Post # 280, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
America's 2024 Presidential Election will probably be the most stressful and difficult since the Civil War. President Biden has served well in a very difficult time. If he is re-elected, he will be 86 years old at the end of his term. Is that too old to run again?
For a man that ran for President three times--1988, 2008, 2020, and won once, it seems strange to suggest that he might not run for re-election next year. This is especially strange because he truly seems to be made for public office--friendly, great smile, a good word for most, and a "good Catholic." His polls are much improved since taking office, the inflation problem is improving, and his party clobbered the Republicans in the 2022 Mid-Terms. Yes, if he ran and won, he would be 86 at the end of that term, the oldest President by far. Perhaps the most telling visual vulnerability is his periodic lack of sharpness--both thinking and speaking. That comes with 80+ years of age.
Let's look at the question of whether he should run from both sides:
The country has improved under his Administration and he says he can do more.
An incumbent is always favored for re-election because most people do not like change.
He has an experienced Administration and Cabinet in place that is highly regarded.
America has returned as a beacon of peace and hope in a very dangerous world.
He is one of the very few leaders in Washington that can work across the aisle if necessary.
Not Run Again:
His physical and mental health may deteriorate.
His love for his family leaves him ethically vulnerable.
The left in his party does not want him to run again--they say it is their turn.
Biden is a loyal and steady Democrat. Many though argue it is time for a candidate with contagious passion, like Presidents Obama and Kennedy.
Like most, I think Biden's razor-thin margin in the Senate and House will slip at times and he could begin to look politically wounded. Politics is not a fair playing field for the wounded. Opponents will strike at any shown weakness. Biden's mental and physical health will be expected to visibly deteriorate and the focus may turn to the Vice President.
But what is often overlooked is President Biden's breadth of experience. No President has ever served 36 years in the Senate, chairing the prestigious Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committee, both for 8 years. Add to that his two terms as Vice President and currently the Presidency. His wealth of knowledge about the Presidency, recent successes, and key staffers make Biden the safe choice for our country. It would be a good time for both parties to recognize the acute need for bi-partisanship through a second term, and Biden's personality should facilitate it. Republicans wanting to run for President in 2028 should show their statesmanship and love of the country by helping the 46th President through his second term. That does not mean abandoning criticism, just with civility. It can be done.