Wait, Biden *really is* running for president again?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Strange but true: The two men most likely to earn their respective parties’ presidential nominations in 2024 each just had their best week of the year.

For Joe Biden, that involved a blockbuster jobs report, passage of the new Build Back Better through the Senate, and indications that inflation *might* be starting to cool. For Donald Trump, it involved the FBI serving a search warrant on his home for classified documents related to nuclear weapons.

The fact that those differing circumstances improved each man’s chances of renomination considerably speaks volumes about what each party prioritizes in a nominee. But the hard fact is that their chances have improved. We’re closer to a “Biden vs. Trump” rematch at the moment than we’ve ever been since Inauguration Day 2021.

To put that another way, Democrats are probably going to renominate a senescent soon-to-be 80-year-old whom three-quarters of his party would prefer to stand aside in 2024. And Republicans are going to counter with a twice-impeached coup-plotting two-time loser of the popular vote who might be under indictment before the year is out.

Which reminds me: Does anyone out there have contacts in Portugal who can help me get one of those “golden visas” expats seem to like so much? I don’t have hundreds of thousands of Euros to invest but what I lack in wealth I can make up for in passion for my new adopted homeland. Just get me out of here before 2025.

Bloomberg reports today that, yes, Biden is serious about running again. It’s not just a default posture he’s adopted for public consumption until the midterms are safely past. He’s going to do it. And if you’ve been following the news lately, you already know why. Not only is he on a winning streak of late, he’s had historians whispering in his ear about the threat to American democracy posed by Trump. Having defeated Trump once before, he’s probably convinced himself that he’s the only thing that stands between America and fascism. Put all of that together along with the fact that Democrats have the thinnest bench in modern political history and, gosh darn it, he practically has to run.

President Joe Biden is preparing to launch his re-election bid in the months after November’s midterm congressional elections, according to multiple aides and allies, setting up a potential 2024 re-match with former President Donald Trump…

[A]llies say Biden’s determination has grown amid revelations about Trump and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, as well as the former president’s continued embrace by Republicans. This week, FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of a probe into whether he removed classified documents from the White House, and Trump was deposed by New York’s attorney general over claims his businesses misled lenders.

Biden frequently notes polls that show him defeating Trump head-to-head in a 2024 matchup, and believes he won the Democratic nomination in 2020 because he represented the best chance to remove the former president from power…

An actual announcement would come in the months after the midterms, but allies say the accelerated coordination with the DNC, which has poured resources into crucial swing states ahead of November, is the surest public indication Biden is plotting a second run.

I knew it was a bad sign when his friends started reminiscing about Reagan’s comeback from two rough years during his first term as president. Reportedly Biden is already reaching out to donors and is planning to travel domestically this fall to promote his agenda in order to show voters that he’s not too old to handle the rigors of the job. His future campaign slogan writes itself. “Biden 2024: We’re really gonna do this, huh?”

At least there’ll be some hilarious blog content when he announces and forces clearly unenthusiastic Democrats in Washington to pretend like they’re excited. Axios is keeping a running tally of how many prominent Dems are willing to endorse a Biden 2024 campaign when asked. So far they’ve got 29 yeses, two no’s, and 19 question-duckers. How often are incumbent presidents with a raft of legislative achievements to their name sitting at around 50/50 on whether they should run again among leaders of their own party?

As for Trump, don’t be so sure that the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago has finally put an end to the “DeSantasy.” If it has, prediction markets haven’t found out yet:

“[E]ven if one believes that he is wrongly being targeted as part of a politically motivated witch hunt, it does not necessarily follow that he would be the best nominee for Republicans in 2024,” Philip Klein writes today of Trump. That logic won’t convince some voters, but those who are looking for excuses to switch from Trump to DeSantis might find it compelling depending upon what the feds found at Mar-a-Lago. If in fact there was ultra-top-secret “special access program” material there, closet DeSantis fans might seize that as an excuse to declare Trump unelectable — even if they, personally, lend no credence to the charges, of course. They’re loyal to the leader! But they know that the first step in owning the libs properly is to win elections.

So maybe the “DeSantasy” will live on for awhile longer, at least until Trump gets arrested and populists decide that nominating a man who’s been indicted is preferable to nominating a successful, soon-to-be-twice-elected governor of a major state with no personal baggage. In a contest between spite and electability, spite wins every time.

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