by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If there were any remaining doubts about President Joe Biden’s intention to run for reelection, they should be gone now after his recent trips to Covington, Kentucky, and El Paso, Texas.
In Kentucky, Biden posed with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to burnish his bipartisan bona fides in spending money on infrastructure projects. In El Paso, the president made his first trip ever to the southern border, making it harder for Republicans to say he is ignoring the crisis of mass lawlessness and hardship he created there.
These are not the trips a president makes when he intends to pass the baton. These are the trips of a president gearing up for reelection.
The legal requirement to file with the Federal Election Commission for reelection doesn’t include making trips to Covington or El Paso. It does, however, include spending money on your election campaign and authorizing people to make statements indicating that you have decided to run. Biden has done both.
His campaign, Biden for President, has spent more than $5 million since Jan. 20, 2021, including more than $1 million on outreach to voters through email and texts. The legal tripwire is $5,000, a thousandth of Biden’s outlays so far.
As far as statements indicating he has decided to run go, there have been plenty. …
… The president has clearly decided he’s ready to spend his 83rd, 84th, 85th, and 86th years in the Oval Office. He’s told his aides he has decided to run. He has spent millions on his reelection campaign. He needs to get right with the law and inform the FEC of his decision.
Americans for Public Trust filed a complaint against Biden with the FEC last August, asking it to investigate Biden’s reelection campaign and to sanction him for not telling the FEC that it existed.
The FEC has ignored its own 120-day deadline to act on the group’s complaint, but former Democratic FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel has said the case is “persuasive.”