First lady Jill Biden on Friday gave one of the clearest indications yet that Joe Biden will run for a second term, saying that there’s “pretty much” nothing left to do but figure out the time and place for the announcement.
Although Biden has long said that it is his intention to seek reelection, he has yet to make it official, and he’s struggled to dispel questions about whether he is too old to continue serving as president. Biden is currently 80 and would be 86 at the end of a second term.
“He says he’s not done,” Jill Biden said in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, on the second and final stop of her five-day trip to Africa, which started in Namibia earlier this week. “He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important,” she told the Associated Press in an exclusive interview between events in Kenya.
She added: “How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?”
Biden aides have said an announcement is likely to come in April, after the first fundraising quarter ends, which is around the time that Barack Obama officially launched his 2012 reelection campaign.
The first lady has long been described as a key figure in Biden’s orbit as he plans his future.
“Because I’m his wife,” she laughed.
But she brushed off the question about whether she has the deciding vote on whether the president runs for reelection.
Donald Trump, who turns 77 in June, announced last November that he would run for the presidency again in the 2024 election, despite his being soundly defeated by Joe Biden in 2020 and fomenting an insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 by his own supporters intent on overturning Biden’s victory.
Trump is also under investigation in a series of criminal cases and civil actions. These relate to a variety of matters including fraud at his real estate company, election interference, federal investigations by a special counsel into his role in the January 6 Capitol attack and the stashing of secret government documents at his Florida residence after seeking office. There is also a forthcoming civil trial in New York concerning lawsuits alleging rape and defamation.
Jill Biden’s remarks Friday come after a poll released earlier this week brought good news for the president’s standing among Democrats.
The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll shows an even half of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents believe the party has a better chance with Biden as the nominee while 45% think they would be better off backing someone else. That is an improvement for Biden from November of last year, when it was roughly flipped: then, 54% wanted someone else, and just 38% backed the president.
On the other hand, that survey had disappointing news for Trump as he seeks to be renominated for the presidency by the GOP. Among Republicans and and GOP-leaning independents, 54% thought the party is best off with someone other than Trump as the nominee, and 42% believe the ex-president remained the best man for the job.
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