Joe Biden Is Finished

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Joe Biden is finished. Every day I hear on CNN that more Democrats think he ought to resign. It’s clear that the TV honchos think he’s done. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t frame the news this way. And CNN is a Democrat channel. It used to be called the “Clinton News Network.” I watch and think, “Biden is done.”

I hear on the TV in the next room Biden shouting at a crowd, “I’m running and I’m going to win again! I’m staying in the race!” I hear cheers, but it doesn’t matter. The cheering is like the barking of dogs.

In Biden’s first interview after the big debate, George Stephanopoulos asked him how he would feel if he stayed in the race and lost to Donald Trump. “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do,” Biden said, according to the original ABC News transcript.

The media covered for the dying Franklin Roosevelt 80 years ago, and they were doing the same kind of thing again, in the 21st century.


Biden’s staff complained about “goodest job,” and ABC changed its transcript from to “the good as job” (which makes no sense). The change may be accurate; you can listen to Biden’s mumbling here. Note also that Biden answers Stephanopoulos’ question in terms of himself — I’ll feel fine even if Trump wins. For Democrats, for Biden to be so self-absorbed is an alarming thought. For non-Democrats, the greater significance is that nearly two weeks after the night of mumbles, Biden’s struggles to clarify his thoughts are still the top story in the national media.

On the Right, voices have been saying for years that the man was not in possession of all his marbles, that his minions covered for him, and that the media played along. The media covered for the dying Franklin Roosevelt 80 years ago, and they were doing the same kind of thing again, in the 21st century. The mainstream press dismissed these voices as partisan, which of course they were, but they were not wrong. Now the stories come out. Here is Olivia Nuzzi, who covered Biden’s campaign four years ago. In New York, which is not a right-wing organ, she describes seeing him recently:

Up close, the president does not look quite plausible. It’s not that he’s old. We all know what old looks like. Bernie Sanders is old. Mitch McConnell is old. Most of the ruling class is old. The president was something stranger, something not of this earth.

At social events, she writes, “Longtime friends of the Biden family, who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, were shocked to find that the president did not remember their names.”

Politicians remember names. I’ve covered enough politicians to know that. To forget names of longtime friends is not normal.

As I write, CNN is putting Democratic senators on the air and asking them if Biden should drop out. And, like Kamala Harris, they are insisting that Biden is fine, and that the issue is Trump, Trump, Trump, blah, blah, blah. Journalistically it’s a transaction: CNN gives senior Democrats the opportunity to kowtow to the emperor on national television, and in exchange, the CNN people get the chance to ask embarrassing questions, continuing the pressure for Biden to go.

Harris is vice president. Lying is part of her job.


I assume the party will choose Kamala Harris. Some say she is not the most likable Democrat, and they’re right, but who has the strength to push her aside? Gavin Newsom? Gretchen Whitmer? There is not enough time. (And how likable is Gavin Newsom, anyway? Or Gretchen Whitmer?) Harris is no exemplar of honesty. On the night of mumbles, she was first in line to lie for her boss. On CNN, she vouched outrageously for his mental sharpness. But she is vice president. Lying is part of her job. Notice that Harris has so far avoided doing much more of it. The story in the New York Times is headlined, “Kamala Harris Jabs at Trump and Avoids Talk of Biden Dropping Out.” Her kowtow over, she is helping Biden by changing the subject, thus helping to preserve the future for herself. Falsehoods and exaggerations aside, Harris is showing day after day that she is as focused as her boss is not.

It’s showtime in the American republic. With watching comes the temptation to imagine the story backstage. One conspiracy theory I’ve heard is that by agreeing to the debate with Trump, Democratic insiders set their man up to fail. They knew he was unfit for a campaign against Donald Trump and needed a way to push him aside. I don’t believe that. In my experience, few people in politics are that bold. I find it easier to believe that Biden has been wrapped in a glob of yesmen and yeswomen of the sort that always congeals around men of power. But I don’t know what’s going on behind the curtain. All I can see is what’s in the open.

I do think I know how it ends. Biden will be gone — gone because over the next four years his condition can only get worse, and gone because the Democratic Party needs him gone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *