Biden dares us to test his mettle

President announces reelection bid

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Editorials

April 26, 2023 - 2:20 PM

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his reelection bid. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Biden has accomplished a great deal, but defeating Donald Trump was the achievement that has defined and set the course of his presidency. “When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a battle for the soul of America,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday as he officially announced his reelection bid. “And we still are.”

As the president acknowledged in his three-minute video, winning that fight will require more than beating Mr. Trump a second time. So much has happened since 2020. He highlighted the rollback of abortion rights, the banning of books and laws making it more difficult to vote. “Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms,” Mr. Biden said. This theme, road-tested during the 2022 midterms, will be potent whether Republicans nominate Mr. Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

But if he is to prove to voters that he is the antidote to extremism, Mr. Biden will also have to use the power of the office he holds to build upon his notable bipartisan achievements, including the infrastructure law, the Chips Act and the modernization of the Electoral Count Act. That task is now much harder with a GOP-led House. A big test looms in the coming weeks, in which Mr. Biden faces a debt-ceiling standoff with Congress.

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