Time to Talk Tough with Joe


Instead of being seen as the President who saved America from Donald Trump, Joe Biden is destined to go down as the President who put Trump back in office, with better plans and a MAGA government to destroy American democracy. Biden should drop his candidacy forthwith and let a younger Democrat go against Trump.

Polls showed that an unnamed Democrat could beat Trump, but they also consistently show that people don’t approve of Biden’s performance and think he’s too old to be President and is a weak leader. He had one chance Thursday to demonstrate all that was mistaken—and he utterly failed to do it.

From the minute he shuffled onto the stage, looking pale and gaunt, like he’d just left a memory care ward—I thought the person who applied his makeup had to be a MAGA—he confirmed every idea the public had about his age. He has been a good President who does not deserve his awful poll ratings, but he has them and the debate was his chance to defend his record clearly and set forth an exciting agenda for the next four years.

He failed at that, too, getting mired in numbers and even saying “we defeated Medicare.” He meant COVID and he did save the economy from collapse caused by the pandemic, but he couldn’t articulate what he meant (amid other stumbles).

Biden delivered a stirring State of the Union speech and on Friday spoke forcefully in North Carolina, but he was speaking both times with a teleprompter and his audience in both cases was smaller than that watching the debate. I think he is capable of being President—consider his schedule and the problems he handles mostly deftly, but the public doesn’t believe it and now seemingly has it confirmed. It’s crazy that Trump gets higher marks than Biden on the economy, foreign policy and competence, but that’s the way it is. Biden’s job is to beat Trump and he’s not going to do that.

I don’t know who’ll convince Biden that he needs to quit while he’s ahead. Probably anyone who could, won’t. So we face four years of vengeance, tax cuts for the rich, a bigger federal debt and a MAGA takeover of the whole government after Trump destroys the “deep state” and replaces it with personal loyalist who’ll serve his political ad financial interests, not the country’s.

Who’d replace Biden if he quit? I fear Kamala and Gavin Newsom would lose to Trump, too. A non-California (or Illinois) governor could win: Gretchen Whitmer, Josh Shapiro, for example. Jill Biden, if she doesn’t want her husband to be seen as the man who delivered us to Orbanism (or worse), has got to do the right thing.

Mort Kondracke
Mort Kondracke
Morton Kondracke is a retired Washington, DC, journalist (Chicago Sun-Times, The New Republic, McLaughlin Group, FoxNews Special Report, Roll Call, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal) now living on Bainbridge Island. He continues to write regularly for (besides PostAlley) RealClearpolitics.com, mainly to advance the cause of political reform.


  1. It’s time for Uncle Joe to throw in the towel. if he thinks that to be more of a sacrifice than he cares to endure, he should recall his visit to Omaha Beach less than a month ago and the men laying in rest at the Cemetary, And President Gerald Ford’s career ending pardon.

    For the country, those were sacrifices.

    Mr President , Do the right thing.

  2. Well written. I agree Harris and Newsom wouldn’t be able to beat Trump. What about Anthony Blinken? World perspective, well respected, young and smart, knows the administration, no baggage. And, he plays a mean guitar.

  3. Whoever would sub in for Biden and become Trump’s opponent, will be subjected to everything his supporters can dish out, and that’s a pretty grim array.

    Harris has already gotten a dose of it, and it’s hard not to be influenced by it, isn’t it? Wait until you’ve seen your pick, whoever it is (Whitmer, Shapiro, whoever they are?) in that light for a couple months.

    Wait till you’ve seen Democrats withhold full support for that candidate for whatever reason – you know what I mean, Israel, reparations – just too fastidious to really get behind anyone.

    I read somewhere that the funds already in the hands of the Biden campaign might be available to Harris, but not to anyone else. No explanation, but suppose that’s true? Suppose that for that reason, and say some technicalities over ballots already lined up from primaries, Harris is the only remotely possible alternative. Should Biden give it to Harris? Maybe be her VP? (ha ha … well, unless it might be necessary.)

  4. The Republican Party and the 44-49 percent of people who support Trump are solidly behind him, while the Democrats have done an about-face overnight and abandoned Biden. There’s the difference – this is a Party whose allegiance is ruled by expedience. Wait – does that define both of them?


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