President Biden announces he's running for reelection in 2024 In announcing his bid in a video Tuesday, President Biden says he cast his decision to run again as a fight for personal freedoms.

Biden warns of rights under threat from Trump and 'MAGA extremists' in reelect launch

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This time yesterday, we were telling you about the big, expected announcement from President Biden. And today he released a video to make it official. He is running for reelection in 2024.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: When I ran for president four years ago, I said we're in a battle for the soul of America, and we still are. The question we're facing is whether, in the years ahead, we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer.

CHANG: It's a message that Democrats feel worked well for them during the midterms, putting abortion, voting rights and democracy front and center. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has more.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In many ways, this announcement shouldn't come as a surprise at all. Biden has been saying he plans to run for reelection since his earliest days in office. In his first formal White House press conference back in March of 2021, Biden was pressed on his plans.


BIDEN: No, the answer is yes. My plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation.

KEITH: The questions kept coming in interviews and press conferences, in part because, at 80 years old, Biden is already the oldest president in U.S. history. Many expected him to be a transitional figure, defeating former President Donald Trump and then clearing the way for the next generation of Democratic leaders. But Biden has also made it clear he isn't done.


BIDEN: Let's finish the job.

KEITH: Biden repeated that line so many times in his State of the Union address, it was hard to miss the message. And although Biden's approval ratings have been underwater for most of his presidency, in today's hyper-polarized political climate, that may matter less than ever. That's according to Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster at Echelon Insights.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON: Joe Biden may not have a ton of voters who are fired up for him, but that also may not be necessary if Republicans nominate a candidate who is extremely off-putting to a majority of the electorate.

KEITH: Like Donald Trump, for instance, who has embraced extremism and still denies the outcome of the 2020 election. The former president is expected to face a vigorous Republican primary, but he remains the GOP frontrunner. Biden has already beaten him once. And Jim Messina, who ran President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in 2012, says Biden now has a record to run on, one he doesn't get much credit for.

JIM MESSINA: Swing voters think about politics, on average, four minutes a week. And they don't know that he passed huge health care breaks and the largest payment on climate change in world history and lowered prescription drugs and got all these things done. We have to talk about that stuff.

KEITH: But there's still the age question. Messina says Biden put a lot of worries to rest with his State of the Union address, delivered to the largest TV audience he's likely to see all year.

MESSINA: He came out with energy, with focus, with a message and just reminded everyone of the Joe Biden we all know and love.

KEITH: Then a couple of weeks later, he pulled off a high-stakes secret trip to Kyiv, Ukraine.


BIDEN: One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.

KEITH: It was another show of vitality in the face of concern about Biden's age.

LIS SMITH: He has been dismissed and discounted at every turn and still overperformed expectations.

KEITH: Lis Smith is a Democratic political consultant who worked for one of Biden's opponents in the 2020 presidential primary.

SMITH: And we saw a lot of the similar doubts raised about him in 2020 - that he was too old to run for president, that he wouldn't be Democrats' strongest nominee, that he wouldn't be able to unify the party. And everyone was wrong.

KEITH: Being doubted and proving people wrong is a theme of Biden's long political career. Even with polls showing Democratic voters would welcome an alternative, the Democratic establishment has fallen in line. Smith and Messina say they doubt Biden will face any serious challenges for the nomination. Anderson says there's really only one thing that could stand in Biden's way.

SOLTIS ANDERSON: The only way that he does not stay the Democratic nominee for president through 2024 is if there is some kind of unfortunate concern with regards to his health or his family.

KEITH: As Biden has said, he is a believer in fate. And right now the stars are aligned for him to sit back and watch the Republicans duke it out for a chance to challenge him. Tamara Keith, NPR News.

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