Biden 2024 campaign: Waiting for big decisions
HO CHI MINH CITY –
US President Joe Biden has almost announced that he will run for re-election, but key questions about the 2024 campaign remain unresolved: Who will manage it? What will it be based on? When will he finally officially announce it?
Advisors have long said he plans to wait until after March, when the first fundraising period of the year ends. It’s an effort to help manage expectations because many donors who generously contributed to Democratic causes during last fall’s election are looking for a break.
But an announcement is not imminent right now, aides stressed, and probably won’t be made until at least after Biden returns from a scheduled trip to Ireland in mid-April.
Working on his own timeline could counter Biden’s low approval rating and questions about his age – the 80-year-old will turn 86 before the end of his second term. It also means Biden won’t be in a hurry to pressure from former President Donald Trump, who has announced his 2024 campaign, or other top Republicans who could enter the race, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or former Vice President Mike Pence.
“He has the luxury of scheduling,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist in Washington. “The longer he can focus on his duties in the White House and the less he worries about the campaign, the better off he will be.”
That said, Biden aides noted that Trump had been indicted for his role in gagging payments to a porn actor, and they said Biden would consider the timing of his announcement. until he did not share the political spotlight with the man he defeated in the 2020 election.
Biden’s inner political circle has been ready to start working on campaign strategy from Day One and sees no obstacle to the president taking his time. Biden faces no significant Democratic challenge for the nomination. Self-help expert Marianne Williamson is the only candidate at this point in the preliminary race.
Biden will also decide on the venue for next year’s Democratic National Convention between the three finalists, Atlanta, Chicago and New York. But with the logistical background almost in place, there will be little pressure on that decision until the president is ready to make it, organizers said.
Much of the reelection effort will be run from the White House, where Biden’s top advisers are expected to stay. However, the campaign manager and top staffers will be responsible for raising huge sums of money, reaching millions of voters and making the case for Biden at home and online among Americans while he is still in charge.
A top Biden adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the undisclosed re-election campaign, noted that Biden’s 2020 bid is a $1.7 billion run. dollars and the effort will be greater this time. The adviser said the key will be to find “validators” or non-Washington voices who can spread the campaign’s message at a time when many have lost faith in all things political. treat.
Aides and allies are discussing how to build the right infrastructure for the 2024 race. Circumstances are different from 2020 for Biden, his race then underway while the country largely Closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The political environment is also different, as technological and cultural changes have continued to change the way people communicate. Biden’s advisers are preparing a new campaign model suitable at this time to activate his base, and identify and engage the persuasive center — essentially a customized communication strategy for each target constituency.
Aba Blankson, director of marketing and communications for the NAACP, said her organization is nonpartisan but has been successful in mobilizing Black voters – a key part of Biden’s base – ahead of the election. last November using the same targeted political message. That includes text messaging, radio advertising and door-to-door knocking to promote “peer-to-peer” organizing in areas that have the potential to turn important races.
“I think his moment is his moment,” Bankson said. “But, for us, it’s an annual reality.”
Biden’s campaign base selection has shrunk to Philadelphia, the 2020 venue, and Wilmington, Delaware, where his home is and where the president spends his weekends away from the White House. While Biden tends to prefer Delaware on all fronts, some top Democrats worry that recruiting top talent to campaign for Wilmington will be difficult.
Biden waited until weeks after the start of his 2020 campaign to announce that he had settled in Philadelphia, making a pledge to a key battleground state.
The job of a campaign manager is more challenging. Some potential candidates see it as a brazen task, with a lot of decision-making power in the hands of the White House. Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s 2020 campaign manager, is currently the White House deputy chief of staff and plans to continue her job.
Among those on the shortlist are Julie Chavez Rodriguez, director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and deputy director of Biden’s 2020 campaign, and Sam Cornale, chief executive officer of Biden. Democratic National Committee. Quentin Fulks, the campaign manager for Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock’s re-election victory last fall, was mentioned.
Biden led Democrats to a stronger-than-expected midterm performance in 2022 by urging voters to reject “radical” supporters of the “Make America Great” movement. back” by Trump. So attracting an outsider who ran successful Democratic campaigns last fall is a possibility. But party leaders admit that breaking into Biden’s famously tight inner circle is a challenge at times.
One exception is O’Malley Dillon, who entered Biden’s orbit in late 2020 after leading the failed presidential run of former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke.
Trump has not named the campaign manager despite announcing his candidacy months ago. But others are not waiting to increase staff.
Republican Nikki Haley, Trump’s UN ambassador and former governor of South Carolina, has chosen Betsy Ankney, executive director of Haley’s Stand for America political action committee, to manage the presidential campaign hers. The DeSantis-linked super PAC attracted former Trump aide Matt Wolking and strategist Jeff Roe, the architect of Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign and the winning campaign. Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory for governor of Virginia in 2021.
Even with unanswered questions about his campaign structure, outlines of Biden’s pitch to voters are forming.
From his State of the Union speech in February to speeches to donors, the president has begun to make the point that Americans should let him “finish the job” he started. He also tried to shape the race as a choice between himself and “MAGA Republicans”, who, he argued, would undermine the nation’s core values.
Biden has spent recent months traveling to promote what he sees as his administration’s key policy achievements, including a bipartisan public works package and plans for more in the future. future. Aides said that would allow him to use this year to test the political message that could best resonate in 2024.
“He’s not going to get re-elected or lose re-election based on what happened during his campaign,” Bannon predicted. “He will win based on his performance as president and the performance of his opponents, whoever it is.”