Biden Isn’t Stepping Aside (Plus Trump Takes the High Road)

Well that was quick. Last night we had an epic collapse from Joe Biden which led to widespread panic within his party. This morning there were lots of headlines about the possibility or advisability of him dropping out and clearing the way for someone else. Here’s one example from Nate Silver:


Biden has been graded on an incredibly generous curve, like after his substantively fine but poorly-delivered State of the Union address. And the White House has been playing hide-the-ball, from Biden’s declining to do a Super Bowl interview to reducing the number of debates from three to two to using executive privilege to block the release of the audio of Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur — who concluded that Biden was an “elderly man with a poor memory” and was pilloried for it, even though Hur had been appointed by the White House’s own Attorney General, resistance hero Merrick Garland…

Picking a new nominee via superdelegates at the convention would be like attending a shitshow at a plumbers’ convention. And Harris remains quite unpopular too, although her disapproval ratings are now notably better than Biden’s. Either of these candidates are probably below 50 percent to win against Trump. But what matters is that they’re probably better bets than Biden. Give me Harris at this point, who at least is more of a blank slate. I’m not a Gavin Newsom guy, but give me Newsom, who at least has had designs on the job and governs a state with the 5th largest economy in the world. Harris and Newsom are very much not my preferred options — but I prefer them to Biden…

It’s time for Biden to consider what’s best for his party, what’s best for the country and what’s best for his legacy — and that isn’t seeking the presidency until he’s 86.

Again, that’s just one example, the NY Times is full of similar pieces today. Even some people who know Biden personally asked him to step aside this morning. But here we are just a few hours after those pieces were written and published and it seems clear Biden is not going to take any of their advice. A short time ago he gave a prepared speech vowing to fight on.


Biden may believe with all his heart and soul that he can do this job but there’s simply no way that’s true. Even if he can do it now, which I think is very questionable, he cannot guarantee what the situation will be a year or two from now. The decline we’ve already seen in him will certainly get worse.

But it seems clear that, having panicked and briefly considered their options, Democrats have decided it’s Biden or bust. Here’s the word coming down from the clouds to the heathen below.

I’m not usually a big Chris Cilizza fan but credit where due. He nailed it with this tweet.


It’s so nice to see the media telling the truth for once but how long will it last. If they’re sticking with Biden then the big lie, i.e. that he’s mostly fine, will have to be upheld.

Yup, that’s what’s going to happen. It’s already started. The whole framing of this as a bad night is spectacularly dishonest. The issue isn’t that Joe Biden was off his game for one night. The issue is that Joe Biden has permanently lost a step he will never recover and we saw that live last night. Plus we know that things will with absolute certainty get worst over time. That’s not a bad night it’s a bad future. 

But Democrats are already starting to fall in line, heeding Obama’s call..

How long can it possibly be until the media goes back to pretending Biden is fine?

They’ve been covering for him for a year, why stop now? 


Finally, former President Trump did something today that I wouldn’t have expected. He took the high road. He still claimed victory and called Biden incompetent, but he made a point of saying the problem wasn’t Biden’s age.

I think Trump is being somewhat self-aware and disciplined here. It’s probably not wise to start bashing Biden’s age when he’s only 3 years younger. Still, Trump isn’t exactly known for reining himself in at events like this. He’s clearly trying not to step all over his own victory.



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