Joe Biden hints that launch of re-election bid is around the corner

President Joe Biden has dropped a major hint regarding his plans for the launch of his 2024 re-election campaign.

The moment occurred during an interview with ABC News, when Mr Biden was asked about his wife’s comments in an interview just a short time earlier reaffirming his plans to run for re-election. Mr Biden, who was already the oldest president to assume the office, has been hounded by questions about whether he will seek a second term since practically the moment he was sworn in.

“God love her,” he told ABC News. “Look, I meant what I said, I’ve got other things to finish before I get into a full-blown campaign.”

The first lady took a bit of a sharper tone with a journalist from The Associated Press in her own interview, while adding that there was “pretty much” nothing left to do besides choose the time and place for Mr Biden’s return to the campaign trail.

“How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?” she quipped, before adding: “He says he’s not done. He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”

Mr Biden has had notable accomplishments during his first term but importantly saw the demise of much of his legislative agenda with the failure of the US Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act. Now, Mr Biden and the Democrats clearly hope that they can achieve a new mandate and give themselves a second shot by retaking the House in 2024 while holding on to a small gain made in the US Senate in 2022.

Republicans are wasting no time in preparing for the next election cycle. Two prominent Republicans, former President Donald Trump and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, are already officially running while a host of others — Sen Tim Scott, Gov Ron DeSantis, former Secretary Mike Pompeo, and former Vice President Mike Pence among them — are all thought to be readying themselves to jump into the fray as well.

The first GOP debate is set for August of this year in Milwaukee; Democrats are unlikely to field a serious competitor to Mr Biden, with author Marianne Williamson being the only declared candidate so far. The Associated Press reports that aides to Mr Biden believe the campaign launch will happen in April.

Were something to occur that changes the president’s mind on the subject, Democrats are not thought to have a deep bench of election-ready candidates behind him. Rumours and whisperings of concerns about Kamala Harris have circulated for years, buoyed by her lacklustre primary bid in 2020, and while many have speculated that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is hoping to pursue his own fledgling national ambitions, his tenure as secretary has been marked with politically-damaging crisis after crisis.

Sen Bernie Sanders has indicated that he would consider another bid for the White House in the event that Mr Biden were to step down, though his past two primary bids faced major resistance from the Democratic Party’s establishment and he has struggled to make inroads with Black voters in states like South Carolina which was recently elevated to the first spot in the Democrats’ primary calendar.