President Joe Biden announced his bid for reelection with a video that said he wants to “finish the job” he started when the country was racked by a deadly pandemic, a reeling economy and a teetering democracy.
A number of prominent youth organizations —including March for Our Lives, Gen Z for Change, the Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action— said Biden must deliver on his promises about combatting climate change, enacting gun control restrictions, and protecting immigrants’ rights in order to galvanize Millennial and Generation Z voters in 2024.
Claiming that his presidency has pulled the country back from the brink after the disastrous chaos created by his Republican predecessor, Biden claimed that his presidency is far more transformational that any evidence could support but after months of division over abortion, Ukraine and Donald Trump’s legal troubles, Biden’s announcement has appeared to unify Republicans.
“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer,” Biden said in the video. “I know what I want the answer to be. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”
For Biden, 80, the announcement is a predictable moment in a political career that has spanned a half-century.
“Apparently, President Biden is hoping to unify a divided America by denying the nation’s diverse Democrats any input in the process of awarding their party’s presidential nomination,” said New Jersey progressive activist Lisa McCormick. “I have serious concerns about President Biden’s honesty and integrity. His actions and statements often conflict, which appears duplicitous and insincere, suggesting that he has distrust in the populace and will not level with us.”
The decision defies the wishes of some Democratic voters clamoring for a different standard-bearer who is younger, more progressive and better reflects the party’s diversity.
In recent months, Biden has adopted policies that lean toward the far right wing.
Biden’s strength among party leaders has less to do with the belief that he has the best chance of defeating Trump for the second time and more with his dedication to preserving corporate control over the political establishment.
“For those of us committed to Democrats winning the White House in 2024, the president’s campaign announcement today was concerning,” said Marianne Williamson, a Biden rival for the Democratic nomination who announced her candidacy on March 4. “His remark that he has fought so that everyone ‘is given a fair shot’ contradicts his refusal to fight for a higher minimum wage, permanentize the child tax credit, or side with railroad workers trying to negotiate for sick pay.”
“His saying that he ‘knows America’ doesn’t seem to include his knowing the 39% of Americans who report skipping meals to pay rent, the one in four Americans living with medical debt, or an entire generation concerned that the tepid efforts of his administration to fight the climate crisis will rob them of a habitable planet,” said Williamson.
“His saying that this is ‘not a time to be complacent’ about threats to our democracy does not seem to include standing for the democratic process when it comes to choosing the Democratic nominee,” said Williamson. “The Democratic Party establishment has indicated it is planning to subvert the primary process by shoe-horning Biden into the nomination, and Americans most concerned about our democracy must not let this happen.”
“With over 50% of Democrats, and 70% of all Americans making it clear they wish to see someone other than Biden run against the Republicans in 2024, it is imperative that the voters hear from all candidates running in this primary – not just the President,” said Williamson.
“I look forward to a robust debate with Joe Biden, as I present to the American people my platform of fundamental economic reform as a far better way to win the White House in 2024 than the president’s incremental approach to governing,” said Williamson. “At such a critical time in our country, neither the President nor the DNC has the right to determine who and who is not a serious candidate. That is the right of the people alone.”
Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — the son of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.) and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy — are the only serious contender currently challenging Biden.
“I have known and liked Joe Biden for many years, but we differ profoundly on fundamental issues such as corporate influence in government, censorship, civil liberties, poverty, corruption, and war policy, among others,” said Kennedy. “I look forward to engaging him in debates and town hall meetings, in a primary election that is honest, civil, and transparent. I invite him into a new era of respectful dialog in these times of division.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC), has decided not to host any debates at all ahead of the Democratic primary, prompting critics to start a petition drive at: https://www.change.org/p/uphold-democracy-insist-the-dnc-holds-2024-democratic-primary-debates.
The political establishment wants to prevent alternative candidates from making their case directly to the American people about why they should be the nominee to face the Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
The announcement is hardly a compelling case for an administration that has been lackluster and uninspired in its approach to urgent issues, from the climate catastrophe to restoring confidence in the rule of law as it remains under attack by right-wing extremists.
Biden’s campaign seems to lack a clear vision or direction, and the White House has been content to simply maintain the status quo rather than pursue any bold or ambitious initiatives while the GOP appears hellbent on destroying the economy and unleashing cruelty on anyone who stands up for freedom and justice, as witnessed in Florida and elsewhere.
Overall, the administration has failed to inspire confidence or excitement among the public. Its lack of ambition and honesty has left many feeling disillusioned and disengaged from the political process.