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Yale 62

To Run, or Not to Run…
Biden running

By Lee Bolman

… That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind (and better for the country) for Joe Biden to stay the course and continue his run for re-election, or withdraw now in hopes the Democrats can find a stronger candidate to take on Donald Trump in November. That’s the question under debate after Biden’s disastrous performance in last Thursday’s (6/27/24) debate. His defenders argue that Biden has been a great president and a single bad night is no reason to abandon ship. But a growing chorus of Democratic officials, pundits, and voters are saying that there’s no going back from a performance that confirmed the worst fears about Biden’s capacity to be president. Biden says he’s still running, but his polls are slipping, donors are bailing, and his public appearances in recent days have done little to reassure worried supporters.

What’s your view? Stay? Go? If he goes, who should the Democrats put up? Vice President Kamala Harris? Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer? California Governor Gavin Newsom? Someone else?

Please leave your comments below. Thanks.

15 comments to To Run or Not to Run…

  • charles merlis

    Biden is not making himself publicly available for random unscripted interviews, which is suspicious as to his own confidence in his ability to perform spontaneously. Therefore, since I think he is a good man, I believe he is figuring how to withdraw and give the Dems the best chance to beat Trump.
    An open Convention is the best way to build momentum and support for the new candidate, whomever it may be. Any candidate, including Kamala Harris, any Governor or Congress person, is better off having earned the nomination rather than having it given to them. Biden should release his delegates. He shouldn’t direct them to vote for any particular one, but he might give a favorable recommendation.
    From July 15th, to August 15th, potential candidates should get signatures from Convention delegates. The percentage of delegates necessary to get on the nomination ballot should be such that less than 10 should be able to qualify. The weekend before the August 19th start of the Convention should be used to schedule nomination speeches, forums and debates between the candidates, etc., and the vote. After each vote, the last candidate can be eliminated until someone has a majority.
    The media attention and public interest will be enormous. A star may be born. A VP candidate may be discovered. Eisenhower and Stevenson were nominated in 1952 in exciting Open Conventions as was JFK in 1960. That’s the way to go!

  • thomas triplett

    We all know that aging has an impact on our memory and our physical condition. I can not imagine jetting around the world and remaining fresh Joe desires to retire with dignity. If Jill continues to urge him to run, she might well be guilty of senior abuse.
    I do not favor Kamala. She has difficulty expressing herself and doubt she would be respected by counterparts in Europe or Asia. Newsom has caused many to flee California. Who wants to flee the United States. So of the three Whitmer would be my choice, but wish there were others among whom to chose.

  • If Biden is capable of another four years as president, he must show it at the next debate. We octogenarians all have our bad nights. Facing Donald Trump in debate is one of the worst I can imagine.
    If Joe can’t handle Trump in debate, he should step aside—do an LBJ, and devote his last six months to, say, our border with Mexico, or some other Quixotic challenge as intractable as VietNam was for LBJ.

  • charles merlis

    Gary, we can’t wait for the scheduled debate in September. If he thinks he can handle it, he should take up Trump’s challenge to debate him anytime anywhere and do it within a week. If Biden crushes him or holds his own, Biden can still throw the nomination open and show his disdain for Trump. As an Octogenarian, I don’t have bad nights, only inconvenient moments at random times during any part of the 24 hours, I am awake.

    • Oops! I forgot the debate schedule. You’re correct; he should do it soon or bail.
      It’s time to turn it over to a new generation. I, too, am impressed with Gov. Whitmer.

      • Ken Merkey

        Is that the same Governor Gretchen who ordered everyone, during Covid, to stay home and indoors while she hires a private jet to vacation in Florida? Can I ask – what has she done to impress you?

        • Here’s a fairly balanced profile of Whitmer—
          Whitmer has done a lot for my native state, worked with a Republican legislature her first term, then helped Democrats gain control her second.
          She’s smart and well-educated. She has dealt successfully with bullies like Trump who threatened to harm her. She and someone like Wes Moore would make a great Democratic ticket.
          It’s time for some young blood, which Republicans could use, too.

