The Baltimore Sun

By traditional standards, Joe Biden’s bid for reelection looks problematic, at best. Polls show Americans are skeptical of his job performance. The economy and inflation, always the bellwethers for incumbents, are a problem. The candidate is not exactly Mr. Smooth in front of a microphone, nor beloved by a majority of his own political party. And did anyone notice his age? He would be 86 years old by the end of a second term. And that’s not even considering how his heartbeat-from-the-presidency running mate, Kamala Harris, comes with a high disapproval rating herself. In short, this could be Jimmy Carter in 1980 or George H.W. Bush in 1992, when both presidential incumbents ran smack into the buzz saw of an economic recession.

Yet Biden’s low-key declaration of his 2024 reelection bid recently, presented by way of a relatively modest video asking Americans to allow him to “finish the job” he started, reflected a quiet confidence borne, we expect, of a fuller accounting of his political circumstances. His ace in the hole? Donald J. Trump, who now appears almost certain to be the Republican nominee in a rematch of the 2020 race. And if Biden’s appeal to voters is uncertain, Trump’s is even more so.

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