The Biggest Question After Biden’s State of the Union Address

On Tuesday, Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address, which, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, will outline his “achievements” over the past two years, which, Buttigieg says, is no easy feat — though not for the reason you were expecting.

“I will say that there have been so many accomplishments under this administration, it can be difficult to list them in a distilled way,” Buttigieg told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday. 🙄

As amusing as it will be to see how Biden attempts to put lipstick on the pig that is his presidency, what he says Tuesday evening isn’t nearly as important as what he intends to say afterward. All indications have pointed to that Biden will announce his 2024 intentions sometime after his State of the Union address.

While there have been several reasons to doubt Biden will actually launch a reelection campaign, publicly, he’s giving the impression that he’s all in on running again.

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“We’re just getting started. I intend to get… more done,” Biden said over the weekend at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) winter meeting. “As of this month, we’ve created 12 million new jobs. We’ve created more new jobs in two years than any president did in their entire term.”

That is, of course, not true, but the facts not supporting Biden’s claims are the least of his problems.

Related: FACT CHECK: Biden’s Claims About Jobs and Inflation

Biden’s real problem is that the majority of Democrats don’t want him to seek reelection. According to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, support among Democrats for his running for a second term has dropped from 52% just before the midterms to 37% today.

“While Biden has trumpeted his legislative victories and ability to govern, the poll suggests relatively few U.S. adults give him high marks on either,” the Associated Press reports. “Follow-up interviews with poll respondents suggest that many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a liability, with people focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.”

Biden’s plans for 2024 may rely on the effectiveness of his State of the Union speech to convince his own party he deserves a second term. A separate poll found that 62% of Americans believe Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his presidency. A mere 36% say he has accomplished “a great deal” or “a good amount.”

So Biden heads into the 2024 presidential election from a position of weakness, and, seeing as Republicans are already starting to launch campaigns, Biden needs to make a decision, one way or another, soon. No one will jump into the race before he announces his plans. So from a practical standpoint, Biden shouldn’t wait too much longer before announcing his decision.

In the past few weeks alone, the classified documents scandal and the mishandling of the Chinese spy balloon situation have cast a dark cloud over Biden’s presidency. It appears in the days after the classified documents scandal broke that the media was sending the message to Biden not to run in 2024. At the moment it looks like he’s ignoring the message. That said, if Biden can’t rally the base behind him after the State of the Union, it will be hard to see how he can justify another campaign.

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