With Donald Trump back in the American political ecosystem once again, he has assumed the tentative role of presumptive 2024 presidential nominee for the Republican Party.
Of course, there’s no telling whether or not Trump will take this title to the end of the race, as he faces both a number of potential primary contenders and several legal and political threats to his freedom.
On the other side of the aisle, the question of who will rise to the occasion has been just as difficult to answer. Incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden has only recently seemed to get his legislative footing, and the work of his administration to demean and defame Donald Trump has bred a great deal of resentment with key voting blocs.
Plus, many within his own party feel as though Biden’s time is up.
Just days ago, Biden appeared to still be planning to run, as news from a state dinner with the President of France began to leak.
Jill Biden, the first lady, told President Emmanuel Macron of France at the White House state dinner last week that she and her husband are ready for his re-election campaign, according to two people with knowledge of the discussion. President Biden then joined the French president and the first lady in a playful toast.
It was a lighthearted moment — and Mr. Biden still intends to make a formal decision about whether he will run again after the holiday season — but the fact that the Bidens were willing to signal to an important foreign ally about the president’s plans hints at how committed they are to a second term. The interaction also offered a window into the thinking of Dr. Biden, who has been held up as a decisive voice in her husband’s deliberations.
This was no flippant moment, either.
The conversation on Thursday evening began as Dr. Biden held court at the head table, which included Mr. Macron; his wife, Brigitte; several French officials; Democratic activists; and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The first lady, an exercise devotee, told the group that fitness helps clear her head, especially when she’s on the campaign trail.
Her disclosure caught Mr. Macron’s ear.
Mr. Macron asked her whether she was ready for another campaign. Absolutely, was Dr. Biden’s emphatic reply. Mr. Macron, who is as eager as the rest of the world for a firm answer about Mr. Biden’s plans, turned to the president and said that apparently congratulations were in order.
Then Mr. Macron led the table in a toast to Mr. Biden’s 2024 campaign. Mr. Macron raised a glass of wine, and Mr. Biden raised his glass of Coca-Cola. When asked about the toast, a spokesman for the Élysée Palace, who insisted on anonymity, said he had no clue about the exchange. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news of a Biden reelection campaign would certainly divide the Democratic Party even further, and could possibly lead to a heavy challenge in the primaries.