UNITED STATES NEWS

President Joe Biden getting ready to run for reelection, US first lady says

Feb 24, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — U.S. first lady Jill Biden gave one of the clearest indications yet that President Joe Biden will run for a second term, telling The Associated Press in an exclusive interview on Friday that there’s “pretty much” nothing left to do but figure out the time and place for the announcement.

Although Biden has long said that it’s his intention to seek reelection, he has yet to make it official, and he’s struggled to dispel questions about whether he’s too old to continue serving as president. Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term.

“How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?” the first lady said in Nairobi, the second and final stop of her five-day trip to Africa.

She added, “He says he’s not done. He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”

Granddaughter Naomi Biden, who is on the trip, cheered the first lady’s comments after the interview.

“Preach nana,” she said on Twitter.

Biden aides have said an announcement is likely to come in April, after the first fundraising quarter ends, which is around the time that President Barack Obama officially launched his reelection campaign.

The first lady has long been described as a key figure in Biden’s orbit as he plans his future.

“Because I’m his wife,” she laughed.

She brushed off the question about whether she has the deciding vote on whether the president runs for reelection.

“Of course he’ll listen to me, because we’re a married couple,” she said. But, she added later, “he makes up his own mind, believe me.”

The wide-ranging interview took place on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Jill Biden recalled her trip into the country last May to meet the besieged country’s first lady, Olena Zelenska.

They visited a school that was being used to help migrants who fled the fighting. Some of the families, Jill Biden said, had hid underground for weeks before making their escape.

“We thought then, how long can this go on? And here we are, a year later,” she said. “And look at what the Ukrainian people have done. I mean, they are so strong and resilient, and they are fighting for their country.”

“We’re all hoping that this war is over soon, because we see, everyday, the damage, the violence, the horror on our televisions,” the first lady added. “And we just can’t believe it.”

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

“I thought, oh, it’s just something on my eye, you know,” she said. “But then they said, no, we think it’s basal cell.”

Then doctors checked her chest, she said, and they said “that’s definitely basal cell.”

“So I’m lucky,” the first lady said. “Believe me, I am so lucky that they caught it, they removed it, and I’m healthy.”

Raising awareness about cancer screening has been a cornerstone of her advocacy efforts for years, even before her son, Beau, died from a brain tumor almost a decade ago. She often says the worst three words anyone can hear are “you have cancer.”

When it was her turn to hear a doctor say that, Jill Biden said, “it was a little harder than I thought.”

Now, she said, she’s “extra careful” about sunscreen, especially when she’s at the beach, which she described as “one of my favorite places in the world.”

Jill Biden is the only first lady to continue her career in addition to her ceremonial duties, teaching writing and English to community college students. At 71 years old, she said she’s not ready to think about retirement.

“I know that I will know when it’s enough,” she said. “But it’s not yet.”

She said she left detailed lesson plans for a substitute teacher while she was on her trip, and she’s been texting with students as she was traveling. She plans to be back in the classroom at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, after arriving home from Africa around 3 a.m. Monday.

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

“I don’t believe in banning books,” she said.

She added: “I think the teachers and the parents can work together and decide what the kids should be taught.”

During the interview, Jill Biden reflected on the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter, who recently began home hospice care. The Carter Center, which the former president founded after leaving the White House, was key in helping to eliminate the Guinea worm parasite in African countries.

“That’s the perfect example,” she said. “He’s such a humble man. He didn’t go out and shout, ‘Look what I’ve done.’ He just did the work.”

Jill Biden recalled Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, reaching out on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration two years ago.

“They called and said congratulations,” she said. “And it meant so much to me and to Joe.”

She also talked about visiting the Carters at their home in Plains, Georgia, early in Biden’s presidency.

“It’s not just that here are two presidents. It’s here are two friends,” she said. “Actually four friends, who have really supported one another over the years.”

United States News

Associated Press

Officer shot before returning fire and killing driver in Albany, New York, police chief says

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A police officer in Albany, New York, was “ambushed” by a driver following an attempted traffic stop early Wednesday and was shot in the leg before returning fire, killing the man, the city’s police chief said. The officer was hospitalized at Albany Medical Center and was alert and conscious, Police Chief […]

38 minutes ago

Associated Press

Maui Fire Department report on deadly wildfire details how it was no match for unprecedented blazes

HONOLULU (AP) — When wildfires broke out across Maui last August, some firefighters carried victims piggyback over downed power lines to safety and sheltered survivors inside their engines. Another drove a moped into a burning neighborhood again and again, whisking people away from danger one at a time. But despite devoting nearly all the personnel […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate will convene the Mayorkas impeachment trial as Democrats plot a quick dismissal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats could end the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday before arguments even begin. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to call votes to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas after senators are sworn in as jurors midday, a move that could scuttle the trial […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Bob Graham, ex-US senator and Florida governor, dies at 87

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who chaired the Intelligence Committee following the 2001 terrorist attacks and opposed the Iraq invasion, has died. He was 87. His family announced the death Tuesday in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham. Graham, who served three terms in the Senate, made […]

9 hours ago

Jordan Rasmussen 
pictured on July 23, 1973, the day his first child, David, was born. Jordan was m...

Amy Donaldson/KSL Podcasts

The Letter podcast debuts second season on 1982 murders

The Letter podcast rolls out its unexpected second season Tuesday, highlighting generational questions about trauma and forgiveness stemming from the 1982 murders of two young fathers.

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Four people shot — one fatally — in the Bronx by shooters who were riding on scooters

NEW YORK (AP) — Four people were shot — one fatally — on a street corner in the Bronx by shooters who were riding on scooters, police said. About 10 shots were fired after two scooters pulled up to the intersection after 6 p.m. Tuesday and passengers on the back of each pulled out guns, […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

President Joe Biden getting ready to run for reelection, US first lady says