By: The Editorial Board – wsj.com – November 17, 2023
Running for re-election in his condition is an act of profound selfishness.
Regardless, voters have managed to notice that Mr. Biden is showing his years. Seventy-seven percent of Americans say he’s too old for another term, according to an August AP poll, including 69% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 89% of Republicans. And who says Mr. Biden hasn’t united the country? During the 2020 election, concerns about his age were muttered sotto voce, but now they’re front and center in his re-election bid.
Next week Mr. Biden will be 81. Already he is struggling on camera and limiting his public schedule. His aides fear he might trip—again—on TV. “Biden will not be able to govern and campaign in the manner of previous incumbents,” Politico reported this week. “He simply does not have the capacity to do it, and his staff doesn’t trust him to even try.”
Then why is he asking the public to keep him in the Oval Office until 2029, when he will be 86 years old? If he can’t take the rigors of a presidential campaign, why would voters think he can handle four more years of a grueling job, which might include being shaken awake in the wee hours to respond to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
Given Mr. Biden’s age and obvious decline, running for re-election is an act of profound selfishness. He has wanted the big desk since at least 1987, when he first ran. Aging people, even if they’re not surrounded by yes men, can be the last to notice time’s toll, as many can attest after trying to take away dad’s car keys.
Mr. Biden wants to run another Wilmington basement campaign, albeit this time from the White House. But the polls are screaming that his weakness could put Donald Trump back into office. Even if Mr. Biden wins, there’s a strong chance the country would get President Kamala Harris before his term ends.
The White House has tried to laugh away such worries. As press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre once memorably put it: “Eighty is the new 40. Didn’t you hear?”
This won’t work, especially when Mr. Biden’s aides are whispering to the press that they don’t trust him on the campaign trail. His staff and family should put the country before the perks of office. If the reality is that the boss is too old for another term, and if he refuses to hear it, the honorable move is to resign and quit covering for him.
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