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Report: Biden’s Delayed 2024 Campaign Intended to Protect the President from Himself

Joe Biden’s delayed 2024 presidential campaign launch is reportedly intended to protect the president from himself.

While reports suggested Biden would announce his reelection bid in April, the launch was reportedly put off until the summer. The press has speculated why the president continues to postpone the campaign’s commencement. Some have supposed former President Donald Trump’s indictment changed Biden’s calculus. Others believe postponement reduces the possibility of posting fundraising numbers that might not match Trump’s.

The latest reason came Monday in a report from the New York Times’ Shane Goldmacher & Reid J. Epstein, who speculated the delay could be intended to protect the president’s stamina amid old age-related gaffes. As the oldest president in U.S. history, the president’s delayed campaign launch is intended to shield the 80-year-old president from hours of “grueling fund-raising” and “age-related mishaps,” the report alleged.

“Spending time on the campaign trail, with its unscripted moments, introduces the risk of age-related mishaps,” Goldmacher and Epstein wrote.

“The president’s slipping on stairs while boarding Air Force One or falling off a bicycle were minor episodes during his first two years in office that nonetheless circulated heavily in the conservative news media,” readers were reminded. “A similar incident during the heat of a presidential campaign could be far more significant.”

Just last week, Biden, a self-proclaimed “gaffe machine,” continued his streak of numerous gaffes in Ireland. During a state dinner in Ireland on Thursday, Biden told the audience to go “lick the world.” At the end of a rambling speech in a pub Wednesday, he confused New Zealand’s fierce All Blacks rugby team with the “Black and Tans” British security forces unit, a faux pas in the United Kingdom.

Fundraising could also be at the center of the delayed timing. “[S]ome officials fear an earlier entry might prove to be a wheel-spinning exercise, demanding that the aging president traverse the grueling fund-raising circuit sooner than necessary,” the report said, warning the delay “will postpone building a war chest for the general election.”

The 2024 delay strategy appears to be similar to the president’s 2020 so-called “basement” tactic — where Biden used the pandemic to be publicly unavailable. Chuck Rocha, a Democratic strategist, told the Times Biden’s renewed strategy would shield him from “scrutiny” but warned it might hinder fundraising.

“The longer he waits, the less scrutiny he is under,” he said “You have to measure that against creating momentum in these states that will matter. You’ve got to build infrastructure.”

Trump has already built much of his infrastructure upon launching his campaign in November. He has hired key staffers and organized a broad fundraising apparatus. At the end of March, the campaign had $13.9 million in cash on hand, Politico reported. The Trump indictment supercharged the fundraising. In the first quarter of 2023, Trump raised $18.8 million.

“In general, any time a candidate’s name is all over the media and dominating attention, it’s good for fundraising,” Eric Wilson, a Republican strategist, told Politico. “The wall-to-wall coverage just put him top of mind for donors.”

 

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