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Calls for Biden to Step Aside Grow to Alarming Volume


According to polls, American voters have grown increasingly worried that President Joe Biden is too old to serve a second term. For his part, Biden, 81, has batted down concerns over his age and mental acuity, even as calls for him to step aside have grown to include an increasing number of otherwise friendly voices.

Most recently, The New York Times' Ezra Klein and renowned statistician Nate Silver have called on Biden to step aside, pointing to what they described as an inability to campaign effectively. Biden has stuck almost exclusively to tightly controlled interviews from outlets that are certain not to meaningfully challenge the president, especially on the age question.

Earlier this month, Biden declined to do the softball presidential interview that has historically preceded the Super Bowl, opting instead to post a pre-recorded TikTok video. Klein and Silver each took that decision as troubling evidence that the president is not up to a general election campaign.

This decision followed a rough patch in which Biden misspoke as to the names of other world leaders, twice referencing long-dead heads of state when he meant to name current ones.

Facing criticism of the New York Times' coverage of Biden, NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger responded, "He is a historically unpopular incumbent and the oldest man to ever hold this office. We’ve reported on both of those realities extensively."

Jon Stewart, who recently returned for one night a week at The Daily Show, was sharply criticized by mainstream left-leaning media outlets when the comedian did a monologue on voters' deep lack of enthusiasm for a Trump/Biden rematch. Stewart was even-handed in his criticism of both candidates but received enormous backlash from institutional Dems for, as he later put it, putting words to what all of us are witnessing with our eyes.

Bill Maher, host of the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, has also been among the list of liberal commentators calling for Biden to step aside. Maher says he is pleased with Biden's first-term accomplishments but is worried that concerns over the president's age look like a certain path to a second Trump presidency. Maher has dubbed him "Ruth Bader-Biden," pointing out that it was the late Supreme Court Justice's decision not to step down while President Obama could replace a successor that led to the thing she feared most: the overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

Biden's biggest supporters have attempted to explain away disastrous polling numbers, questioning their accuracy or arguing that they will improve as the election grows closer. The president trails Trump by five points in the Real Clear Politics polling average and is doing notably worse with two categories of voters crucial to his 2020 victory: Blacks and voters between the ages of 18 and 34.

With Trump already carrying an edge in the electoral college, Biden's lack of a popular vote lead at this point warrants a closer look at the electoral vote map. Trump is beating him by five points in Michigan, at least partly because of the state's sizable Islamic population's frustration with the president's policy regarding Israel/Palestine. Biden is trailing even worse in other key battleground states, including Nevada, North Carolina and Georgia.

Worse still, Biden might be losing the confidence of the donor class. Axios recently reported that President Biden has been reading from a teleprompter while reporters are present at donor events. Reporters are then said to be escorted out of the room, at which point the president takes only three prescreened questions from donors, using cheat sheet notecards to answer questions that were known ahead of time.

President Biden will soon have locked up enough pledged delegates to make him the nominee. The most likely scenario in terms of dropping out would seem to be for him to announce his decision not to run just ahead of the convention and then free his delegates. This would create a wide-open (and sure to be messy) competition at the Democratic National Convention in August. At this point, however, there seems to be no appetite for such a move, particularly from within the Biden inner circle.


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  • san.gander

    Joe and I are the same age... yep, 81! I wouldn't consider me for a heavy load like the job of chairman of my local social club let alone President of the United States; and I still do well mentally... most of the time. Still, given the apparent choices that we are going to be forced to take this coming election season - Trump or Biden - no way can I even consider Trump as a legitimate or viable candidate for President. Couldn't the first time he ran either! He has never had the knowledge, education, ethics, moral character, stability, love of democracy, or courage to be the leader of the United States of America; and he is an "old fart" to boot too! And that is why I will support "Old ****" Joe Biden. I have no doubt that my democratic America is safer in the hands of Democrats; where all at least have hope of equal justice a foremost American principle, as I believe our founding fathers dreamed, but were limited by the age they lived in. We live in a different age... and we should do better than they for our fellow citizens!

    Wednesday, February 28 Report this

  • David Daniels

    This past Saturday, sports commentator Bob Costas was interviewed on CNN's Smerconish. He gave the most persuasive argument I've heard for Biden to step aside. He said, correctly, that this is an emperor with no clothes situation. It's so obvious. Yet cable TV talking heads promote Biden like they think we are blind. They quote Biden's words without showing his pitiful delivery. Costas also made the point that Gavin Newsome is able to eloquently articulate 4 paragraphs as to why Biden is the best person to be President, but Biden himself can't put 4 words together to make the case for himself. This is truly a no-brainer. Trump would be a violence inducing disaster that would divide us even further and threaten our rule of law system of government. I think just about any decent candidate can beat him in the general election. Biden is not such a candidate.

    Thursday, February 29 Report this