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He’s Running: What Biden’s Announcement Means for Michigan

It wasn’t a big surprise, but it is official. President Joe Biden is running for re-election and his bid can change how things go, or are perceived, in the Mitten State.

“The president has wanted to be president for decades,” said John Sellek, of Harbor Strategic. “Why the heck would he give it up now?”

With a three minute video, released at 6 a.m., Biden made it official. This will almost certainly stop any other big name Democrats from announcing a run, as they line up behind him and prepare for the Republican challenger.


“He basically said this isn’t a referendum, this is a choice. A choice between me and, they put it right up on the screen, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis and a whole big picture of January 6 and the chaos,” said Sellek.

A lot has changed since the 2020 election. It was held in the middle of the pandemic, inflation has taken off, billions have been sent to Ukraine and Biden’s approval rating has plummeted.

But according Democratic strategist Adrian Hemond, Biden would do well with a 2020 repeat.

“The current president’s approval numbers are not great, but Donald Trump’s numbers are even worse,” said Hemond, of Grassroots Midwest. “So in terms of his best chance to win, it’s a rematch against the former president.”


This announcement also should end all speculation of Governor Gretchen Whitmer running for president before she ends her term

“She was never going to file against President Biden,” said Hemond. “That would’ve been very very silly on her part, and she would not have won against a sitting president.”

In the past few cycles, Michigan has played a major role as a battleground state. That will continue especially with a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs as well.

“You’ll see plenty of the President here, but not related to the Democratic Primary process but because he needs Michigan to be re-elected,” said Hemond.


While not running against her, Biden will lean on Whitmer. Republican strategist Sellek said the biggest news was actually Whitmer being named National Co-Chair of Biden’s campaign.

“What does that mean? She’s already going to be a supporter but it’s carte blanche to get involved with the campaign,” said Sellek.

She will be traveling the country for Biden.

“They’re going to be calling her and asking her to go to Dallas for a fundraiser, go to Hollywood for a fundraiser, come to New York for this media event, substitute for him on the Sunday big shows,” said Sellek. “Do all the things that make it look like you were literally the right hand person for Joe Biden.”


Much more time on the road and a full term to finish, Whitmer may be using this as an audition for her own climb, maybe in 2028?

“If she wants to run for president in the future,” said Hemond, “she needs to have a successful second term as governor.”

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