I’m the only Biden supporter who plans to vote for him tomorrow

How could I vote for anyone else? (2018 file photo)

OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. It just sort of feels like that, after the conversations I’ve been having in recent days. Especially today.

In response to Paul’s announcement that he’s going to skip Saturday’s Democratic primary and vote for Nikki Haley three weeks later, I said that Paul makes very valuable points, but “I’m not going to do what Paul’s going to do.” Joe’s my boy. I’m proud of him and the job he’s done, and deeply grateful to him for running. And I’m going vote FOR somebody — especially someone I like so much — rather than against someone.

And ever since I said that, I’ve been questioning myself. That reasoning is fine under most circumstances — such as when I voted in the Democratic primary in 2010 because I wanted to express approval for Vincent Sheheen rather than try to stop the worst of the Republican candidates. I felt good about that.

But this time, we’re facing an unprecedented threat to the country, and to the world. And if you doubt the “and to the world” part, go ask the people of Ukraine what they think. Or read this column by Max Boot: “If Trump wins, he will destroy the American-led world order.” It’s a good basic explanation of global realities, and I went away from it depressed that Max felt the need to explain such things. But he’s right. We don’t live in, say, Reagan’s America. Reagan supporters understood those things. But now, far too many of their descendants, on the left and right, come closer to the isolationism of Lindbergh’s “America First” movement.

Joe Biden is running for president at the age of 81, when he richly deserves retirement, because he’s the only qualified person who has a realistic chance of standing in the way of the madness of millions of voters who would instead vote for a malevolent ignoramus who — when he actually WAS president for four years — had to be impeached twice (something he richly deserved both times), who tried to throw out the results of the election that removed him from office, and is currently facing 91 criminal charges in a variety of legal jurisdictions. A guy who daily demonstrates to the world that he is more unhinged and vengefully hostile than ever.

As I say, unique situation. So each day this week, I’ve asked myself, “Don’t I help Joe, and my country, better by voting against Trump than by voting for the good guy?” I was doubting my course enough today that when I went on my regular walk around the neighborhood, I called several people who fit these two criteria:

  1. They are people whose judgment I greatly respect from over the years, to the extent that they might have the power to persuade me to change course. Which is not something you can say about everyone.
  2. They are also people who I’m almost 100 percent sure will vote for Joe in the fall.

They said different things, but they all had one commonality — not one was planning to vote for Joe tomorrow. And they made damned good arguments for what they were doing. But so far (I could still change my mind by tomorrow morning), I’m still planning to vote for Joe.

Here’s the way I see it, in chunks as bite-sized as I can make them:

