Aside from one longshot candidate, it appears that President Joe Biden has every intention of running again.
But, we still have no official confirmation just yet.
It does seem he will officially announce in the coming weeks or months with little competition aside from self-help guru Marianne Williamson who is mounting a dark horse candidacy against Biden.
Williamson is expected to hardly make a ripple against Joe Biden as she already struggled in a quixotic race for president during the Democrat presidential primary in 2020.
What is the state of play right now with President Joe Biden, that big decision to run, and the state of play in the Democratic Party?
Journalist Love to Speculate
Mark Leibovich of the Atlantic is hoping for another “free thinking” Democrat candidate or two to jump in the race to challenge what he calls “groupthink” in Washington, DC.
Polls show that Democrats around the country support someone else to run, but the president has the megaphone from the party machine based in the nation’s capital.
It is Time for Other Candidates to Take on Biden
“In private, of course, many elected Democrats say Biden is too old to run again and that they wish he’d step away,” Leibovich wrote. “The public silence around the president’s predicament has become tiresome and potentially catastrophic for the Democratic Party. Somebody should make a refreshing nuisance of themselves and involve the voters in this decision,” he added.
The Cupboard of Challengers Is Bare
There is every appearance that Biden will run again and that those potential candidates with heft and gravitas will sit this one out. There is not a deep bench of choices who would mount a primary challenge. Vice President Kamala Harris has struggled in the spotlight. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg flubs crisis after crisis. California Gavin Newsom is out – repeatedly saying he won’t run against Biden. Bernie Sanders is too radical and also long in the tooth. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is too young and divisive.
First Lady Appears to Say He Is In
Interestingly, it is the First Lady Jill Biden who has made the clearest declaration that Biden will run again. The president’s wife is making a tour of Africa and said during an appearance in Nairobi, Kenya that Biden has every intention to remain president.
She told the Associated Press her view on the matter. “He says he’s not done. He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”
The First Lady of course knows him best and Biden is still head of the party and leader of the free world despite all the difficulties he has endured in communication and during public appearances. At 80, he is the oldest president in history.
What Is Plan B?
This has journalists, Biden’s aides, and his fundraising apparatus preparing for “Plan B” in case the president decides not to run again.
The speculation is likely to dissipate once Biden declares officially.
He will need a special event and rally to make sure there is no doubt.
Plan B is necessary because the announcement for a re-election bid may not happen until April.
That gives ample time for doubters to speculate that the president doesn’t have another race in him.
Republicans Ready for a Fight
This time Joe Biden will not be able to campaign from his basement.
Trump appears energetic.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is in the race.
A new candidate, author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is running to put out some fresh ideas he hopes will resonate in the primary.
Other candidates from Trump’s orbit who may run include ex-Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Other big names on the sidelines would be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and perhaps Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina.
Joe Biden Has Built-In Advantages
These people will all be criticizing Biden, soaking up media coverage, touting books, giving speeches, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can fly on Air Force One to make appearances and use the bully pulpit to communicate with voters. Fund raising will get a boost and many Democrats will view the president as the most legitimate candidate.
The campaign apparatus, the leftwing media, and supporters will fall into place.
Fodder for the Media
Journalists and pundits are always looking for a story and Biden refusing to run again or if a top-tier candidate primaries him, it would be political dynamite that would spawn countless stories to suck the air out of the room.
Don’t Count Him Out
While operatives worry about Joe Biden, he can deliver when his back is to the wall. He gave a better-than-expected State of the Union speech. He is leading the global response to the war in Ukraine and he is presiding over an economy, that despite high inflation, has the lowest unemployment rate (3.4 percent) since 1969.
Biden is thus in a fairly strong position. A rollicking announcement ceremony and a good fund raising quarter will scare off competition. He will just have to show vigor and energy on the campaign trail because a host of Republicans are ready to take him on.
Joe Biden has the power of incumbency and still has a level of likability that is in contrast to the unending caustic and combative nature of Trump and DeSantis.
He just needs to pull the trigger on his candidacy to kill off speculation he is not up to another run.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.