Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Biden Is Definitely Running, but Is Definitely Not Announcing It Yet

Joe Biden is privately telling officials that he will run for reelection, and he also let Al Roker in on the secret, but he is in no hurry to make a formal announcement, which would trigger various campaign finance laws.

Biden also hasn't decided on a campaign manager or where his campaign headquarters will be, although he has narrowed the choices to Philadelphia or Wilmington, DE. He is well known for taking his time making major decisions, talking to many people about them, and weighing all his options, so this delay is not out of character. After all, unlike, say, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Biden has pretty high name recognition all over the country and doesn't need to jump in quickly so people can learn who he is. One Democratic adviser close to Biden said about his lack of haste jumping in: "What's the upside?" Multiple sources now say the announcement is likely to be in summer rather than spring.

One advantage of waiting is watching how the Republican invisible primary plays out. Donald Trump has already been indicted in New York and is likely to be indicted in Georgia soon. DeSantis no longer appears to be the great white hope that some Republicans were expecting (more below). By June, it might be clearer who the Republican nominee will be and if so, Biden can tune his announcement appropriately. For example, if he thinks Trump will be his opponent, he could talk about all the legislation he signed and Trump's failure to actually achieve anything. If he thinks DeSantis will be his opponent, he could emphasize that he is a centrist and DeSantis and the Republicans are extreme right wingers. He has also told insiders: "Why not just let the Republicans try to out-crazy each other?"

For the most part, Democrats are reconciled that Biden will be their nominee next year, even if some of them would prefer someone else. With the Democratic Party largely united behind him, Biden doesn't feel like there is a need to hurry an announcement. Biden also knows that Barack Obama did not launch his reelection campaign until April 2011. George W. Bush didn't announce until May 2003, and didn't begin campaigning until much latter. Biden figures he has plenty of time.

As a practical matter, three decisions are probably more important than when a formal announcement will be. First, of course, is who his campaign manager will be. There are probably a dozen possibles, many of whom have run high-profile successful Senate or gubernatorial campaigns recently. For example, the people who managed campaigns for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) are on the list.

Second, again, is where the campaign headquarters be. Biden personally prefers Wilmington, but others on his staff are pitching Philadelphia, both because it is a much bigger city and because Pennsylvania is a must-win swing state. Operating out of Philadelphia would be both a sign to Pennsylvanians that "Scranton Joe" hasn't forgotten where he came from and would make the logistics easier, since there are flights from just about everywhere to Philly and far fewer to Wilmington.

Third, where will the convention be? The process of figuring that out began well over a year ago. In the summer of 2021, DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison sent out letters to 20 cities inviting them to submit bids. Some did and some didn't. The process of winnowing has gone on since then. It is technically Harrison's call, but he wouldn't make a decision without input from Biden. And yesterday, the blue team made its pick. Keep reading. (V)

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