Image source: Politico
Although it happened more than a month ago, reports have surfaced that President Joe Biden has told Reverend Al Sharpton that he plans to pursue a second term.
In a private White House conversion, Biden informed the Reverend, and Sharpton briefed his National Action Network staff later that day.
According to an account of Sharpton’s description by a National Action Network official, Biden explained to the Reverend his plan while posing for a photo.
“I’m going to do it again,” Biden allegedly told Sharpton. “I’m going.”
Biden and reelection
For some time now, many of the president’s allies have argued that while Biden seeks re-election, he has chosen not to declare it.
His decision to do so was to avoid creating laws on campaign financial reporting.
However, Biden’s comments to Sharpton after meeting the leaders of several major civil rights organizations represent a strong idea that he will return to the ballot.
In 2020, black voters were instrumental in Biden’s return to the Democratic primary, giving him victory in the crucial contest in South Carolina after failing to take first place in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
The overwhelming support from black voters three days later propelled Biden to a steadfast delegate lead on Super Tuesday.
As part of the 2020 race, President Sharpton unveiled his plan during the Sept. 2 meeting at the White House.
During a group chat, Sharpton reminded the president that they were seated on the sidelines of an event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 2019.
At the time, Biden did not declare his candidacy and sought Sharpton’s endorsement or commitment to neutrality in a field now shared by Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Biden then sought advice from Sharpton on the 2020 candidacy and avoided a definitive statement, which he would contest.
However, at the group meeting at the White House, Sharpton said the 2020 conversation convinced him he was one of the first to hear Biden was running for office.
Confirmation and second run
After the civil rights meeting ended, Sharpton went to see Biden for a one-on-one photo.
At the time, President Joe Biden confirmed the Reverend was among the first to know of his 2020 candidacy.
Sharpton told his aides that Biden confided in him that he would do it again.
Biden’s approval numbers
At the end of July, RealClearPolitics’ poll average saw Biden’s approval score as low as 36.8%.
Since then, the numbers have jumped to 52.1%, which means he was not an alternative Democratic candidate.
The last president in office to refuse a second term was Lyndon Johnson in 1968.
Publicly, President Joe Biden was wary of his comments as his allies quietly prepared for a re-election campaign.
During the 60 Minutes program on CBS on September 18, more than two weeks after meeting with civil rights leaders, Biden said:
“Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again.”
“But it’s not just in intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”