  • I started making those calls because I was listening to today’s “The Daily” podcast from the NYT. It was headlined, “On the Ballot in South Carolina: Biden’s Pitch to Black Voters.” During the introduction, host Michael Barbaro said, “The question is not who will win, but whether President Biden can fix his growing problem with black voters.” Which kind of set me off on a “Here we go again!” trajectory. A premise that suggests that if Joe doesn’t have a decent turnout in South Carolina — which there’s no reason for him to have, since we all know he will win — I’ll end up reading political analyses to the effect that the poor turnout in the South Carolina is yet another datum demonstrating how the Democratic electorate is unenthusiastic about him.
  • Yes, that would be a profoundly stupid thing to say, as all my friends who are planning to vote for Nikki keep telling me. They’re rational people, and they insist no rational person would expect a big turnout in the Democratic primary when we all know who the nominee will be. And they’re completely right. Unfortunately, rational people make up a distressingly small portion of the American electorate in this moment of collective madness in our country. Every day, we all see idiotic memes take hold around us, and stick.
  • Worse, the current political press isn’t much better. This was demonstrated over and over in 2020. We had 25 or so people seeking the Democratic nomination, but as I kept saying, only one of them exhibited these three qualities: a) he was qualified, as one could amply tell not only from his resume, but by his record and performance over the years; b), he had the skills, bipartisan sincerity and credibility to appeal across a broad-enough political spectrum to win over the moderates who are essential to victory in a country so evenly split; and c) voters knew him. I kept saying that over and over in this venue. And yet what did we keep hearing and reading — not from the drunk at the end of the bar, but from paid professional journalists? Joe’s past it. Today’s Democrats want a new face that represents new concerns — such as, say, culture war battles of identity politics, rather than say, an understanding of international affairs (ho-hum!). How deep did that rot go? Well, I mentioned the NYT above, and as much as I still respect the Gray Lady, its editorial board was in the midst of some sort of psychotic episode in 2020. They didn’t even consider endorsing Joe, the one candidate who clearly could both win and then do the job. Instead, they embarrassed themselves with a “split decision,” endorsing both Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. This seemed to reflect a generational split on the board — Klobuchar for the grownups (she’s who I wanted for Joe’s running mate), and Warren for the kids. This was widely and justly mocked. Vanity Fair said “The New York Times Splits Their Endorsement, Pleasing No One and Inspiring Twitter Bonanza.” Amen.
  • Of course, the good Democratic primary voters of South Carolina schooled those journalists on Feb. 29, 2020. And they all changed their tunes, immediately, as Joe’s Democratic opponents started hastening to line up behind him. Still, just watch — some people, and not just folks on Fox, will be saying “Obviously, Biden’s South Carolina support isn’t as strong as it was in 2020.” There’s a great deal of foolishness out there.
  • No, my one vote for Joe won’t do anything to stop stupid interpretations of the turnout. But my vote for Nikki won’t put her over the top against Trump, either. And here’s where we get to the deep, gut reason I have to vote tomorrow instead of on the 24th: I’ve imagined myself doing that, and I recoil at the image of me, Brad Warthen, voting for Nikki Haley to be president of the United States. Because I know how abysmally unqualified she is (and how wonderfully qualified Joe is).
  • Yes, as unqualified as Nikki is, and as poor a president as she would be, she’s still a normal human being, and having Trump become president again would be infinitely worse. It could well mean the end of this wonderful liberal democracy we have been so privileged to live in since 1789. Got it. I agree completely. But…
  • If somehow all these votes for Nikki that my friends are planning enable her to defy expectations in this open primary enough that she weakens Trump, thereby causing him to slip and her to catch up and overtake him — all unlikely, but possible — then my man Joe would be facing someone I think would have a better chance of beating him than Trump does. Why? Because she’s a normal, very personable candidate (unlike Trump) who has a talent for winning people over to her. Also, that silly “vote for somebody younger” shtick of hers has more resonance than it deserves. Millions of people would vote for her purely on that point, despite her lack of qualification.
  • If she were better qualified — say, if she were as good a candidate as John McCain, or Mitt Romney, or for the sake of you identity politics people, as Hillary Clinton — then I could with a clear conscience wait and vote for her on the 24th, even as much as I like Joe. But she isn’t.
  • And if she weren’t trying to beat such a national catastrophe as Trump, I wouldn’t even be debating myself on this. But she is, and I am, hence this lengthy soliloquy. Maybe I should wait and vote for her. But…
  • We used to have these long debates on the editorial board… Someone would suggest it might be strategically smart to endorse this or that candidate or issue, even though we really didn’t want that outcome. (This post is already way too long for me to go off on a tangent about why that might happen, but such arguments did come up sometimes.) But then someone would say something like “Never endorse an outcome that you don’t want to see happen.” The vote is too sacred and precious to play such games. And I would nod, and agree. And it is especially risky to attempt such a gambit when we’re talking about presidential elections. Anyone who gets the nomination of one of the two major parties has a 50-50 chance of becoming president, regardless of who it is, or who his or her opponent is. That’s how delicately split our country is. We no longer have elections like the ones in 1964 and 1984.

So I’m voting for the guy I actually want to be president, and who has demonstrated how good at the job he is over these last four years.

Of course, I’m still confused at the moment, as the following post will indicate…

44 thoughts on “I’m the only Biden supporter who plans to vote for him tomorrow

  1. DougT

    I’ll be voting for Joe today. OBTW, we agree on Joe and Klobuchar.

    Can you provide an example of endorsing a candidate the board didn’t want that outcome? Maybe leave out the names but give us inside look.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      It’s good to know somebody else is with me today, Doug!

      No, I can’t remember a case where we actually followed through on that suggestion. Whatever it was suggested, we talked it down.

      There are plenty of cases when we endorsed someone we didn’t like. That was because we liked that person’s opponent even less. Life presents us with such choices. You can’t just walk away from a choice like that, because one of those people is going to be elected. When you don’t like your choices, you need to choose the one who is the less bad.

