Closed-door meetings involving White House officials, Democratic National Committee, and outside advisors are becoming more frequent as President Biden nears a final decision on when and how to launch his 2024 campaign. The president’s comment at an Irish airport that he would announce his campaign “relatively soon” has resulted in conflicting signals, with some advising for an early announcement while others suggest delaying until early summer. The leading Republican candidate, former President Donald J. Trump, faces felony charges, while the Republicans are currently focused on attacking each other and dragging the party to the right rather than attacking Mr. Biden. A top Democratic donor was asked to plan a fundraising trip in late April or early May, but the event was put on hold with no new timeline provided. Money is at the center of the timing conversation as delaying would mean postponing building a war chest for the general election. The desire to rebuild key relationships and renew political outreach is one of the few internal pressures to get started.
Perplexity arises from the conflicting signals that advisers and allies are weighing, and from the lack of external pressure to formally enter the race. The president’s timeline is also behind that of President Barack Obama, which raises questions about Mr. Biden’s plans. The burstiness of the news comes from the suddenness with which an announcement could come, the possibility of a low-key video announcement on April 25, and the anticipation surrounding Mr. Biden’s decision.
“There is no immediate urgency,” said Kate Bedingfield, who recently departed the White House as communications director. “The president has the luxury of being able to decide when he wants to announce.” The longer Mr. Biden waits, the less scrutiny he faces, but this must be measured against creating momentum in states that will matter. Money is also a central factor in the timing conversation as delaying would mean postponing building a war chest for the general election. The desire to rebuild key relationships and renew political outreach is one of the few internal pressures to get started. Mr. Biden’s advisors argue that he and the Democrats outperformed in the 2022 midterm elections despite political history and similar low ratings, in part by relentlessly painting Republicans as extremists.