Et tu, Gray Lady?
A New York Times columnist is imploring President Joe Biden — who turned 79 last month and would be 82 if he were sworn into office again in 2025 — to not run for president again.
Bret Stephens, a conservative and strong critic of former President Donald Trump, went so far as to say that Biden should announce his decision not to run as soon as possible to give fellow Democrats time to prepare to succeed him in the White House.
“Is it a good idea for Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024? And, if he runs again and wins, would it be good for the United States to have a president who is 86 — the age Biden would be at the end of a second term?” he wrote. “I put these questions bluntly because they need to be discussed candidly, not just whispered constantly,” Stephens wrote in a piece headlined, “Biden Should Not Run Again — and He Should Say He Won’t.”
Stephens also argued that it would be “liberating” for Biden’s remaining time in office if he were announced he planned to step down after one term.
The author also noted that questions about former President Ronald Reagan’s age swirled when he was serving his first term.
“In the 1980s, it was fair game for reputable reporters to ask whether Ronald Reagan was too old for the presidency, at a time when he was several years younger than Biden is today. Donald Trump’s apparent difficulty holding a glass and his constricted vocabulary repeatedly prompted unflattering speculation about his health, mental and otherwise. And Joe Biden’s memory lapses were a source of mirth among his Democratic primary rivals, at least until he won the nomination,” Stephens wrote.
Since he took office, Biden’s list of blunders has exploded, prompting a former White House doctor who served under both former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump to speculate about Biden’s mental health.
Ronny Jackson, a Republican who now serves as a congressman for Texas, said last month that Biden has “age-related cognitive decline” and is not “mentally fit” to serve as president.
“All I know is that he’s got age-related cognitive decline, right. He is not mentally fit right now,” Jackson said, the Washington Examiner reported. “You don’t need to be a physician to look at him and to look at his behavior and some of the other stuff, just the way he shuffles away, stares off into space.”
“I know what that job entails, both physically and mentally, and how demanding it is. And I can tell you right now, I’m 100% sure that Joe Biden is incapable of doing that job,” the doctor added.
Stephens seems to agree. “From some of his public appearances, Biden seems … uneven. Often cogent, but sometimes alarmingly incoherent. What’s the reason? I have no idea. Do his appearances (including the good ones) inspire strong confidence that the president can go the distance in his current term, to say nothing of the next? No.”
In conclusion, Stephens said Biden departing after four years “needn’t diminish his presidency.”
“George H.W. Bush accomplished more in four years than his successor accomplished in eight. Greatness is often easier to achieve when good policies aren’t encumbered by clever politics. Biden should think on it — and act soon,” he wrote.