  2. Larry

    Is it more important for Biden to win or for Trump to lose? Trump losing is more important. What can I do to help Trump lose? I live in SC. My vote for Biden in November won’t help him one bit. So I’ll vote for Haley in the primary.

    Unless I change my mind.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Which is a perfectly sensible way to look at it. As I said, every smart person I reach out to seems to be doing that.

      But I can’t bring myself to.

      Here’s something that haunts me. Suppose, by some miracle, Nikki gets enough traction to win the nomination. And then she wins the election. Sure, I could keep telling myself “Hey, we stopped Trump, and it was worth it!”

      But if I did what y’all are doing, I’d still have to live, for the rest of my life, with the knowledge that I had played a tiny part in making Nikki Haley president of the United States. I’d have a problem with that.

      So it’s great that all of y’all are going to vote for her. With y’all doing the dirty work, I’m free to do what I want to do: Vote for Joe.

      I guess that makes me kind of a freeloader… 🙂

      1. Larry

        There were better Republican candidates than Haley. I wanted to vote for Hutchinson, but that is certainlay a lost cause. I hate that I have to swallow this “lesser of two evils, I’ll hold my nose and vote for ________” tripe. But we can survive four years of President Haley. I’m sincerely concerned we can’t survive four years of President Trump.

        I wonder if there is any chance that polling of “likely Republican primary voters” could be skewed by crossover voting in SC? Magical thinking, I suppose.

  3. Doug Ross

    On three separate occasions in the past couple days, Joe Biden has made speeches where he claims to have talked with Mitterand from France and Kohl from Germany about January 6, confusing them with Macron and Merkel.

    Watch the video and see an old man who is struggling… then picture that old man 4 years from now.

    Meanwhile, the SCOTUS will likely vote 9-0 or 8-1 to keep Trump on the ballot following today’s questioning. Even the liberal judges were skeptical of the case Colorado brought before them. Democrats just don’t get it… they are so blinded by their hate for Trump that they just can’t let him lose on his own. They are making him into a martyr because they know they’ve got an elderly guy with low approval ratings as their only option.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And now, for a more fact-based argument, here’s a good piece from the other day in which E.J. Dionne explains why he changed his mind and decided the courts SHOULD bar Trump from the ballots, and from office.

      Here’s my view, in two parts:

      1. There’s no question that the 14th Amendment bars Trump from holding federal office of any kind. It’s almost like the people who drafted it back in the 1860s were thinking, “Let’s make sure this covers Trump.” Here, read it again
      2. If the court follows the law and bars him, we are going to have a hellacious problem on our hands, because if someone would even consider voting for Trump, you can’t ever explain the court decision to that person.

      So I’m not really cheering for either outcome…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, and for the malaprops to which Doug attaches SO much importance.

        Joe has done stuff like that his whole life. And so have I. You know who I confuse Macron with? Trudeau — yeah, the other French-speaking kid heading a major country.

        But I don’t do it the other way. What I mean is, if you say “Macron,” I have to think a few seconds to remember whether he’s the French guy or the Canadian guy. But if you say “Trudeau,” I know you’re talking about Pierre Trudeau‘s boy.

        And then I think of his mom, Margaret. Which of course gets me to thinking about the Rolling Stones, and then about how you can’t always get what you want, and so forth. I’m sure it’s the same with everybody…

        1. Barry

          I will say – just heard Julie Mason mention this on her Sirius show- she had a guest who brought it up (a guest that is friendly to Biden)

          Apparently the special counsel report on Biden mentioned that in their interviews with him that he had a lot of trouble remembering a lot of things – including when he was VP and when his son died.

          That’s unacceptable unless you are sitting in a recliner watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza all day long.

          I get that Biden gets some things confused- but telling a story about what a German leader did – when the German leader was already dead is pretty nuts. I can understand someone briefly mixing up a name, but to tell an entire story while repeatedly naming the man who was never there is a sign of someone who’s mental abilities are badly faded.

        2. Barry

          This is pretty darn devastating

          Mr. Biden’s recorded conversations with Zwonitzer from 2017 are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.

          In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse. He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (“if it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?”), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (“in 2009, am I still Vice President?”). He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.

          Among other things, he mistakenly said he “had a real difference” of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.

