President Biden and his team are preparing to announce his reelection campaign next week, with aides finalizing plans to release a video for the president to officially launch his campaign, according to three people briefed on the plans.
Biden making plans for reelection announcement next week
For months, Biden has signaled he planned to run for a second term, but he has held off an official announcement, as he and his aides felt no urgency to launch a campaign, especially after a better-than-expected midterm performance by the Democrats dampened talk of a primary challenge.
Biden’s top aides have quietly undertaken extensive preparations for a run, holding regular meetings with the president and first lady since last year in the White House residence. Anita Dunn and Jen O’Malley Dillon, two of Biden’s top advisers, have been overseeing the reelection efforts, including interviewing staff for top roles, while the Democratic National Committee has funded research projects to study the election landscape.
The timing of Biden’s announcement has been the source of debate among the president’s inner circle. An earlier announcement would let the president begin raising money for what could be a tough campaign, while waiting longer would allow Biden to position himself as above the political fray as Republicans battle each other for the GOP nomination.
The planned announcement would move the country one step closer to what could be an extraordinary presidential campaign. Biden, 80, would be 86 at the end of a second term, considerably older than any other president in U.S. history. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the man he defeated in 2020, has announced his own bid to reclaim the Oval Office, signaling a return to a highly unorthodox presidency should be succeed.
The White House declined to comment. “What I will say is that any announcement or anything that is related to 2024 certainly will not come from here,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Thursday, referring to rules prohibiting government agencies from campaign activity.
A spokesperson for the DNC also declined to comment.
On the heels of the planned announcement, Biden will meet with top Democratic donors in Washington at the end of next week. Biden’s team has invited roughly 50 to 100 of the party’s top fundraisers and bundlers to a Friday night event with the president, with the goal of energizing contributors and rallying support.
The details of the donor summit are still being finalized, but one option is for Biden to have dinner with the donors on Friday night and his aides to host a briefing for them Saturday.
Some of the donors say they are expecting to be asked to organize future events to raise money for Biden’s reelection. Invitations to the event were circulated Wednesday by phone call from officials at the DNC, which has been preparing for months for the campaign. The national Democratic Party has said it will support Biden’s reelection, and it has no plans to sponsor Democratic primary debates.
Biden is not expected to face any serious opposition for the nomination, despite concerns from some in the party about his age and dissatisfaction among some progressives who say he has not pushed their priorities hard enough. Many Democrats say Biden has been notably successful at passing sweeping legislation, on everything from climate to infrastructure, especially given his narrow congressional majorities.
Two other candidates, author and activist Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have launched long-shot bids for the Democratic nomination, but few strategists within the party expect them to get significant traction.
White House officials, including Dunn, have attended — in their personal capacities — fundraising events for American Bridge, an independent group that has started running television ads to support the Biden reelection bid in North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“Biden veterans have been very engaged,” said Bradley Beychok, the co-founder of American Bridge. “Their participation at our events has been enormously helpful. Donors are energized, engaged and ready to support the reelection.”
The ads boast of Biden’s legislative success in lowering insulin costs, creating jobs and encouraging U.S. manufacturing expansions.
“We should stand behind him to finish the job,” the ads conclude, echoing what is likely to be a key message for Biden’s reelection bid — the notion that he has accomplished a good deal and voters should return him to the White House to “finish the job.”