Biden will skip his visit to South Carolina for the presidential primaries and stop in LA instead

(Stephanie Scarbrough/Associated Press)

Biden will skip his visit to South Carolina for the presidential primaries and stop in LA instead

Elections 2024, California politics

Ziema Mehta

February 3, 2024

South Carolina held its first official Democratic presidential primary on Saturday. But when the polls closed, President Biden was 2,300 miles away in Los Angeles, stepping off Air Force One.

Biden’s victory in the Palmetto State was a foregone conclusion, and his campaign invested a lot of time there in the run-up to the primaries.

So Biden headed west.

The Chairman Hey

and First Lady Jill Biden landed at LAX on Saturday around 3:30 p.m. and were greeted earlier by Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Maxine Waters

the president

helicopter to Santa Monica airport and

his wife Jill Biden

left separately for an event.

It is unclear what they were doing in Los Angeles. They had no public events, nor were there any



is known

take place.


had an afternoon campaign rally at a historic Bel Air estate owned by

Star Wars creator and legendary film

director George Lucas.

According to a report from entertainment news outlet Deadline, the president planned to meet Saturday night with black entertainment industry leaders who had gathered in the city for the Grammy Awards, which take place Sunday night at the Arena.

Biden’s son Hunter also lives in Malibu, and

It’s Sunday

his 54th birthday

is Sunday

. Hunter Biden is a favorite target of the president’s Republican critics and is facing federal tax charges.

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Republicans predictably grumbled about Biden’s decision not to visit South Carolina on Saturday, which they claimed was a slight by the sitting president.

It just shows you how much he cares about actually coming and how seriously he takes it, said Abby Zilch, spokesperson for the Republican Party of South Carolina. He and Kamala have been coming to South Carolina for the past three months to tell South Carolina Democratic voters how much they are grateful for their party here and how much South Carolina means to them. Yet on the day of the first Democratic primary, he was across the country.

Shortly after

Landing of Air Force One

at Los Angeles International Airport, the news broke that Biden


easily won the South Carolina primary.

The state saved its 2020 presidential campaign after being defeated in Iowa and New Hampshire and finishing a distant second in Nevada. Bee


approval from Representative James


Clyburn (DS.C.) and the enthusiastic support of black voters

the state of South Carolina

gave Biden a landslide victory and built momentum heading into the Super Tuesday primaries

were was

critical for him


become the Democratic candidate.

In return, at Biden’s urging, the Democratic National Committee revised the 2024 nomination calendar.


making South Carolina the



state to hold a primary election. The move was ostensible

referred to

to give a bigger voice to diverse voters in the early stages of the race

with caucuses and a primary in

predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire; it was largely seen as one

gift to South Carolina, thank you for the state

Save Biden



The president, Vice President Kamala Harris and other Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, spent a lot of time in it

South Carolina, the state

promoting the Biden campaign.

On Friday, Harris spoke to supporters at South Carolina State University, a historically black university. After a drumline performance, Harris was introduced by the reigning Miss South Carolina State and praised the administration’s efforts to cancel student loan debt, cap insulin costs and stimulate the economy.

President Biden and I are guided by a fundamental belief: we work for you, the American people. And every day we fight for you, she said. Unfortunately, this does not apply to everyone. Example: Donald Trump. Former President Trump has made it clear time and time again: his fight is not for the people. He fights for himself.”

Scott Huffmon, a professor of political science at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., noted the frequency of the visits


Democrats and their surrogates, including Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who visited his home state on Friday.

This is payback for what South Carolina did for Joe Biden, but on a larger scale, South Carolina is so stunningly important to the national Democratic presidential process that it is incredibly important to keep this relationship close and warm.

Huffmon hey


He added that he doesn’t think most Palmetto State Democrats would have a problem with Biden spending the first night in Los Angeles.

instead of South Carolina


South Carolina belongs to the state

tilt to the right in the general election. Trump easily carried the state in the 2020 presidential election. The last time a Democrat won the general election there was in 1976, and the candidate was a fellow Southerner, Jimmy Carter.

He paid his fortune. He has done his bows and pleasantries, and now the realism begins. He’s not going to win South Carolina in November, Huffmon said. The debt has therefore been repaid. Now reality is setting in.

On Sunday, Biden will attend campaign events in Nevada, where his Democratic primary will be held on Tuesday and is crucial to his re-election bid.


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