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Biden to confirm re-election campaign ‘relatively soon’

The incumbent US president would be 86 by the end of a potential second term in the Oval Office

US President Joe Biden confirmed at the conclusion of a visit to Ireland on Friday that he will formally announce his campaign for re-election to the White House in 2024 “relatively soon.”

“I told you my plan is to run again,” Biden told reporters as he prepared to board Air Force One, shortly after delivering a public address to an estimated 27,000 people outside St. Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, County Mayo.

“I’ve already made that calculus,” Biden added. “We’ll announce it relatively soon. But the trip here just reinforced my sense of optimism about what can be done.” 

Biden, 80, had previously indicated that he will be on the ballot in 2024. However, the absence of a formal announcement has led to concerns within some Democrat circles as to the impact of flagging poll numbers, as well as his advancing age, on a second run.

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The former longtime Delaware Senator is already one of the oldest world leaders and would be 86 at the end of a hypothetical second term in the White House – some nine years older than the average male life expectancy in the United States.

However, Biden was declared “fit for duty” following a battery of medical tests performed by White House physician Kevin O’Connor in February. The tests, O’Connor said, showed that Biden can “fully execute all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.” 

The White House, meanwhile, has indicated that Biden’s performance in the role proves his mental acuity to fulfill his duties as president. Reuters reports that his aides have already begun preparations for the presidential campaign, as well as the implementation of various fundraising apparatus.

A survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in February found that just 37% of Democrats want Biden to run for a second term – 15% lower than the figure recorded before the midterm elections in November.

According to AP, in follow-up interviews, some respondents suggested that Biden’s age would hamper his ability to perform his duties, noting his cough, gait, and recurring public gaffes.

Biden’s expected candidacy in 2024 places him in a potential rematch of the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump, who has already confirmed his intention to seek the Republican nomination.

Trump remains mired in several legal issues. He maintains that this will not derail his bid to return to the White House, even including a potential criminal conviction in an ongoing campaign finance case which is being overseen by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

April 15, 2023 at 05:21PM

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