During her January 13 press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the president accepted an invitation from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to deliver a State of the Union address on February 7.
Speaker McCarthy had tweeted a copy of the letter in which he offered a date for the president to speak before a joint session of Congress, noting that it was his “solemn obligation” as speaker.
CBS News reported last Thursday that Biden is expected to announce his reelection bid “not long after” his State of the Union address, according to a source “with knowledge of the ongoing planning.”
While the specific date of the president’s 2024 announcement has not been finalized, the source said the plan had always been to announce after the SOTU.
According to CBS News, senior White House aides see the upcoming SOTU as Biden’s de factor election launch. While he will not use the address to announce his reelection bid, aides seethe president’s address as a way for Biden to lay out both his short-term and long-term goals.
The president’s formal 2024 announcement could come as soon as later February or early March. South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn told CBS News that he has encouraged Biden to announce his reelection bid because of the president’s accomplishments. Clyburn told CBS campaign correspondent Robert Costa last week that Biden has passed “more progressive legislation than any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson.”
In anticipation of the launch of Biden’s 2024 campaign, some White House staffers are already making plans to divide their time between their official West Wing duties and the campaign. The president reportedly made his decision about 2024 while vacationing in St. Croix with family over the Christmas holiday.
Biden’s possible reelection bid is marred by the recent announcement that a Special Counsel has been appointed to investigate the discovery of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington and the president’s Wilmington, Delaware home.
How Biden’s mishandling of classified records might impact his decision to run for a second term remains to be seen.