Looking ahead, without joy, to a Joe-less election

Our Joe huddled with the president, just before the fateful announcement.

Our Joe huddled with the president, just before the fateful announcement.

Mercifully, I was out on a golf course and oblivious when the terrible news came: My man Joe Biden would not seek the Democratic nomination for president.

This means several things, all bad:

  • Without that to talk about, we’ll likely go back to all-Trump, all the time. And I, for one, am not up for that.
  • If everybody starts to have heartburn about Hillary’s trustworthiness problem again — and remember, that’s the way things were very, very recently — we’ll have no viable options on the Democratic side. At least Joe’s Hamlet routine gave us hope.
  • Even though there’s a ridiculous number of people running for president this year, this leaves us without a single Joe of any sort. And an election without essential Joe-ness is an election hardly worth having.

You may think I’m being facetious on that last bullet point, but I’m not. Without Joe, there’s no viable candidate running on either side that I can truly, actively like. And we are poorer for it.


9 thoughts on “Looking ahead, without joy, to a Joe-less election

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    My original headline said, “Looking forward, without joy…”

    Howard Weaver, a former VP with McClatchy who retired about the time I got canned, made a good suggestion, which I happily acted upon:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that moments before, the thought had run through my head that “‘looking FORWARD’ seems contradictory…,” but I had failed to do anything about it…

    I’ll say it again: EVERYBODY needs an editor.

  2. Karen Pearson

    Sometimes the difference between a bad candidate and a worse one is more important than the difference between a good candidate and a better one.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes. That’s something I’ve had occasion a number of times to say to Doug when he has trouble understanding why the paper would endorse someone who is less than perfect.

      When you have two bad choices, its critical to determine which is the less bad. Because one of them is going to win, and hold office…

  3. Doug T

    Joe’s announcement made me very sad, especially when he described what would have been his focus: end the petty mean-spirited bickering and improve the standing of the middle class. That would have resonated with a lot of voters. My distant 2nd choice Jim Webb also dropped out. When Hillary replied at the end of the debate that Republicans were her enemy, it confirms what we already know: If she wins we have nothing to look forward to except more gridlock. Some nut case Republican Congressman said he would file impeachment charges when she is sworn it. There is no joy for sure.

  4. Lynn Teague

    Having watched the Benghazi hearing yesterday (well, several hours of it, not the whole 11 hour inquisition) I think Clinton can be forgiven for thinking that the Republicans have defined themselves as her enemies. How is it relevant to whether security was adequate at the compound to ask repeatedly whether she called the survivors during the first 24 hours after the attack? The only possible intent of this was to make her appearing uncaring after the fact. Even Gowdy admits the hearing produced no real new information. Does anyone seriously suppose that the Secretary of State personally reviews every security request from every embassy and consulate in the many dangerous parts of the world? How could State Department security function with the Secretary second-guessing every decision?

    Bush testified for one hour after 9/11, in spite of well-documented multiple direct intelligence warnings of the Al Qaeda danger that he chose to ignore. This was apparently fine with Congress. I am not a Clinton worshiper by any means, but good grief, yesterday’s display of partisan animas was appalling.

    Most candidates say that they will work to mitigate the partisan divide in Congress. That is not within the power of a president. To do that would require a Congress willing to cooperate. I don’t see a lot of evidence of that. Would Joe Biden have accomplished it? I don’t think that is even remotely possible.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      None of that matters. We still need someone who will refuse to consider people of the opposite party as enemies.

      We need someone who would say something such as this:

      At a gala honoring former Vice President Walter Mondale, Biden said it’s critical to “end this notion that enemy is the other party.”

      “End this notion that it is naive to think we can speak well of the other party and cooperation,” he added. “What is naive is to think it is remotely possible to govern this country unless we can.”

      Unfortunately, tragically, it appears unlikely we’ll get anyone like that now…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I wasn’t referring to that. I was referring to what you said at the outset. (“I think Clinton can be forgiven for thinking that the Republicans have defined themselves as her enemies.”) I was saying it doesn’t matter how beastly the other side is to you; you can’t give in to the temptation to consider them to be enemies…

  5. Pat

    I think a couple of events went into the VP’s decision: Clinton’s good showing at the debate and McCarthy’s gift to the Clinton campaign. If she wins though, Republicans will fight her every move. Maybe Joe plans to focus on changing the tone in the congressional campaigns.

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