and presidential candidate. He delivered a speech at North America’s Building Trades Unions 2023 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, to highlight his accomplishments and undercut Republican rivals.
At the same time, he showed voters he remained focused on his day job. Biden had previously hinted that he would make an announcement in January. Revelations about the mishandling of sensitive official documents from his time serving as vice-president, however, appeared to have thrown a shadow over any announcement plans.
Some Democrats have said that they would rather Biden didn’t run, in large part due to his age, but he is not facing any serious rivals for the Democratic Party’s candidacy. Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term.
Additionally, Biden faces lingering criticism over his administration’s chaotic 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, all the while as Republicans step up attacks over his immigration and economic policies.
Biden assumed office with the coronavirus pandemic still raging. He plans to focus his campaign on his record there, as well as the major bills he managed to get through Congress with bipartisan support.
This includes his $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a $430 billion inflation package. He has staked his campaign’s success on “finishing the job,” a phrase he has turned into a slogan, having already laid out key legislation that will likely form the backbone of his election manifesto — including a ban on assault-style weapons, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and adding the right to abortion into the constitution after the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade last year.
Biden has admitted that one of his goals as president — reuniting the country — has not exactly gone to plan.
“I said I was running for three reasons,” he said in January. “One was to restore the soul of America. And the second one was to rebuild the country from the middle out and the bottom down. Thirdly was to unite the country. The third is turning out to be the hardest,” he said.
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