Jill Biden dispatched to Minnesota in signal of trouble for Biden's 2024 campaign

 April 24, 2024

President Joe Biden's quest for re-election to a second term is not going as well as expected, hence his campaign's increasingly frequent deployment of first lady Jill Biden as a top surrogate on his behalf.

On Friday, that included dispatching the first lady to Minnesota for a pair of campaign events intended to rally support for the president among women voters and teachers union members, according to the Star Tribune.

That assignment seemingly confirmed some measure of growing concern within the Biden campaign about the incumbent's prospects for victory, given that he won Minnesota by a substantial margin in 2020 but now appears to fear that the state is potentially in play as a decisive battleground.

Focused on abortion and women's rights

The Star Tribune reported that first lady Jill Biden traveled to Bloomington, Minnesota on Friday evening and spoke with a group of around 200 mostly women supporters of her husband's re-election campaign at a local brewery, where she predominately addressed the topics of abortion access and women's rights while maligning former President Donald Trump.

"It's heartbreaking to see that your generation has to re-fight battles that we thought we had settled so many decades ago," she said. "Post-Roe America isn't the future that we should be handing down to our daughters and our sons, and I promise you, Joe and I are by your side in this fight, and we're not going to rest until we right every wrong."

At another point, Biden heralded all of the women that her husband had elevated to prominent positions during his tenure and stated, "Joe has spent his entire career lifting up women, but that other guy, Trump, he spent a lifetime tearing us down and devaluing our existence."

Effort to mobilize teachers, school staffers, and parents

The first lady's campaign speech at the brewery was brief, lasting just 12 minutes, per the Tribune, after which Biden left and headed for Bloomington's DoubleTree Hotel to make an appearance at the annual convention of Education Minnesota, the state's largest teachers' union, which is also one of the state's biggest spenders in terms of political activism, contributing millions of dollars to Democrats each election cycle.

According to ABC News, Biden's attendance at the annual convention was part of the re-election campaign's Educators for Biden-Harris sub-campaign intended to help mobilize support for President Biden among teachers, school staffers, and parents.

The main theme of that effort is to convince voters that Joe Biden is "the education president," one who "knows what educators go through every day. He respects us. He empowers us. And he's never going to stop fighting for us."

Aside from the event in Minnesota, the Educators for Biden-Harris campaign is also expected to make stops in crucial swing states like Nevada, New Hampshire, and Michigan, among others, with assistance and support from the nation's two main teachers' unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, both of which endorsed Biden's re-election bid last year.

Biden's faltering poll numbers necessitate campaign assistance from teachers' unions

The Independent Women's Forum reported that the AFT and NEA earned an A grade for "mobilizing the political machine" but received an F grade for "improving education" while it was also noted that both unions were essentially funneling teachers' dues into the Biden-Harris re-election campaign.

Indeed, in the prior fiscal year, both organizations spent a combined $97 million on political activism and lobbying -- $50.1 million for the NEA and $46.9 million for the AFT -- not counting the untold expenses for political "contributions, gifts, and grants" that were unspecified in annual federal filings.

The IWF pointed out that both unions have been open about their plans to join forces with the Biden-Harris campaign to help mobilize voters, support campaign organizing efforts, and engage in direct campaigning themselves on behalf of the president.

As for the first lady's trip to the once seemingly electorally safe state of Minnesota, the RealClearPolling average showed that President Biden only leads former President Trump by about 2.3 points, 43-40.7%, well below his 7.2 point margin of victory in 2020, 52.6-45.4%, and the Star Tribune noted that Biden's lead over Trump has been in a steady decline there for some time.

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