WASHINGTON According to nine people involved with the preparations, President Joe Biden’s closest advisers have been secretly putting up a 2024 campaign effort, with increasing discussions about who may run the organization, potential themes, and structure.
According to these sources, the current plan calls for a Biden re-election campaign to heavily rely on DNC funding and have a small campaign staff in order to save money. This arrangement contrasts sharply with that of then-President Barack Obama’s campaign and is modeled after then-President Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign.
According to those familiar with the discussions, Biden and his closest aides are also testing potential 2024 themes in the run-up to the midterm elections in November, such as taking on wealthy special interests and framing his accomplishments as promises made, promises maintained.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a crucial Biden supporter, described the underlying difference on pledges made as being clear and harsh. On late-night shows, the former president’s frequent references to improving the nation’s infrastructure have become a running gag. A powerful, bipartisan infrastructure investment bill was actually signed into law by President Biden.
Despite Biden’s explicit declarations that he plans to run again and the doubts of some in his own party, there is more planning going on behind the scenes for 2024.
The process is also characterized by laborious deliberation and crucial issues that have not been resolved, according to those involved with the conversations, making some Democrats still doubt that Biden will win in the end. In particular, the DNC-campaign dynamic shows a strategy of just going through the motions with regard to a Biden 2024 run by setting up a political organization that could quickly mobilize if he runs or could switch to a another nominee if he withdraws.
Cedric Richmond, a significant Biden aide who transferred from the White House to the DNC early this year, indicated that he is running and that the DNC is creating the infrastructure for him to run and win. Currently, everything is geared toward 2024 while we support 2022.
In light of the midterm elections and the fact that polls indicate Democrats have a greater chance than they did just a few months ago of retaining control of the House and the Senate, certain crucial campaign decisions about strategy and personnel have been put on hold. According to the sources involved with the campaign discussions, if the party keeps control of Congress, the president’s focus will be on his legislative program, and Biden would probably want his top aides to stay in place longer to help implement plans. They said that a quicker turn toward a Biden reelection campaign would likely follow if Republicans take control of one or both chambers.
They claimed that discussions about a campaign manager for 2024 are concentrated on preventing the appointment of someone from Biden’s small inner circle from creating a crucial void in the White House, which, depending on the results of the midterm elections, will have to deal with a wave of Republican-led investigations or push a yet-to-be-defined legislative agenda.
They claimed that if Biden decides on someone already working in the West Wing, the departure of a White House employee would probably take place around the middle of February. Several Biden friends are already being discussed as potential candidates. According to those with knowledge of the negotiations, Jen O’Malley Dillon, who managed Biden’s general election campaign in 2020 and is currently serving as deputy chief of staff in the White House, is anticipated to play a significant role in a 2024 re-election campaign.
Biden’s core group of senior advisers, which consists of the White House’s Ron Klain, Steve Ricchetti, Anita Dunn, Mike Donilon, and O’Malley Dillon, continues to be in charge of making 2024 preparations.
Recent legislative victories have boosted Biden’s confidence, which, according to advisers, has helped quell talk of a potential primary challenge and moves by other Democrats to position themselves to take his place if he decides not to run. The president was dissatisfied with his declining poll numbers at the beginning of the summer and felt as though he couldn’t get a break amid growing issues. But now, according to those close to him, he is much happier. An increase from 36% in July to 45% in a recent Associated Press/NORC poll issued on Thursday shows that Americans are satisfied with Biden’s job performance.
Even while he is participating in the planning for 2024 and receives weekly polling updates, Biden is not anticipated to officially approve setting up a re-election campaign until after the holidays, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The first lady, Jill Biden, said this week to NBC News that there hasn’t been a formal family meeting scheduled yet on the topic, but she reinforced the growing promises made, promises maintained case for running for another term.
Look what Joe has accomplished, she said. He has adhered to his word and done as promised. I believe he should just keep moving forward.
In recent weeks, the president has been putting the potential promises kept concept to the test by promoting it on social media. He has enumerated the numerous pieces of legislation he has signed into law in recent public appearances, and on Tuesday, he continued the topic in an video posting on his Twitter account, adding that President Biden made commitments to the American people and maintained those commitments.
The theme reminds Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of then-President Donald Trump’s promises made, promises fulfilled re-election argument, according to the liberal New York Democrat. She laughed, “The whole Trumpian type of ideal is funny. But I believe that what we can do is be open and honest about what has been accomplished and what else we hope to accomplish.
RELYING ON THE PARTYInstead of concentrating on his own political operation, as Obama did, Biden as president gave orders to advisers to make sure the DNC began making early investments in laying the groundwork for the midterm elections. Given that many of the states that would likely decide the 2024 election are also the states that will decide the Senate and governor races in 2022, Biden advisers sensed an opportunity.
Considering that the DNC already has a staff of several hundred, a war room that is established, and a communications team that could be honed to focus on Biden’s re-election, depending on the DNC for the majority of his 2024 operations would save a Biden campaign money, according to the people familiar with the planning. A single donor can give the party committee up to $875,000 each year, compared to the $2,900 limitation on contributions to a candidate, according to a Democratic official. The DNC is also exempt from the strict fundraising restrictions of a presidential campaign. The DNC can also provide state parties an unlimited amount of money to coordinate their campaigns in competitive states.
Currently, the DNC has sent over 250 full-time, paid employees to eight crucial states, the majority of whom were sent to Pennsylvania, which gave Biden the extra 270 electoral votes he needed to win the 2020 election. The Biden campaign would be able to avoid attempting to establish its own unique campaign infrastructure in each state by relying on the party machinery.
Because the DNC would have already completed most of the work necessary to establish a campaign apparatus, the dynamic would also provide Biden flexibility over the timing of an announcement.
Even though Biden might seem to be a logical choice for a DNC-focused campaign, relying on the committee carries concerns. The DNC has been rife with turmoil lately, and as NBC News reported at the beginning of this year, conflicts between committee head Jaime Harrison and the White House caused the former to feel alone in the position and to consider quitting early.
Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary for President Clinton, stated, “I’ve been around this for 40 years, and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a good word about the DNC.” It consistently draws complaints from people.
In essence, Clinton’s strategy for running for reelection in 1996 was to use the DNC to support a smaller campaign crew. Obama, on the other hand, ran a sizable 2012 campaign operation out of Chicago that communicated with the DNC but was independent of it.
According to Alan Kessler, a veteran Philadelphia-area Democratic fundraiser, Biden is more at ease dealing with the DNC than Obama was. The more conventional strategy is the one advocated by Biden.
Biden is a product of the Democratic Party more so than Obama. Obama gained power as a result of a small-donor movement that was sparked by his historic candidacy and compelling personal narrative. In order to forge alliances in support of his legislative agenda after taking office in 2009, Obama established an independent organization named Organizing for America, effectively rejecting the DNC. Biden has demonstrated a lot greater readiness to rely on the current party apparatus.
One person with knowledge of the plans for 2024 described the official Biden campaign team as a “skeleton crew.” This insider suggested that the team might be based in Delaware, Philadelphia, or possibly in the same building as the DNC in Washington, where Biden’s 2020 campaign headquarters are located.
According to Biden advisers, no final choices on the campaign’s hiring have been made and won’t be until after the midterm elections.