  • Ken Merkey

    Seriously, does any rational being believe that Biden has the ability to finish another term? Today he announced that he will be cutting back his working hours and will attend no events after 8 pm. Just what we need with all of the problems in the world. It would help if he spent less time flying around on Air Force 1 and spent more time in the oval office addressing the issues of the day such as the border, inflation, energy prices, Israel/Gaza, our failing education system nationwide, the woke trends in the military, etc.
    I don’t know anyone that actually likes Trump. But I had many bosses that I did not like either, but they all got the job done. None of the Dem alternatives (Kamela, Witmer, Newsome, etc.) really have the makings of a great president. They are all dyed in the wool liberals, full of “do as I say, not as I do.”
    Joe is a product of our political system. Why would Obama pick him as VP? He spent 45 years hanging around the halls of power without much of a contributory history. As a result, we have a bloated bureaucracy (who work from home 84% of the time), we have a failing energy policy (why no nuclear emphasis? Why EVs over plug-in hybrids, etc.), we have open borders, a weaponized judiciary, etc.
    Does anyone really believe that he will get a grilling from little Georgie S.? Nothing but softballs, just like when Georgie interviewed Kamy.
    Now we learn that the White House staff numbers 524 with a salary budget of $60 MM. Does anyone know what is going on? The turnover rate is 78%. Kamy’s staff has had a 100% turnover rate. Is anyone manning the helm?
    If ever we needed leadership, it is now.

  • Larry Price

    Why does Biden cling to a job that is increasingly beyond his capabilities? For one thing, it remains a neat job with a lot of great perks. You do not have to worry about airline reservations; everybody returns your telephone calls, etc. But the big advantage now is that Biden, as long as he is President, can protect his family. But if we get out to August and Trump is solidly ahead in the polls, that advantage gets turned on its head. Now the overwhelming incentive is to keep Trump from being elected President. He just might remember a few lawfare tricks. So Biden will need to designate a strong candidate who can win. I do not know who that candidate might be. As a Republican, I am not too aware of Democrat ranks, but surely the Democrat party has someone who can fit that bill.

    Biden will make that designation. It will not be an open convention. A sitting President cannot be denied the nomination. Even a wounded President like LBJ could control the nomination of his party. But Biden does not have to make that decision now, and should not make that decision now. As attorneys say, he should allow the matter to ripen.

  • Charles E. Valier

    Perhaps the question is phrased wrongly. Does it matter if Biden continues to run? Trump will win either way. The election is akin to Andrew Jackson’s election in 1824 or Zachary Taylor’s in 1848. Both candidates were not very likeable, had dictatorial tendencies and thumbed their noses at the establishment, but had strong personalities. The current debate is whether Biden is fit today. What about a year from now, two years from now, or three years from now? The presidency is the most demanding job America has. How can Biden perform if he has to be in bed by 8:00 p.m.? Kamela is rated worse than Biden in public polls, probably because of her woke shallowness and giggles. In either case the result is the same. The fact is that the political landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade. FDR’s coalition is broken asunder. I was elected for the first time in 1966. The electorate that gave me that election does not exist today. For several decades I worked assiduously for Jack Danforth and Kit Bond to change the political dynamics in Missouri. For five decades I held, from time to time, nine public offices either elected or appointed by the Governor, Missouri’s two U.S. Senators, and two Democratic mayors of St. Louis. It was an era when men and women, but mostly men worked together for what they believed was the common good. Today it is a blood sport. This is what we have brought upon ourselves. By squeezing out the middle, the compromisers and doers, we are left with the fringes. My yard man, plumber, carpenter and delivery man are all Trumpians! Democrats in their zeal to punish Trump have given him martyrdom, a cause and the upcoming election.

  • charles merlis

    First: This topic is for Anti Trumpers who have the perspicacity to appreciate the Danger, Trump and his associates in Congress, and the majority of SCOTUS, are to our constitutional democracy. We don’t need to be distracted by the crap that myopic pro trumpers throw in the way of a thread discussing the best way to go ahead for Democrats, Republicans and Independents, who want to increase the chances to stop Trump by electing a Democratic president.

