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The first lady assures in an interview that the president is ready to compete for re-election


Jill Biden said in conversation with the AP agency that "practically" nothing is missing for the president to confirm that he will compete for re-election. According to her, the only thing left is to decide the time and place of the announcement.

By Darlene Superville -

The Associated Press

The first lady of the United States, Jill Biden, offered one of the clearest indications to date that the president, Joe Biden, will compete for a second term, when he assured Friday in an exclusive interview with the news agency The Associated Press that "practically" all that remains is to determine the time and place of the announcement of his candidacy.

Although Biden has long expressed his intention to run for re-election,

he has not yet made it official

, and has worked to dispel doubts about whether his age will prevent him from continuing to serve as president.

Biden would be 86 years old at the end of a second term.

[Trump steps up his attacks on Ron DeSantis as he prepares for the 2024 race]

“How many times do you have to say it to be believed?” the first lady said from Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the second and last leg of her five-day trip to Africa.

She “she Says she's not done.

She hasn't finished what she started.

And that's what's important,” she added.

Hours later, in an interview with ABC News, the president was asked about his wife's comments and responded with a laugh.

“God, I love her.

Look, what I said was serious, I have other things to finish before I get fully into the campaign.

The first lady of the United States, Jill Biden, during an interview with The Associated Press agency, on Friday, February 24, 2023. Joe Mwihia / AP

Biden aides have said the announcement is likely to come in April, after the close of the first quarter of fundraising, which roughly coincides with the time former President Barack Obama officially launched his re-election campaign.

The first lady has long

been described as a key figure in Biden's orbit

as he plans his future.

"I'm his wife," he said between laughs.

[Jill Biden will visit Ukraine's neighboring countries to meet with families forced to flee the Russian invasion]

Biden dodged the question of whether she has a swing vote to decide whether the president runs for re-election.

"Of course he will listen to me, because we are a married couple," he said, but "he decides for himself, believe me," he added.

The wide-ranging interview coincided with the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Biden recalled his trip to the country last May to meet with the first lady, Olena Zelenska.

Jill Biden undergoes surgery to remove two cancerous lesions

Jan 12, 202300:25

There they visited a school that served to help displaced people fleeing the fighting.

Some of the families, Biden said, had been hiding underground for weeks before escaping.

“So we thought: how long can this go on?

And here we are, a year later, ”she lamented.

“And look what the Ukrainian people have done.

They are so strong and resilient, and they are fighting for their country."

"We all hope that this war ends soon, because every day we see the damage, the violence, the horror on our televisions," he added.

"And we just can't believe it."

Her Cancer Diagnosis and Role as an Educator

Jill Biden also spoke for the first time about her skin cancer diagnosis, which led doctors to remove multiple cancerous lesions in January.

“I thought it was something in his eye,” he explained.

"But then (the doctors) said no, it was basal cell."

This type of skin cancer usually appears on parts of the body exposed to the sun, such as the head and neck, explains the Mayo Clinic.

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Doctors examined her chest and confirmed that it was "definitely basal cell."

"So I'm lucky," the first lady said.

"Trust me, I'm very lucky they found it, removed it, and she's healthy."

[Jill Biden, the US First Lady, underwent surgeries to remove cancerous lesions]

Raising awareness about early detection of cancer has been a mainstay of his work for years, even before the death of Beau Biden, the president's son, from a brain tumor nearly a decade ago.

The first lady often says that the worst words anyone can hear are "you have cancer."

When it was her turn to hear a doctor say it "it was harder than I thought," she admitted.

Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden before the president's State of the Union address on February 7, 2023. Julia Nikhinson/Getty Images

She is now “very careful” with sun protection, especially when she is at the beach, which she described as “one of my favorite places in the world”.

"I don't believe in banning books"

Biden is the only first lady who, in addition to her official duties, continues her professional career by teaching writing and English classes to community school students.

At 71, she stated that she is not ready to think about retirement.

“I know I will know when enough is enough,” he said.

"But it's not yet."

[“Proud to be a Teacher”: Jill Biden Returns to the Classroom]

He said he left detailed lesson plans for a substitute teacher and has been texting his students while traveling.

He is scheduled to return to classrooms at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, after returning from Africa around 3:00 a.m. Monday.

Education has been a flashpoint in American politics, especially with activists and conservative politicians trying to limit the debate about race and sexuality in classrooms.

“I don't believe in banning books,” he said.

“I think teachers and parents can work together and decide what children should be taught,” she added.

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During the interview, Biden reflected on the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter, who recently began receiving hospice care at home.

The Carter Center, which he founded after leaving the White House, was instrumental in helping to eradicate the Guinea worm parasite in African countries.

"It's the perfect example," he said.

“He is such a humble man.

He didn't go out and yell, 'Look what I've done.'

He just got the job done."

The first lady recalled that Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, contacted her on the eve of Biden's inauguration two years ago.

[Former President Jimmy Carter will receive hospice care at home with his family after recent hospitalizations]

"They called me to congratulate me," he said.

"It meant a lot to me and to Joe."

He also spoke of his visit to the Carters at his home in Plains, Georgia, early in the Biden presidency.

“It's not just that there are two presidents here.

They are two friends, ”he pointed out.

“Actually, four friends who have supported each other over the years.”

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-02-25

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