          We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him by then a former president well into his eighties of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.

    2. Barry

      I hate Trump (hate is too soft a word for it)

      and I support any political or legal effort to keep him off every ballot. If he falls down and breaks both legs, a hip and his mouth, I wouldn’t be concerned. I also realize Biden could also trip and fall and do the same thing, but I’d hate to see that with him.

      But I never thought the current effort was going to work. In fact, I don’t know anyone that thinks like I do that has paid this effort any attention.

    3. Doug Ross

      If the Supreme Court votes 9-0 or 8-1 or even 7-2, it means Colorado’s case was a partisan sham…

      Seems pretty simple – first you have to prove it was an insurrection (I don’t think it was and a large % agree with me)… then even if you can prove it was an insurrection, you have to prove (and convict) Trump of leading it. How does the 14th amendment apply to something that hasn’t been proven?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        You raise the ONLY good point — that the courts have not settled the matter. No one has yet ruled that he is responsible for the insurrection. Obviously, he is. But it hasn’t been established in court.

        That might be a good dodge for a justice who knows both the things I said are true: that it’s obvious that the amendment bars Trump, and also that a ruling to the effect could tear the country apart. The justice can fairly say, “While I know he’s guilty of provoking an insurrection and therefore ineligible for the office (because I’m not an idiot), I can’t go by what I know. I can only go what the courts have found, and the competent and relevant courts have not yet found either way.”

        I can also see a fair-minded judge saying, “We’re here to uphold the Constitution, which is plain on this point. And we can’t take the chance of a man facing 99 criminal charges holding the most powerful office on the planet simply because those cases won’t end before the election ends. We have to eliminate that possibility now, regardless of the political and potentially violent reactions our ruling could lead to.”

        I think the first of the two is more likely, but I can see it both ways.

        Of course, I can see it other ways as well. The multitude of profound ramifications in this case is mind-boggling. Not just ramifications for each Justice, but for each citizen. There are millions of ways to look at it.

        I was just thinking a moment ago: Suppose I’m one of those Catholics who voted for Trump because of his promises to appoint “pro-life judges.” And suppose you danced a dance of joy when Dodd came down. And now this same court decides to throw him off the ballot because of his (as yet unproven in court) crimes. You either hate the court for betraying you and Trump? Or do you walk around asking everyone you meet to give you a swift kick in the ass because you threw away all other moral considerations (other than your opposition to abortion) to vote for the guy who promised you that court, even though the guy promising it was the biggest scuzzball ever seen in the upper reaches of American politics?

        There are all sorts of dilemmas here, for all sorts of people…

  4. Doug Ross

    Joe Biden has another flub during the press conference attempting to prove he’s still fit for office:

    “As you know initially, the President of Mexico, el-Sisi, didn’t want to open up the gate…”

    Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the President of Egypt.

    Just another malapropism.. nothing to see here. I’m sure he knows Putin is the head of Russia.. unless he thinks it’s Brezhnev.

  5. Barry

    Michael Smerconish on his Sirius radio show is doing a good job of breaking down the awful press conference Biden gave last night- as well as the Special Counsel’s report.

    Michael is no Trump fan. (to say the least). But he’s as fair as anyone to Republicans and Democrats.

    He just played some of Biden’s comments. Michael asked, “Is he in denial?” talking about Joe.

    I have to say, that last night was really bad – then he got the leaders of Mexico and Egypt mixed up.

    The Press is also getting much more aggressive on challenging Biden- and they should.

    My wife saw Biden last night in this press conference and asked me if there was something wrong with him- that he didn’t look good at all and sounded confused. She pays politics no attention. She can’t stand Trump- because she hears me ripping him, but if she’s wondering if Biden is ok, something isn’t right.

    The polling numbers for Biden with young people and Latinos are just absolutely miserable.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Barry, let me ask you — and the press, and all the left wing, and Doug (but I’ve asked him SO many times before) — what’s your plan?

      What’s the alternative to Joe? I study this stuff very closely, and I don’t see one anywhere on the horizon.

      Mind you, I require three qualifications before considering anyone further:

      1. Qualified for the job.

      2. Electable — that is, has a proven ability to win the votes of people from across the spectrum (not just this or that niche of the electorate).

