President Joe Biden has not yet formally declared his intention to seek a second term in 2024, but it appears that he has already kicked off an unofficial re-election campaign that will prominently feature his wife, first lady Jill Biden, out on the trail on his behalf.
The first lady on Wednesday will make visits to both Maine and Vermont, which will follow her travel on Monday to Colorado and Michigan, the Boston Globe reported.
The president will not accompany his wife to those scheduled events, but she will be joined on the trip to Maine and Vermont by Education Sec. Miguel Cardona.
The White House first announced on March 24 that President Biden would launch his "Investing in America" tour to tout the achievements of his administration, both through legislation and executive action, with a particular focus on things like the economy, infrastructure, jobs, and manufacturing.
The statement noted, "Over the next three weeks, President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, members of the Cabinet, and senior White House officials will visit over 20 states to highlight the impact of the President’s Investing in America agenda."
There were no scheduled visits for Jill Biden in the first week of the tour, but a March 31 update from the White House about the ongoing tour revealed that she will play an integral role in the second week.
"First Lady Jill Biden will launch a four-state swing to highlight career-connected learning programs that are preparing high school and community college students for good-paying jobs that are being created by the Investing in America agenda," the March 31 statement said. "Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will join the First Lady for part of the tour."
The Boston Globe reported that first lady Biden's office said in a statement of its own that "During the visits, the First Lady will highlight how career-connected learning and workforce training programs are central to the Biden Education Pathway, and the importance of investing in these programs that are preparing high school and community college students for jobs created by the President’s Investing in America agenda."
In Maine, Biden and Sec. Cardona will join Gov. Janet Mills (D) and make a stop at the Southern Maine Community College to highlight the college’s workforce training programs and the state’s investment in free community college," while in Vermont, Biden and Cardona will join Gov. Phil Scott (R) in Burlington to showcase "an electric aerospace company working to train and connect the next generation with good-paying jobs in emerging industries like clean energy."
Prior to that, the first lady will travel alone on Monday to meet Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) at the state capitol in Denver and then fly on to Saginaw, Michigan to tout a workforce training program at Delta College.
CNN reported that the "two-day, four-state blitz" for first lady Biden offered up a "preview of how she could be deployed in a possible re-election bid" for her husband, which she reportedly fully supports.
The first lady's press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, told the outlet, "The First Lady is a key messenger for the administration’s priorities and will continue to highlight the President’s accomplishments across the country through her travel on the Investing in America tour."
CNN noted that Jill Biden has emerged as President Biden's "top surrogate" over the past few years and has been dispatched to not only "traditional battleground states" but also "typically red states," which would likely continue in a prospective 2024 campaign, and generally involve a "focus on issues that can draw bipartisan support."
How effective the first lady will be in campaigning on behalf of the president and in support of a second term in office for him is something that remains to be seen.