Biden launches re-election for 2024: “Let’s finish the job”

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos

After months of thinking about it, Joseph Biden finally announced the launch of his re-election campaign with a clear mission: to defend the democratic freedoms of Americans against the danger posed by Donald Trump and his most radical followers.

“The question we face is whether in the coming years we will have more or less freedom, more or less rights.  I know what I want the answer to be.  This is not a time to be complacent.  That’s why I’m running for re-election,” Biden proclaimed in the 3-minute launch video.

For Biden, the dangers facing the United States are multiple: Trump and his MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters seek cuts to Social Security payments, criminalize the right to abortion, reduce health care benefits, ban books , dictate to Americans who they should love and put obstacles in the way of exercising the right to vote.

Fittingly, the launch video opens with a reminder: scenes from the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“Every generation of Americans has faced a moment in which they have had to defend democracy, defend our personal liberties, and defend our right to vote and our civil rights… Let’s finish the job,” Biden calls.

But the launch of his presidential campaign also sought to project an optimistic tone about the future, at a time when a large majority of the population perceives that the country is moving in the wrong direction and that a majority wants a generational replacement.

At 80 years old, Biden is already the oldest president in the country’s history and would be 86 when he finishes a second term.

Seven in ten Americans wish the Democrats had a candidate other than Biden, while six in ten feel the same way about Trump.  Despite this, it is most likely that next year we will see a repeat of the Biden vs. Trump battle, version 2.0.

President Biden’s task is twofold: to motivate donors and Americans to contribute the two billion dollars required to have a competitive presidential campaign in 2024, and to convince them that, despite his age, he has the energy to face Republicans and tackle the country’s biggest challenges, like geopolitical threats from Russia and China, inflationary pressures, the fentanyl crisis, and the border emergency.

During the video, the Democratic Party presents itself as the great social tent: a space where whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians can coexist, as well as entrepreneurs, factory workers, and employees.  In one segment you can hear “Long live Biden.”

But the president and the Democrats will have to do much more to secure the Hispanic vote than speak to them in Spanish or wink at them.  Appointing Julie Chávez Rodríguez – granddaughter of César Chávez – as director of his campaign and Verónica Escobar as co-chair are steps in the right direction, but insufficient.

The good news is that the president has 18 months to show that he can implement public policies that make him voteable for conviction and not simply for being the least bad guy in the picture.