Presidents Day has arrived, and the 2024 presidential primary season has begun, whether you like it or not. In theory, "Presidents Day" is not a federal holiday. Congress established "Washington's Birthday" on the third Monday of February in 1968 and has not modified it since. Oddly, that third Monday never coincides with the first president's real birthday, February 22.
They began calling it Presidents Day, and the name stuck. It's "Presidents Day" by state law in Washington, the only state named after a president.
Whichever name one gives it, it's a minor holiday. July 4th is marked by fireworks, and Thanksgiving is marked by a feast. On Presidents Day, mattress sales are held.
The 2024 presidential primary season is getting underway slowly this year. So far, only former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley have declared their candidature. Additional campaigns will be launched in the coming weeks. Four years ago, at this time, ten Democrats had announced.
Everyone on the Democratic side is waiting to see what Vice President Joe Biden will do. He has indicated that he will run again, but has not made an official announcement. Perhaps he'll pull a Polk.
President James K. Polk served a productive first term. The purchase of the Oregon Territory, which included the regions that are now Washington State, was a high point. Then he decided not to run for reelection.
Polk died just months after leaving office, so the octogenarian Biden should avoid going full Polk.
According to polls, the majority of Americans do not desire a rematch between Biden and Trump in 2024. The country is ready for a new generation of leaders. Yet, the Democratic candidature appears to be Biden's if he so desires, while Trump retains substantial support from the Republican base.
Most Americans are unlikely to be paying close attention to the 2024 elections just yet. That's probably best for their mental health. Enjoy a day off today, if you're lucky enough to receive one, and the promise of warmer weather ahead. After all, Congress moved Washington's birthday and other holidays to Mondays in order to give more workers three-day weekends, which would "bring considerable benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the nation." After Presidents Day, there will be plenty of time for campaigns and partisan primaries.