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The Bidens go on island vacation ahead of the 2024 announcement


President Joe Biden returns this week to St. Croix, one of his and First Lady Jill Biden's favorite vacation spots, seeking one last chance to rest before what is expected to be a contentious 2023 and re-election .

Joe Biden talks to Drew Barrymore about his marriage 1:31

(CNN) --

President Joe Biden returns this week to St. Croix, one of his and first lady Jill Biden's favorite vacation spots, seeking one last chance to rest before what is expected to be a controversial 2023 and re-election.

As Biden relaxes in a familiar spot (the first couple have visited the US Virgin Islands for more than a dozen years, vacationing there roughly ten times since the mid-2000s), the work that remains for him ahead escalates into a frigid Washington.

Aides are already preparing the president's annual State of the Union address, which is usually delivered in late January or early February, and see the address as an opportunity to set out the stakes and themes Biden might take up in the election. election campaign.

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The couple arrived in St. Croix on Tuesday, along with family members, a gathering of the tight-knit clan who, according to several people with knowledge of recent conversations who spoke to CNN, have now pledged support for another Biden run for the House. White.

Senior administration officials once viewed this week's tropical getaway as a crucial juncture that would play a significant role in deciding his political future, and while the president still plans to mull with his family the pros and cons of filing a running for re-election, people who have discussed the matter with him lately say the decision is essentially made.

Clues that Biden was expected on St. Croix were everywhere in the lead up to his arrival: the jumbo C-17 transport planes sitting among the puddle jumpers at the airport;

temporary security checkpoints among the bougainvilleas along the quiet coastal road;

an unusually high number of visitors from Washington.

Even for a popular tourist destination accustomed to a wave of winter travelers, this week's presidential visit has drained the island's resources.

Rental cars sold out and hotels were full, according to residents.

After the Bidens skipped tradition to the US Virgin Islands for the past two years, this trip may have some of the same vibes as one of their most recent vacations.

In the early hours of 2019, when Biden was contemplating a presidential run for the last time, the couple was photographed taking a selfie at Point Udall on St. Croix on New Year's Day, capturing the first sunrise of the new year at the easternmost point. under the American Flag, as the popular tourist spot is known.


A decision had been made.

Several months later, Biden would announce his candidacy for president.


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In 2014, Joe and Jill Biden enjoyed their time on the island so much that they visited St. Croix twice: once to ring in the New Year and once for a weekend in March, a quick getaway trip that wasn't on the calendar. official trip of the then vice president.

In 2015, the couple spent the week after Christmas there again, after deciding that he would not run for the White House.

In 2016, the Bidens spent the final days of their vice presidency relaxing on St. Croix, before Donald Trump's ascension to the White House.

Re-election debates on the island

Washington's break comes on the heels of a busy holiday season.

Jill Biden, who was tasked with dozens of White House celebrations, photos, family visits and general hosting duties, had laryngitis for several days and is now in her second week off from her teaching duties at Northern Virginia Community College.

For Joe Biden, the stakes of running away are not just about rest and recovery.

Barring unforeseen events or a sudden change of heart, Biden's team is laying the groundwork for a re-election announcement in the coming months, ending lingering speculation about whether the 80-year-old president will seek another term.

CNN has reported that Jill Biden is "fully invested" in the 2024 campaign despite earlier concerns about the profound implications of what a second run could mean for her family and husband.

She has, as a White House official told CNN, "zero concerns" about Joe Biden's timing and stamina.

“This is ultimately a family decision,” Joe Biden said at a news conference last month.

"I think everyone wants him to run, but we're going to have discussions about it."

Apart from the rigors of launching the final political campaign of his career, Biden will face a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, intended to stymie many of his legislative ambitions.

Republican leaders have also promised to launch investigations into the Biden administration and his family.

With his legislative prospects clouded, Biden plans to travel extensively in the new year to tout the accomplishments of his first two years in office.

It will be an intense period that could ultimately include a rematch with his 2020 opponent, Trump, and one that will require the full backing of his wife of 45 years, along with the support of his extended family.

Joe Biden

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-28

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