Enough with the 2024 Handwringing (For Now)
All of the debate about Biden 2024 risks distracting from the midterms that could make or break democracy
We are less than four months from a critical midterm election that will determine control of Congress, the fate of the Biden-Harris agenda, and democracy itself. This election features key races with interesting candidates in battleground states. There are MAGA celebrities like Herschel Walker and Mehmet Oz. There are Democratic stars like John Fetterman, Stacey Abrams, and Raphael Warnock. There is no shortage of things to talk about or work to do. While many continue to organize their asses off to hold onto our narrow majorities, the locus of the political conversation is focused on 2024 instead of 2022. Twitter and the political media is flooded with stories about whether Joe Biden will or should run for reelection in 2024. The speculation comes despite repeated on-the-record declarations from the President’s team that he intends to seek a second term. On Monday alone, the following stories were published:
“Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows,” New York Times
CNN’s Edward Isaac Dovere even wrote two separate stories on the subject in a matter of hours. To be clear, the media can (and should) write whatever they want. And there is no question Democrats in Washington and elsewhere are talking about 2024. I just wrapped up a month of events for Battling the Big Lie; and at every single one, someone asked me if Biden was running or should run for reelection. I heard similar questions and concerns from friends and family over the Fourth of July holiday. Anecdotally, at least, folks are thinking and worrying about the future.
The problem is this: intense focus on 2024 only serves as a distraction from the very important work we need to do in 2022.
Status and Timing
The New York Times reports that Donald Trump may announce his bid to (re)run for President. Any day now, he could pop off with the news on Truth Social, his lightly trafficked, financial scam masquerading as a social media company. An early announcement would not be unusual for Trump, as he officially filed for reelection within hours of taking the oath of office in 2021. I am sure Maggie Haberman is correct and Trump is actively thinking about announcing soon, I very much doubt he will. Launching a presidential campaign is not just a rhetorical matter. It requires filing a statement of candidacy with the FEC, which immediately triggers a series of fundraising limits and disclosure requirements. To put those strictures in perspective, Trump’s current political activities (travel, ads for candidates, state, polling, etc) are funded by Super PACS with no limits on contributions from any individual. Peter Thiel could write a billion-dollar check if he so desired. Once Trump announces, Thiel could give a total of $2900 to Trump’s campaign from the day Trump announces until the day he officially assumes the nomination at the 2024 Republican Convention. Announcing now would be an act of abject idiocy (so it’s possible Trump will do it after all).
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