Biden: 'My plan is to run for reelection' in 2024

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President Joe Biden walks off after a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NEW YORK – President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would likely seek reelection in 2024, but the 78-year-old Democrat left open the possibility of stepping aside after one term.

“My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation,” Biden told reporters in a wide-ranging news conference, the first of his young presidency.

He later pushed back against a reporter's suggestion that his 2024 plans were definite.

“I said, ‘That is my expectation,’” Biden said. “I’m a great respecter of fate. I’ve never been able to plan four-and-a-half, three-and-a-half years ahead for certain."

Traditionally, there is no question as to whether a first-term president will run for reelection. Former President Donald Trump, for example, announced his plans to seek reelection on his first day in office. But questions about Biden's 2024 intentions have swirled since even before his November victory — because of his age. At 78, Biden is the oldest person to assume the presidency.

In office only two months, his 2024 plans have a direct effect on his political strength. If viewed as a one-term president, Biden would effectively be a lame duck with diminished sway at home and abroad as he pursues an aggressive agenda.

Given a high-profile opportunity to clarify his status Thursday, he sought to create the impression he was not a lame duck, but he avoided making any definite promises.

Should he run again, Biden said he “would fully expect” to choose Vice President Kamala Harris to be his running mate again. "She’s doing a great job. She’s a great partner,” he said.