President Joe Biden will need to hit on all cylinders to secure re-election — governing with stability despite a slew of challenges, leading a party that has at times shown unease about him serving as its standard bearer again, and executing on the right electoral strategy amid the shifting political map.
In recent days, he’s shown glimpses of how he wants to do all three.
With the debt ceiling drawing nearer, Biden is set to meet with congressional leaders again this week as he looks to land a deal that avoids both the financial and political risk that comes with defaulting.
But while high stakes negotiations on the debt and dealing with the situation on the border is drawing most of the attention, the president is also taking smaller steps to remind Democrats what’s at stake amid his re-election fight.
Biden highlighted his administration’s work to prevent gun violence in a weekend op-ed that called out Congress to do more on the issue. And he said during a commencement speech at Howard University that American history “has not always been a fairy tale” and that “racism has long torn us apart” amid the national debate over how to teach race and racism in schools that’s become a key piece of the culture war.
And as the Democratic Party prepares for whoever wins the GOP presidential primary, Trump or otherwise, the Washington Post reports that top Biden advisors want to make a full run at winning North Carolina. Plus, they want to invest early in Florida, hoping to prove the state isn’t truly off the map for Democrats.
In other campaign news …
Haley on abortion: Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley did not back a federal abortion ban Sunday during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” saying that “the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people.”
Trump talks exceptions again: Trump spoke to The Messenger’s Marc Caputo in a free-wheeling interview, in which the former president reiterated he’s a “believer” in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother in legislation restricting abortion.
Harris finds her lane: Vice President Kamala Harris has “been quietly forming a small, outside group of women allies” to bolster her work on abortion, Axios reports. Harris has been a leading voice in the White House on the abortion issue.
Trump talk: Former President Donald Trump will have to appear virtually later this month for a hearing in his hush money case to review restrictions on Trump using evidence in the case to attack witnesses.
Ramaswamy’s fortune: Politico delves into how biotech entrepreneur-turned Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy made his fortune.
Thinking about it: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has been weighing a run for president, told Politico he will decide before late June. Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also told Politico that she has “not been shy” about telling Trump that he should consider Suarez as a running mate if he is the Republican nominee.
So is he: Former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn’t rule out running for president again in an interview with CNN, and wouldn’t endorse Trump.
Sunshine for the GOP, so far: NBC News’ Matt Dixon delves into the Florida Senate race, writing that “Democrats have had a short list of potential candidates, but so far none have signaled they are definitely running and the prospects have largely brushed off questions on the matter.”
Fundraising’s a marathon, not a sprint: The Daily Beast looks at how Arizona Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s marathon schedule lines up with her campaign’s political activity.
Dems want justice from Justice: The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm is suing West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s office to obtain his official calendar, NBC News first reports.
Santos saga: Rep. George Santos, D-N.Y., signed a “non-prosecution agreement” with Brazilian prosecutors last week regarding a 2008 allegation that Santos allegedly forged two stolen checks.
Watch this space: Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature moved to make it more difficult to amend the state’s constitution amid an effort to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to protect abortion rights, NBC News’ Adam Edelman reports.