President Joe Biden threw a political curveball Wednesday in commenting about his plans for 2024.
At the end of his speech during the White House Tribal Nations Summit, where Biden pledged to give Native Americans a stronger voice in federal affairs, an audience member shouted, "Four more years!"
Biden held up his hand, smiled and said, "Oh, I don't know about that" before walking away from the lectern.
Biden, 80, who is the oldest president ever to hold office, has not definitively said if he'll seek reelection. However, in recent weeks he has strongly hinted that he plans to do so and will firmly decide in coming months.
A strong showing by Democrats in the recent midterm elections -- Dems kept control of the Senate, though they have lost their hold on the House -- seemed to some observers to bolster his 2024 prospects as president and party leader.
On the flipside, some in his own party have appeared hesitant to offer a full-throated endorsement of a reelection bid on account of his age, while critics have frequently derided Biden for verbal flubs, pointing to them as a sure sign of cognitive decline. Alternative candidacies are still being discussed in some quarters, though recent reports say Dems' midterm showing has partly silenced some of that talk among more progressive-leaning members of the Democratic Party.
And so now, it can seem as if every utterance by Biden about 2024 is fraught with hidden meaning.
While shopping Saturday in Nantucket for Small Business Saturday, Biden was asked about any conversations he has had about a potential 2024 run.
"We're not having any, we're celebrating!" Biden said, according to The Hill, which added Biden planned to discuss the matter with his family over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays before deciding.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the issue at a Nov. 22 briefing.
"I'll just repeat what the president has said many times, what I've said many times at this podium, is that the president intends to run," Jean-Pierre said.
"I'm not going to get — I'm not going to dive in too much into this because it's an upcoming election. The president intends to run, and I'll leave it there."
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