US leaders have honored tradition for more than a century by hosting an Easter egg roll. President Joe Biden admitted during the event on Monday that he is ready to run for reelection.
The president and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed thousands of visitors to the White House South Lawn. An NBC presenter asked Biden whether he would host the event after next year. The president said he plans on running again but is not prepared "to announce it yet."
Biden has made such suggestions before. He is already the oldest president in US history and, if reelected, he would end his second term at the age of 86. Polls suggest most members of his party would prefer he not seek reelection. But leading Democrats have not stepped forward to challenge him.
The White House Easter egg roll returned on Monday after President Joe Biden kicked off the morning by hinting at a 2024 run for reelection.
"I plan on running ... but we're not prepared to announce it yet," Biden told NBC's "Today" program ahead of the annual event.
Asked if he’d be taking part in the Easter egg rolls after 2024, Biden said, "I plan on, at least three or four more Easter egg rolls. Maybe five. Maybe six -- what the hell -- I don’t know.”
Jill Biden, who continues to work as a teacher while serving as first lady, continued her theme of "EGGucation."
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden stand on the Blue Room Balcony as they attend the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 10, 2023, in Washington.
President Joe Biden, accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, speaks on the Blue Room Balcony during the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 10, 2023, in Washington.
For the second year in a row, the South Lawn was turned into a "school community" with plenty of "fun educational activities" to entertain the thousands of people attending.
Monday's event has been broken into nine sessions, which started at 7 a.m. ET and will end at 7 p.m. ET. Along with the traditional egg roll and hunt, this year's program featured a school house activity area, a reading nook, a talent show, a field trip to the farm, picture day, a physical "EGGucation" zone, a snack time tent and more.
President Joe Biden takes a selfie with guests at the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 10, 2023, in Washington.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden participate in the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 10, 2023, in Washington.
NASA also sent one of the wooden official White House Easter eggs to the International Space Station "where astronauts could demonstrate the laws of gravity to students everywhere," according to the White House. Videos will be on the White House social media platforms.
The White House estimated roughly 30,000 people will take part in this year's egg roll, "including thousands of military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors."
President Joe Biden points to the crowd as he stands with first lady Jill Biden on the Blue Room Balcony as they attend the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 10, 2023, in Washington.
Actress Halle Bailey, who plays "Ariel" in the upcoming live-action version of Disney's "The Little Mermaid," was in attendance along with Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes and members of various professional sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, D.C. United, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Commanders, the Washington Mystics and the Washington Spirit, according to the White House.
A number of costumed characters roamed the White House grounds during Monday's event, including Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, "Sesame Street" characters Abby Cadabby, and Grover, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, and "Peanuts" characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
Former President Donald Trump has already declared he is running again for the Republican nomination. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has entered that race but has attracted little support.