WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Americans to grasp the extraordinary stakes of this year’s presidential election, as he sees them. As part of that effort, he’s revisiting some of the nation’s worst traumas to highlight what can happen when hate is allowed to fester.
On Monday, Biden heads to Charleston, South Carolina, to Mother Emanuel AME Church, the site of a 2015 racist massacre in which nine Black churchgoers were shot to death during Bible study. The event comes after a blunt speech by the Democratic president on the eve of the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which he excoriated former President Donald Trump for “glorifying” rather than condemning political violence.
It’s a grim way to kick off a presidential campaign, particularly for a man known for his unfailing optimism and belief that American achievements are limitless. But his campaign advisers and aides say it’s necessary to lay out the stakes in unequivocal terms, particularly after a few years without the cultural saturation of Trump’s words and actions. And it’s an effort to set up the contrast they hope will be paramount to voters in 2024.