      3, Willing to run. And these days, it’s virtually impossible to find any sane person who would do this…

      Within my lifetime, people possessing the first two qualities were more than willing, and you had crowds of people from which to pick. That hasn’t been true for a bunch of years now…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And note that there have been several other people, besides Joe, who more or less met qualifications 1 and 3. Asa Hutchinson most recently. In 2020, maybe Michael Bennet (I’d have to study up on him more to be sure, but he didn’t last long enough). Of course, none had scores as high as Joe on No. 1.

        And none of them had a prayer on qualification 2…

        1. bud

          Given Biden’s miserable approval numbers the electability factor is looking more and more shaky. His approach in the Middle East is poor. Here is a short list of folks I’d prefer over Biden:

          Jay Inslee
          Amy Klobuchar
          Raphael Warnock
          Gavin Newsome
          Corey Booker
          Pete Buttigieg
          Hillary Clinton
          Elizabeth Warren
          Gretchen Whitmer

          I’ve defended Biden during his entire presidency even though I was no fan in 2020. He’s done some good stuff. But the last few weeks he is clearly showing his age. Brad is in denial. Wish he’d just retired a year ago.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author


            One two have anything remotely close to the kinds of resumes that would make them likely to be able to make a case for being qualified. Here’s my take on the two of them:

            Jay Inslee is one of those people who was interested in 2020, but he didn’t stick around long enough for me to get an impression of him. Of course, in my book, qualified people are folks I wouldn’t have to find out about during the campaign. If someone’s had the kinds of experience that suggests they’re ready, we would all be familiar with them before the campaign. But I’d still be interested in hearing him make the case for himself, if we chose to try.

            Hillary Clinton isn’t going to run ever again. I voted for her in 2016, and you saw how well that came out. Remember, one of my conditions is “electable.”

            By the way, Hillary is 76 and Inslee is 73. I’m betting that by now they’re forgetting people’s names as frequently as I do. Of course, that’s not important to me, but it tend to be important to folks who want Joe to step aside…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Wait! I missed that you mentioned Amy Klobuchar.

              I liked her in 2020, and said a number of times that she’d make a good running mate for Joe. That should have happened, but it didn’t. If it had, I think she would have accumulated experiences that might have brought her to the point of qualified for the top job.

              But that didn’t happen. And near as I can tell, being veep hasn’t burnished Kamala’s credentials so you’d notice.

              Frankly, folks, Joe’s the candidate. Not only that, he’s the president, and he’s done a fine job.

              Start worrying about 2028. Because I don’t see anybody training up to be ready for the top four years from now…

        2. Doug Ross

          The reason there aren’t better candidates in there Democrat side is because Hillary and Biden completely shut out any chance for anyone else.. Obama should have endorsed someone else in 2020. Hillary blew it with her lackluster campaign where she expected to be granted the presidency as a legacy / woman.. she let Trump beat her and this is where we’re at. The DNC could have prevented this by allowing an actual primary to occur instead of a Kim Jung Un style process…

          Too many old people at the top of the Democratic party.. Pelosi, Schumer, and Sanders have a stranglehold on the party with their withered hands..

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            You do understand that parties and party leaders don’t decide who runs or who gets nominations, right? A hundred years ago that sort of thing happened — to the betterment of the nation.

            It hasn’t been true at least since the 60s and 70s, when the parties, both trying to demonstrate how democratic they could be, starting turning nominations over to primaries and caucuses.

            Which meant anybody off the street could run, provided he or she could draw a crowd.

            If party leaders had anything to say on the matter, we wouldn’t be talking about Trump now. That’s because he wouldn’t have had a prayer in 2016 of gaining the nomination. And now, he will dominate that party until a bigger blowhard comes along.

            That’s a plain fact of the decline of our electoral system.

        3. Barry

          Here is Joe’s main problem- and Smerconish also mentioned this today on his show- (he’s talked about it before) and so did one of his guests

          Plenty of voters aren’t going to care that Joe might mix up a name. Plenty don’t keep up with it.

          But Joe is going to keep getting things mixed up- and voters are going to hear about it. Most won’t know the names either- other than Joe Biden keeps screwing their names up- which plays right into Trumps campaign.

          But worse- Joe looks older than he is. I don’t know the reasons other than he looks frail and he looks more frail every month. Even last night he had some fire, but watching him walk up to the podium, he looked like he could fall flat on his face. That’s not going to change. No power on earth will fix that – it’s only getting worse.

