President Joe Biden hasn’t announced whether he plans to run for re-election in 2024, but he was willing to participate in “a playful toast” Thursday night with his wife and French President Emmanuel Macron at an official state dinner.
Officially, according to The New York Times, Biden won’t make a formal decision about whether to run again until after the holidays.
However, first lady Jill Biden told Macron Thursday night that she and her husband were ready for their next campaign together, according to the report.
Macron proposed the toast after Jill Biden told her table that exercise was important to her, especially while campaigning.
The Times notes that Jill Biden was considered “a decisive voice” regarding the president’s re-election thinking, and that her apparently positive response to Macron’s request “offered a window” into her current thinking on her husband’s prospects.
Joe Biden, 80, is the oldest U.S. president in history. He would be 82 on the next Inauguration Day, whether or not he runs or wins — assuming he is alive in January, 2025, of course.
If we were re-elected and served out a full second term, Biden would be 86 when he handed over the reins to whoever succeeded him.
Former President Donald Trump, who some believe is Biden’s most likely 2024 general election challenger, is only four years younger. Trump announced his third campaign on Nov. 15; he’ll celebrate his 77th birthday in June.
The Times reported that both Bidens had previously said that Trump getting into the ring would make it more likely that Joe Biden would seek a second term.
Roughly two-thirds of Americans believe Biden will not be up to the challenges of the presidency for a second term, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll conducted last month. Roughly half said the same of Trump.
Perhaps more importantly, six respondents out of seven said that no one above the age of 75 should even be allowed to run for the office, the online poll of 1,003 adults found.
Biden has previously described questions about his age and fitness for office as “totally legitimate,” but has never said he would not run for a second term.
His party’s relative success in this year’s midterms seems unlikely to discourage him from seeking re-election.
“If he were 60 and not 80, there would be absolutely no doubt,” David Axelrod, a former chief strategist for President Barack Obama, told The Times last week.
Current administration members also seem to expect the president to run again, The Times reported.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said that he expected Biden to announce after the holidays that “the decision will be to do it.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that thinking, more or less, when asked about it Tuesday.
“I don’t have anything else to preview at this time,” she told reporters. “But what Ron said was certainly in line with what the president has said most recently about 2024.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.