Biden ‘Pretty Much’ Ready to Launch 2024 Campaign, First Lady Jill Says
First lady Jill Biden strongly indicated on Friday that her husband will soon announce his 2024 re-election campaign. While Biden and his team have suggested that the 80-year-old president would seek a second term, an official announcement has yet to be made. The first lady made her comments during a five-day trip to Africa.
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While visiting Nairobi, Kenya, Jill Biden said that the campaign is “pretty much” ready to go and that all that is left to figure out is the time and place of the announcement. The first lady was in Kenya on a tour to “empower” young women in Africa and spread awareness in the Horn of Africa. The trip has been widely seen as an attempt to counter growing Chinese influence over the continent.
She spoke to The Associated Press on Friday in an exclusive interview.
“He says he’s not done,” Jill Biden said about her husband. “He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.” She continued, joking,
“How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?”
The first lady’s statements seemingly put to rest recent speculations that Joe Biden would not run for a second term. According to a Politico report, Biden allies have noted the president avoiding discussing his re-election campaign behind closed doors. With the republican 2024 primary field starting to grow—with former president Donald Trump leading the pack—doubts have begun to swirl as Biden holds off on making an official commitment.
The president’s advanced age has also contributed to the speculation. Republican candidate Nikki Haley recently criticized Biden for his age, suggesting that he and every other candidate over 75 submit to “mental competency” tests. If re-elected, Biden would be 86 years old at the end of a second term.
At his current speed, Biden may not even be the first major Democratic candidate to enter the field. Democrat self-help guru Marianne Williamson is expected to launch a presidential bid on March 4 formally. In an interview with Politico on February 14, she attacked Biden and indicated she planned to challenge him in the primary.
“Apparently Biden’s going to run on a message that the economy is getting stronger. I think that speaks to the disconnect between the analysis of party elites versus the struggle of everyday Americans,
We’re being asked to limit our political imaginations — to just accept the low unemployment and low inflation rate, that that is sort of the best that we can get. But that is a hollow victory. The majority of Americans are still struggling to survive.”
Insiders have suggested that Biden will not announce until April, the same month he announced his 2020 presidential campaign.
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According to the first lady, however, the ultimate decision rests entirely with Joe Biden. Asked if she influenced her husband’s decision to announce, Jill Biden told the Associated Press on Friday, “Of course he’ll listen to me because we’re a married couple,” but then added, “He makes up his own mind, believe me.”
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