Less than three years after his defeat of Donald Trump was intended to restore normalcy and unite the country, President Joe Biden began a reelection push like no other on Tuesday, asking Americans to support him again to safeguard democracy.
Biden’s bid for reelection will play out in what would ordinarily be extremely dismal conditions, with his popularity rating wallowing in the low 40s and the country fatigued by consecutive crises after epidemic isolation gave way to a fight against skyrocketing inflation.
There is widespread opposition to his reelection among voters, and even among Democrats. As the early favorite in the Republican primary, the last thing the country needs is a rematch between Biden and the 45th president.
Biden’s candidacy is largely predicated on the fact that Trump has so much support inside the Republican Party. In his defense, the incumbent claims that he is the Democrats’ best hope of preventing his predecessor from gaining a second term that would be crazier than the first.
With low expectations and a lifetime of political experience under his belt, Biden is starting his final campaign. He has consistently bucked political norms and made inroads with moderates by portraying himself as a counterbalance to the Republican Party’s hardline stance on several issues.
While many in his party clearly favor a different candidate, it looks like Biden’s support base is solid enough to prevent any formidable primary challenges from emerging.
On Tuesday, the president released a campaign video to kick off his drive for reelection, precisely four years to the day after he began what was then considered a long-shot effort to realize a White House ambition initially stoked by a failed race for the 1988 Democratic primary.
“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are,” he said in the film, which began with footage of pro-choice demonstrators outside the US Supreme Court on January 6, 2021.
After presenting Republican “MAGA extremism” as a danger to democracy and abortion rights, Biden made it plain in his video that his campaign will focus less on his record in office and more on opposing it.
The commercial featured Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis together, depicting them as co-heads of Republican extremism. DeSantis is seen as Trump’s most dangerous primary opponent.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a conservative Republican from Georgia, was also featured. Vice President Biden has promised to keep fighting for Social Security and individual liberties in the United States.
“That’s been the work of my first term – to fight for our democracy,” Biden cautioned that now was not the time to get comfortable.
In retaliation, the Republican National Committee released its own ad that depicted a globe and country in disaster under a second term by Joe Biden, complete with war, a border crisis, rampant crime, and a financial collapse at home.
When the video cut to black, the words “Who’s in charge here? It feels like the train is coming off the tracks.”
Surprisingly, the same impulse that drove Biden to run for president in 2020 — Trump’s danger to US democratic institutions and principles — will drive his reelection campaign in 2020.
Shadow-boxing for an unexpected 2024 run, Biden has railed against “MAGA extremism” and led Democrats to a stunning midterm performance in 2022.
Why Americans Would Be Hesitant to Vote for Biden or Trump
Voting in the Republican primary won’t begin for months. It will be over 18 months before the next presidential election in the United States. Potentially game-changing developments in the United States and elsewhere yet lie ahead.
Anything may happen in the lives of Biden and Trump, as well as the other contenders seeking the GOP candidacy. Pundits and polls don’t always accurately predict outcomes, as the results of recent elections have demonstrated.
But the current climate is generating an unusual presidential campaign that mirrors the country’s fragmented, unsettled status and poses a threat to both political institutions and national unity.
The youth of this country are frequently given a voice in government by voting. One candidate would be 82 years old by the time the incumbent’s second term ended, although the prospect of a race between the two has been considered. The optics of a confrontation against a younger rival, like Florida’s Republican Gov.
Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce a primary run, may change the atmosphere of the contest, so Biden may embrace the oldest combined matchup in US presidential history.
Even more remarkably, Trump is trying to do something that has never been done before in US history. Grover Cleveland, who won reelection in 1892, spent two nonconsecutive terms as president.
Trump’s continued political success in 2024 is another exception.
One-term presidents who lose to their successors often depart quietly and never come back to try again. The Republican Party that Trump tore from its corporate roots and transformed into a populist conduit for conservative cultural warfare is still dominated by him.
The fact that Trump is trying to make a comeback after being twice impeached for abuse of authority adds insult to injury. He ignored the 2020 election results and instead tried to cling to power by inciting an insurrection.
In his inaugural address, given two weeks after Trump’s mob invaded Congress, Vice President Biden informed the American people, “We have learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
Nonetheless, the fact that Biden is starting his reelection campaign by once again warning that democracy is in peril is indicative of a country embroiled in an existential conflict over its institutions and still reeling from the effects of the most volatile president and ex-presidency in history.
Biden’s campaign will highlight the reality that Trump’s threat to democracy has grown much worse. He thinks the Justice Department is politically persecuting him and has pledged to rid the government of its professional staff.
Last month, during his first campaign event in Waco, Texas, Trump warned, “Either the deep state destroys America or we destroy the deep state.”
His terrifying promise to rid the justice system of “thugs and criminals” was followed by the following: “I am your warrior. I am your justice.”