Given the repeated hints from President Joe Biden and the White House about his intention to run for re-election in 2024, it had been widely assumed by many that he would formally announce his campaign in February, likely timed to coincide with his recent State of the Union address.
But no announcement has been made yet, and some Democrats have now begun to doubt whether President Biden will actually seek a second term in office, the Western Journal reported.
The delay has also reportedly created a sort of “awkward deep-freeze” that has paralyzed major Democratic donors and other likely potential candidates who would be quick to launch a presidential campaign of their own if Biden isn’t running again and prompted them to begin to look elsewhere.
“Nothing is decided”
Politico reported on the growing “sense of doubt” among Democrats about President Biden’s 2024 plans after the anticipated launch of the campaign in February has now allegedly been pushed back to at least April — though even that time frame is not viewed as “definitive.”
“While the belief among nearly everyone in Biden’s orbit is that he’ll ultimately give the all-clear, his indecision has resulted in an awkward deep-freeze across the party — in which some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president,” the outlet noted.
Several prominent Democratic governors and senators are said to have begun making moves to lay the groundwork for a possible 2024 run, albeit with “enough ambiguity to give them plausible deniability” in case Biden does eventually announce his bid for a second term.
“An inertia has set in,” an unnamed Biden “confidant” told Politico. “It’s not that he won’t run, and the assumption is that he will. But nothing is decided. And it won’t be decided until it is.”
Variety of possible reasons for the delayed announcement
Politico further reported that the delay in formally launching President Biden’s re-election campaign could be due to a lack of “urgency” because there is “no threat of a credible primary challenge,” but also perhaps as a way to avoid having to report a “less-than-robust fundraising total for a first quarter.”
Still, even as Biden’s team has made some preparations for an eventual campaign, the report noted that Biden has “talked only sparingly about a possible campaign” and could now be hesitant to launch due to concerns about the ongoing investigations of both his son Hunter Biden and his own developing classified documents scandal.
Meanwhile, the delay has also prompted many Democrats to shift attention to possible alternatives, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, though her “uneven performances have raised doubts among fellow Democrats about her ability to win — either the primary, the general election, or both.”
“Obviously, it creates doubts and problems if he waits and waits and waits,” Democratic strategist Mark Longabaugh told Politico of Biden. “But if he were to somehow not declare ‘til June or something, I think some people would be stomping around.”
“There would be a lot of negative conversation … among Democratic elites, and I just think that would force them to ultimately have to make a decision,” he added. “I just don’t think he can dance around until sometime in the summer.”
Can’t find campaign leaders or decide on the headquarters location
Relatedly, The New York Times may have also exposed another possible reason for the delayed announcement with a recent report which revealed that President Biden’s people have struggled to put together a campaign leadership team and have been rejected by at least three “top Democratic campaign strategists” for various reasons.
There is also reportedly a fundamental disagreement on where Biden’s campaign will even be based, as the president wants to operate out of his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware while his younger aides and staffers would prefer the headquarters be based in a much larger and more active city like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.