          Would I take him on a stretcher over Trump? Yes. Will a lot of people that don’t follow politics that closely but will be voting care? Yes, they will care- and we are going to hear more and more and more and more about this between now and November.

          It’s unavoidable because Joe looks worse every month. Even when he’s “fired up” he looks very frail and old.

          As awful as Trump is- – what we are staring as is Trump beating the crap out of him and winning every battleground state- and probably dragging a few Republican Senators over the line- and retaining the House.

          Joe is too old. He’s tool frail.

          As Smerconish said this morning- Joe can bow out gracefully with integrity. He can claim some big wins. He will always be the guy that beat Trump. Or he can keep limping to the election, lose badly, and look terrible doing it.

          Someone in his family needs to tell him and be honest. Smerconish describes his wife as his “protector” but protecting someone also requires honesty and not just letting them do whatever they want.

          He’s headed for a devastating defeat. There is no West Wing to save him. This isn’t tv. But the little I know about that tv show, they would sometimes do things unorthodox for the greater good. Joe needs to think about that because what he’s doing now, staying in this race when it’s clearly time for him to retire from public life is not going to work out well.

      2. Barry

        My plan would be higher ups in the party to go to Gavin Newsom and ask him to put himself up for nomination.

        If the Governor of California- a man who looks like a Hollywood movie actor- and speaks as well as Gavin does and who looks young and has as much energy as he does can’t win, there is no way in the world Joe Biden would win in November.

        1) Ask Newsom
        2) Leak that he’s been asked by the highest folks up in the party- including several powerful Democrat senators like a Chris Coons and Mark Kelly, and say it’s because those close to Biden are more worried now than ever before that he can’t win, and that internal polling shows Harris would perform even worse.

        3) Newsom has to let it be known he’s been firm on Biden and Harris but he’s been shown internal polling information that has caused his team to consider the offer, if reluctantly.

        4) Those more in the know than me have to make some sort of path available for Newsom to be nominated and give him time to campaign.

        This will anger Harris followers- but I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone that was a “harris or the highway” voter or supporter. Not sure I’ve ever even read about one. There might be a few- but that’s it – a few.

        Then Newsome selects as his Vice President Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, or Cory Booker.

        Would Newsome win? I don’t know.

        What I do know is he could travel the country extensively, debate anyone extensively, go on Fox News and hold his own repeatedly, and could talk in detail about every national and international issue of importance and not repeatedly mix up foreign leaders that died 20 years ago with current ones.

          1. Barry

            Yes- people can change.

            That lady above once campaigned hard for her husband and espoused Democrat policies. But she changed. It’s not the first time an adult changed their views.

            But, I don’t think most people are going to focus on what Gavin’s first wife thinks about things given they’ve been divorced for almost 20 years. Especially given that probably 75% of the American population has no clue he was married to someone else almost 20 years ago (and most wouldn’t care).

            What I do know is Gavin Newsom can get in front of a tv camera, look rested, talk enthusiastically, and not drone on with stories about people that died in the 20th century as if he talked to them last summer.

            I also know he can travel the country extensively, for weeks on end, without having to have built in rest days like Joe Biden has to have and I doubt Gavin’s wife is going to be telling aides she’s worried about him because he talks about how tired he gets each day (as Jill Biden has told aides).

            I also know he’s not afraid to sit down with even a Fox News host for an interview that tens of millions might see like Joe Biden is when he skipped the opportunity to talk to the American people on Sunday evening before the Super Bowl.

            As James Carville, said, “That’s a sign his staff doesn’t have confidence in him to handle an interview because you just can’t turn down such an opportunity in his situation”

  6. Doug Ross

    CNN is now even fact checking Biden after last night’s disastrous performance. In this clip, they cover three specific cases where Biden was either wrong, lying, or confused.


    You ask what my plan is? Same as always. Joe drops out and is replaced by anyone else and hope that person can beat Trump.. which will grow less likely each passing day that Biden tries to hang on. She says she won’t do it, but Michelle Obama would win easily. Mayor Pete would bring energy and intelligence. Kamala has no chance. And please God not Hillary… Newsom is playing the good soldier role but he’s jump at the chance..

