Biden considering dropping out (Update: Biden drops out)

I feel he’s too stubborn to do that.
Anyway, only time will tell.

Trump would claim a win if the Democrats start looking for a new candidate other than Kamala. After the debate disaster, there seems to be a consistent message. Biden will run, as well as he can. If something happens between now and election, we get Kamala. That is the only message we need to send out. It shows strength. The politcs and 2025 plan are exactly the same. The ten or so politicians that are speaking out are just making Democrats look chaotic at this point. Within a week or two, the switch to Kamala may come about. The problematic part is getting a VP in a short time. That will need to be a neutral choice, to make Kamala the more important part of the choice.

Doesn’t anyone remember Tom Eagleton in 1972? It was unjust how the Democrats forced him out of the nomination he’d just won. All over electroshock therapy, which no one would care about nowadays, but back then there was a stigma about mental illness.

Thom Hartmann, 7/8/2024 - his emphasis below:

While there’s a strong case to be made for billion-dollar corporations and multimillionaire media personalities having a preference for low taxes and deregulation, for example, the bias I’m referencing has to do with spectacle.

… from the 1890s until the WWII era, “yellow journalism” dominated the American media scene.

It took two world wars to push public demand for real news and serious reporting — and an emphasis on fact-based reporting and substance over flash — back into media dominance. They birthed what became the era of Walter Cronkite and Kathryn Graham, with honest, credible reporting on everything from Nixon’s Watergate crimes to the horrors of the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War.

Cronkite competed with Huntley and Brinkley based on the quality of their reporting and the credibility of their sources, as did the nation’s major and even regional newspapers and radio news networks.

Television and radio networks lost money on their news operations, but it was a price they were happy to pay to maintain their otherwise very profitable broadcast licenses.

But then something changed.

Hartmann goes on to detail the death of the Fairness Doctrine and the movement of formerly independent network news agencies underneath their respective entertainment-business entities.

He continues (Hartmann’s emphasis):

And, unlike the 1890s when there were still papers engaging in serious journalism, today’s yellow journalism is ubiquitous across the media consumed by the majority of Americans.

As a consequence, a Wall Street Journal poll found that 52% of voters claim that Trump “has a strong record of accomplishments” but only 40% say the same for Biden.

Chaos agency?

I don’t think that’s a relevant analogy. With Biden we’re not talking about stigma, but about observed cognitive deficiencies. A closer analogy would have been if Eagleton had actually been observed on the campaign trail acting in a mentally aberrant fashion – you know, like Trump does every day! :wink:

Someone upthread (or in a different thread) compared this situation to taking a senior’s car keys away. We’re actually looking at that reality with a loved one, and she’s resisting.

Here’s the thing: Our concern is that she won’t make the decision until something terrible happens and she no longer has a choice.

That’s how I feel about Biden right now. I don’t actually think he has any kind of mental condition. But it’s becoming clear to me that he’s an older man who’s been worn down by three-plus years of working the world’s hardest job. He seems weak and tired, and four more months of campaigning won’t make him less so.

IMO, now is when he should hand over the keys. But he won’t – until something terrible happens and he no longer has a choice. Maybe he just flat passes out during a speech, or has a McConnell moment, or I don’t know what. But it will be crippling to his campaign, and by that time it may be too late.

AFAIK, Eagleton was the only candidate ever forced out of a race at that level. It was for a bullshit reason too.

Does it really matter? Nixon trounced McGovern.

I’m starting to think the terms “cognitive deficiencies” is too loaded of language to be used in these discussions. Too easy for a listener/reader to skip straight down the mental-connections road to “Alzheimer’s”, “dementia”, etc. “Cognitive deficiencies” assumes too many facts not in evidence, and assumes them too conclusively.

I started off yesterday feeling this was dying down, at least for now, and then read about Pelosi’s latest statement followed by Clooney’s piece. Now I’m just waiting for posters to start trotting out the fork and toaster oven bits …

What surprises me most is Pelosi deciding to do her intervention publicly rather than behind closed doors.

She can only be doing it all because she has personal knowledge of how Biden is functioning. I’d have thought this would be a time to have a call with Obama to get him on board, behind the scenes, and then an intervention with Jill Biden to convince her to help give Joe a dignified exit, sooner than later.

But she is pressuring in public. It surprises.

You know, I agree. It was lazy shorthand on my part. It sounds like a medical diagnosis, and there’s no basis for that.

I’ll revise that to say that Biden looks and sounds frail, doesn’t seem to think quickly and clearly, and stumbles over words more than he used to and more than one would expect of someone even with a minor natural speech impediment. The only thing I can say that has any factual medical validity is that many people at the age of 81 are still highly alert and energetic, but from what we’ve seen lately Biden doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Thanks for rethinking, wolfpup.

It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that sewing seeds of discord and distrust about Democratic leaders benefits Republicans.

I get the feeling that Democratic leaders are waiting until after the NATO summit this week and then will strongly press Biden behind the scenes (with a few already going public). Will it work? I don’t know. I think it’s almost a coin flip at this time, but then there’s probably a lot going on behind the scenes we don’t know about.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on last night’s Last Word program below. This won’t move the needle for the motivated, but I liked his choice of wording (a bit of which is cut off the beginning, unfortunately) – “Biden is doing what the news media tells you he absolutely cannot do”.

O’Donnell then presents two clips to make his point. Both are within the first two minutes of the linked video.

0:32 - 1:07: Addresses the NATO 75 summit regarding American defense manufacturing capabilities in support of Ukraine.

1:13 - 1:55: Meets one-on-one on camera with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer.

Just as a completely anecdotal aside:

It’s got to be an overwhelming majority of people his age who don’t get up in the morning and prepare for a job every day, keep up the public schedule he keeps up, and so on? Many octogenarians (anecdote) don’t really even seem to leave their homes very much.

It’s hard for me not to think that as far as “energetic” goes … Biden has to be well above average for his age group (if not at 95+% percentile). I do think it’s unfair to judge his “energy level” (such that we can even see reliably) against people in his field 25+ years younger.

I don’t believe he absolutely can’t do it. Clearly he can. I just don’t believe he can do it consistently enough, often enough, for the next four months without a damaging number of lapses when he fails to do it.

Yep, completely unfair. But that won’t stop a lot of unmotivated voters from doing it.

What’s fair is for Putin to surrender to Ukraine, and Xi to recognize Taiwan, and Mike Johnson to allow bipartisan legislation to get floor votes, making the U.S. President’s job over the next few years so much easier that a high energy level becomes less important.

But in real life, this is not about being fair to one nice man.

Two years ago, Joe Biden said that looking at his energy level, compared to potential candidates of other ages was, fair:

President Biden told MSNBC in an interview on Sunday that he hopes voters focus on his “energy level” and not his age if he decides to run for reelection in 2024.

It still is fair — when choosing a candidate who has a chance of beating Donald Trump.

Can he do the job of being President right now? Sure, I generally think so. Do I think he can four years from now? Maybe, but that’s not the way I would bet. Do I really trust the VP and Cabinet to apply the 25th if needed? No, unless it’s so blatantly obvious they have no choice.

More importantly, he still has to do the other big job of being a politician: Getting elected in the first place. And I am not anywhere close to convinced he has a chance to do so.