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Biden saddles up for re-election run despite stumbles

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US President Joe Biden leaves St Edmond Roman Catholic Church after attending a mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz

US President Joe Biden leaves St Edmond Roman Catholic Church after attending a mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz

US President Joe Biden leaves St Edmond Roman Catholic Church after attending a mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz

Even those closest to Joe Biden would not be able to dissuade the US President from running in 2024, former aides say.

Mr Biden (79) seems determined to seek re-election despite repeated verbal gaffes and physical stumbles, including falling off his bike at the weekend. He would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

An anti-Biden 2024 whispering campaign appears to be gaining steam among Democrat activists and donors.

But one former Biden staff official said: “He’s going to want to vindicate himself, and I don’t think he’s going to be easily pressured not to [run].

“I don’t think even Jill [his wife] or Valerie [his sister] would be able to persuade him. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to push him aside when there’s no obvious replacement.”

Mr Biden’s bike tumble – which Republicans have called a metaphor for his presidency – will not help to turn around morale among his staff.

One Democrat former White House official, who is still in touch with the current team, said some were considering leaving.

“The writing is on the wall that he’s a one-term president,” said the former official.

“There are a lot of people who entered the administration hoping for more, and are thinking, ‘What have we really accomplished?’”

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The White House, engulfed by crises on all fronts, has seen an exodus of staff in recent weeks as Mr Biden’s approval rating plummets. It now stands at just 39pc.

He is less popular than any US president at this stage, including Donald Trump, since polling records began after the Second World War.

Mr Biden believes he is the victim of a communications problem and has blamed staff for not winning him praise for job gains, low unemployment and reducing the deficit.

But staff have scrambled to cope with a series of presidential gaffes on everything from Taiwan and Ukraine, to Mr Biden publicly suggesting the overthrow of Vladimir Putin.

“Nobody knows what to believe,” said one former official who worked with Mr Biden. “They don’t know, is this a new policy? Or is it just Joe being Joe and overstating something?”

The White House officially denies there is low morale, calling the suggestion “divorced from reality”. 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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