Although it happened more than a month ago, reports surfaced that President Joe Biden had told Reverend Al Sharpton that he intended to pursue a second term.
In a private White House conversion, Biden informed the Reverend, and Sharpton briefed the National Action Network staff about him later that day.
According to a description of Sharpton’s story by a National Action Network official, Biden explained his plan to the pastor as he posed for a photo.
“I’m going to do it again,” Biden allegedly told Sharpton. “I’m going.”
Biden and re-election
For some time now, many of the president’s allies have argued that while Biden wants re-election, he has chosen not to declare it.
His decision to do so was to avoid triggering the campaign’s 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 vote.
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 finish first in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
The overwhelming support from black voters three days later propelled Biden to a solid lead over delegates 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, seeking Sharpton’s endorsement or commitment to neutrality in an area 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 final statement, which he would contest.
However, at the White House group meeting, Sharpton said the 2020 conversation convinced him that he was one of the first to hear of Biden running for office.
Confirmation and second run
After the civil rights meeting ended, Sharpton went to Biden for a solo photo.
At the time, President Joe Biden confirmed the Reverend was among the first to learn of his 2020 candidacy.
Sharpton told his aides that Biden confided in him that he would run for reelections.
Biden’s approval numbers
At the end of July, the RealClearPolitics poll average was just 36.8% in support of Biden.
Since then, the numbers have climbed to 52.1%, meaning he will not need an alternative Democratic candidate.
The last sitting president to refuse a second term was Lyndon Johnson in 1968.
Publicly, President Joe Biden has been cautious about what he says as his allies quietly prepare for a re-election campaign.
During 60 Minutes 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.”