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “You ask what my plan is? Same as always. Joe drops out and is replaced by anyone else and hope that person can beat Trump.”

      You say things like that because you don’t care what happens. How many times have you explained to us that Trump being president isn’t such a terrible thing?…

  7. Doug Ross

    New York Times editorial board has finally admitted to the reality that those of us who aren’t blindly partisan have known for a long time:

    ‘the president raised more questions about his cognitive sharpness and temperament, as he delivered emotional and snappish retorts in a moment when people were looking for steady, even and capable responses to fair questions about his fitness.’

    The board wrote: ‘His assurances… didn’t work. He must do better — the stakes in this presidential election are too high for Mr. Biden to hope that he can skate through a campaign with the help of teleprompters and aides and somehow defeat as manifestly unfit an opponent as Donald Trump.’

      1. Barry

        I’ve answered numerous times now

        Gavin Newsom can beat Donald Trump. Joe Biden can’t beat Donald Trump this time.

        Over 80% of the country, per an ABC poll this past weekend say he’s too old to be President. Those are numbers that make it impossible for him to win. They aren’t going to vote for a then 82 year old that they think is too old.

        Gavin Newsom can beat Donald Trump.

        1) He’s good looking
        2) He speaks incredivbly well and and looks young.
        3) He’s proven he will sit down with anyone for an interview. He doesn’t dodge them like Biden.
        4) He will campaign with vigor instead of stumbling onto a stage, reading a speech, and then getting back in a nearby car and being driven away.

        5) Newsom will win every state that Joe Biden would win.

        Newsom gives Democrats a great chance at winning Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and North Carolina- and maybe even Georgia.x

        1. Doug Ross

          Quick – name Hillary’s running mate (I know the answer). Whatever happened to him? Another major mistake that weakened the Democrat bench.

          I’ve got another name for a Biden replacement: Josh Shapiro – governor of Pennsylvania. Appears to be scandal free and well liked in a very important swing state. 50 years old.. Jewish.. former AG.. pair him up with someone like Klobuchar who would bring the experience like Biden did for Obama.

          I can’t go for Newsom at all. Seems too slick and he would have to defend all of the bad things in California – high taxes, poor schools and roads, high crime, far too lenient on illegal immigrants, his hypocrisy during COVID (lockdowns for everyone while he was having dinner at Michelin restaurants). I don’t think he’d play well in the swing states.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Good ideas, Doug.

            And yeah, I’ve often wondered what happened to Tim Kaine, too.

            I guess it’s what frequently happens to people who are on losing tickets. Their parties consider them to be radioactive. Or rather, the parties’ voters do. Back in the days when party leaders ran things, people had more of a chance to recover from setbacks. Hence Adlai Stevenson in 52 and 56. (Of course, he lost both times, so…)

            When it’s left up to voters, it’s left up to people who mostly know very, very little — and often nothing — about candidates. So if you manage to stick a label like “loser” on someone, at election time it matters little what other qualities a person possesses.

            Trump, who is actually one of those people of little understanding, understands that. That’s why he tries to stick such labels on people….

          2. bud

            I forgot about Shapiro. He’s done a very good job in PA. He’d be a far better candidate than Biden. A Shapiro/Whitmer ticket would be very formidable. And two important swing states would be more viable.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Let me jump in on this with some words of wisdom from Richard Nixon.

              OK, it’s not the REAL Nixon, it’s a really smart, creative and entertaining guy who uses that assumed identity on Twitter.

              But he summed up the situation quite neatly:

  8. Ralph Hightower

    Recently, a Facebook memory showed up in my feed: “2016. We’re Screwed.”

    Both parties f’ed up in 2016. The Democrats chose Hillary because it was “her turn”. The Republicans chose an unqualified, belligerent, temperamental, mercurial candidate.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think maybe Joe stayed out in 2016 because it was “her turn,” but I don’t think it’s fair to Democrats on the whole did.

      The thing is, leading up to the convention she was the only actual Democrat in the running. Just her and Bernie, who’s not a Democrat.

      O’Malley, Webb, Chafee, and Lessig had dropped out early on, but not in deference to it being “her turn,” I don’t think. She was the only one with name recognition for most voters. And people vote on the basis of that, alas.

      Not a lot of choice left after that, if you were an actual Democrat…


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