For his own place in history, Biden should forgo reelection

Joe Biden
FILE – Then-President-elect Joe Biden gestures to supporters Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. Some voters in last year’s midterm elections were open to supporting Democrats even if they weren’t fond of President Joe Biden. Roughly 1 in 6 voters for Democratic House candidates said they disapproved of Biden’s job performance, but most said Biden wasn’t a factor in their midterm decision. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Andrew Harnik/AP

For his own place in history, Biden should forgo reelection

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A spate of midweek stories suggesting President Joe Biden may forgo a reelection bid should leave most people desperately hoping they are true. For the national good, Biden should make these next two years his last in office.

This conclusion need not rest on assumptions that Biden has done a bad job or that he is unfit for office today. The logic can be entirely observational and actuarial. If Biden runs for reelection, he will be asking his countrymen to put him in office until he is 86 years old. Plenty of 86-year-olds are in good physical and mental health for ordinary living, but that’s a far lower standard than it is to be fit enough for leadership of the free world and oversight of the world’s most potent nuclear arsenal.

BIDEN BACKUP PLAN; DEMOCRATS PRIVATELY PLANNING

Even Biden must admit that if he ages as much in the past six years as he has in the previous six — an undeniable, observational aging process — then he won’t be up for the rigors of office in 2028 even if he remains somewhat robust for his age level. It is a sign not of weakness but of wisdom to accept aging gracefully. It is admirable, while still giving one’s all, to admit that one’s all may not be entirely adequate six years from now.

Again, the decision should be about the country, not about Biden. It would take an ego even more monumental than a typically large politician’s ego for someone to think that only he, even at age 82, is best suited to win the presidency and that only he, at age 86, is best suited to serve. And does he realize how destabilizing it will be, not just domestically but internationally, if a U.S. president becomes incapacitated midterm? Biden already was in office during the long, hard slog of the unraveling of the Nixon presidency in 1973-74. Does he really want to risk putting the country through something like that again?

Joe Biden is many things conservatives don’t like. He is, however, a patriot. And he is a proud man who wants history to adjudge him well. If he leaves at the end of the first term, he pretty much controls the narrative. Despite being the oldest man ever elected president, he would leave office claiming a huge infrastructure program and all the other “achievements” he claimed during the State of the Union address. But if he runs again and loses, he becomes remembered as a loser. If he runs again but can’t serve out his second term, he becomes the guy who stayed too long. And if bad things happen, as they often do, history will say they happened because he was infirm.

Rather than risking all that, for himself and the country he loves, Biden should ask himself a simple question. To wit: Why not go out on top?

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