President Biden heads to New Hampshire on Tuesday to showcase the investments his administration’s making in the key general election battleground state through the massive bipartisan infrastructure measure he signed into law last autumn.
And while 2022 politics will be in the air – the president will team up with Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, who’s being heavily targeted by Republicans as she runs for reelection in November’s midterms – Biden’s trip to the state that for a century’s held the first presidential primary in the White House race will also likely shine a spotlight on the 2024 race and whether he’ll seek a second term.
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Biden’s visit to New Hampshire will be his second since taking over in the White House. Last November, the president made the Granite State his first stop to sell the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure measure that he had signed into law two days earlier. And Tuesday’s visit comes a week after he stopped in Iowa, the state whose caucuses have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar for half a century.
While the stops in New Hampshire and Iowa are official trips to push policy, Democratic strategists say that campaign politics plays heavily when it comes decisions on the president’s travels.
“There’s no decision that the White House makes about where to send the president that doesn’t have some sort of political consideration. They’re not choosing these places by accident, ever,” a Democratic strategist with ties to Biden world who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely told Fox News.
Another consultant familiar with Biden world who also asked for anonymity said that “if someone’s telling you that no one at the White House has considered political impact of any trip the president makes, they probably have a bridge to sell you.”
And the consultant noted that “it’s not surprising that the president would head to some of these early states now to lay the groundwork” ahead of any reelection campaign.
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Biden, who’s 79, made history in November 2020 when he became the oldest person ever elected president. If he campaigns for re-election in 2024 and wins, Biden would be 82 at his second inaugural and 86 at the end of his second term.
Asked over a year ago at the first formal news conference of his presidency about his 2024 plans, Biden said, “My answer is yes. I plan on running for re-election. That’s my expectation.”
And he said in an interview with ABC News in December that “If I’m in the health I’m in now, if I’m in good health, then in fact, I would run again.”
The president’s trip to New Hampshire comes less than a week after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) moved to upend their 2024 presidential nominating calendar, which may knock Iowa and New Hampshire from the leadoff positions they’ve held for decades.
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If Biden takes questions from local reporters during his trip, it’s likely he’ll face questions on the DNC’s move.
Pompeo stops in Iowa
The president isn’t the only potential 2024 contender making back-to-back trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who’s mulling a GOP presidential nomination run, was in Iowa on Wednesday. Pompeo, a former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director and later as America’s top diplomat during former President Donald Trump’s administration, teamed up in Council Bluffs, Iowa with Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra, who’s running for reelection this year.
Pompeo’s trip to Iowa came a week after he stopped in New Hampshire to headline the Hillsborough County GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan fundraising dinner.
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Pompeo’s been busy over the past year, crisscrossing the country to help raise money and support fellow Republicans running in the midterm elections. His travels have already taken him five times over the past year to Iowa and three times to New Hampshire. And he’s also made visits to South Carolina and Nevada, which hold the third and fourth contests in the GOP schedule.
In an interview with Fox News during his New Hampshire stop, Pompeo reiterated that any decision would come after November’s midterms. And he said, “My wife and I will think and work and pray and make a decision about whether we’re going to reenter public service putting ourselves forward to be holding elective office.”
But Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, noted that the friends he makes now during these trips to the early voting states could possibly pay dividends down the road.
“We are always in the business of making friends because it is through friendships and relationships that you develop good outcomes that matter,” he said. “I’ve been in this fight for conservative policies since I was a young kid and it always makes a difference that you have friends and allies and partners and colleagues and people who believe in thing that you’re working on and care about.”
Scott to NH, Haley to Iowa
Two other potential Republican White House hopefuls will be making new stops in the early voting primary and caucus states.
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Fox News was first to report that Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a former two-term Florida governor, will be in New Hampshire on May 20 to headline the Sullivan County GOP’s annual Lincoln Reagan fundraising dinner.
And former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, heads to Iowa on June 29 to speak at the state GOP’s Dubuque Regional Reception.
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Haley stopped in New Hampshire earlier this month to campaign and raise money for fellow Republicans running in this year’s elections.
Hogan’s conservative achievements touted
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is not running for anything this year, but that’s not stopping allies of the term-limited Republican governor from spotlighting his conservative record and achievements during his final year in office.
In a minute-long digital ad shared first with Fox News on Wednesday, the pro-Hogan public advocacy group An America United touts what it calls the outgoing Maryland governor’s “real leadership” and “historic results.”
An America United says their video, backed by a modest ad buy, will run digitally across the country.