    Though some may disagree, and I don’t mean Trump ideologues like some of the commentators above who just spew propaganda or pro authoritarian horse shit, I think Biden, for all the obstacles in his way has a good record of accomplishment from the Chips Act, Infrastructure, Climate change, strengthening NATO, etc. He could have been quicker in working on the border, giving more advanced weaponry faster to Ukraine with more flexibility in their use, etc. It’s hard to gauge his work on the Israel/Hamas situation since so much goes on behind the scenes and it is so complicated and difficult because his position makes it hard to publicly speak out. IAE, The question to beat Trump, what is best to do.

    I don’t know how far Biden has declined mentally. If he is as sharp as I am he can go on. But when he reaches my/our age will he still be as sharp? That uncertainty is what tips my scale in having him leave soon and set up an open Convention where candidates can be vetted for campaign ability. But if Biden is still vigorous and can demonstrate that to the electorate, does he have the best chance to beat Trump, Maybe. If he declines later, whoever is VP will not destroy the country. But, if he is to stay, he must get out and show that he is up to it.

    Additionally, and would like to see a big Democrat victory, not only to mitigate the Trump lie. that is sure to come, about another stolen election, but also down ballot, so the Republicans can be motivated to abandon Trump quickly and become again a respectable Party that can serve as an honorable check on the Democrats. Also, at least, Thomas should be impeached, and a balance restored to a runaway Scotus. that is trying to restore Mad King GeorgeIII to the throne.

  • The rationale for Biden “staying the course,” was articulated by Boston Globe columnist Kimberly Atkins Stohr on the Friday, July 5, 2024, PBS News Hour (at 25:09–37:05).
    She concludes with:
    “…We know that Donald Trump will not get the majority vote of Americans in this upcoming election. But we have an Electoral College process that requires people to campaign in that way. So We already know Joe Biden is going to get more votes. What we need to do is convince people that it is worth not only just sticking by him, but in claiming…their democracy now, when they know what is at stake. Republicans remain unified in part because they know that they have to for survival because they don’t have that majority….They stick behind Donald Trump even long after he has proverbially shot that person on Fifth Avenue.
    “Democrats are different beasts….They have different ideas; they are not monolithic. There’s a diversity of views about just about everything among them. So it’s not in their DNA to just line up behind someone….When they see a threat this clear, and if they don’t organize, work…And, if you want to look to someone, look at what the Labor Party did in the UK, they organized; they fought. They got together, and they got that wide victory. That’s what Democrats have to do right now. They have to stop the infighting; they have to keep their eyes on the prize and campaign for the majority that they know they actually have among the American people.”
    Let me know if you’d like a copy of the transcript of that 12-minute, David Brooks-Kimberly Atkins Stohr segment of Friday’s PBS News Hour.

  • Rather than being solely age-related, it is likely that Biden has some form of Parkinsonism. As a senior neurologist (long retired) I can relate the difficulties of differentiating which form of Parkinsonism is present in any patient. The key point is that there are several varieties of Parkinsonism in which cognitive decline commonly precedes motor symptoms such as Dementia with Lewy Body Disease and PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). Unlike typical Parkinsons’s disease for which there is effective treatment (5-7-years on average), other causes of Parkinsonism have a much more rapid course and no known treatment.

    Such patients are often resistant to suggestion, becoming increasingly defiant and oppositional as behavioral manifestations of their disease. (Witness Biden’s categorical rejection of cognitive testing or consideration of outside advice).

    We are at an existential impasse. It is unlikely that he could competently serve a second term, let alone finish this one. He is unwilling to submit to cognitive testing or release records of any prior neurological exams. Trying to convince him to withdraw is futile. No one is likely to invoke 25th amendment without confirmatory cognitive abnormalities on formal neuropsychological tsting. Meanwhile the White House staff and his family will generate increasing distrust of the present administration and further confirm the worst fears of the “deep state” conspiracy theorists. This is a catastrophe in the making.

    Very simply, Biden can’t win and shouldn’t run. We need someone younger–anyone–even a placeholder would be better.