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Politico Op-Ed: Democrats Should Primary Biden to See If He’s Capable of Running in General Election

Politico Op-Ed: Democrats Should Primary Biden to See If He’s Capable of Running in General Election

“Besides putting him in fighting trim (or not), primary adversaries would prepare us for the all too real possibility that he’s incapacitated by a stroke, seriously injured in one of his frequent falls or another bike crash, or just dies one evening.”

There is no shortage of Americans who are concerned about Joe Biden’s advanced age and mental acuity. Even a number of Democrats would rather see someone else get their party’s nomination in 2024.

According to Jack Shafer of Politico, the way to solve this problem is a primary challenge:

Why Democrats Should Primary Biden

In the middle of the last century, prizefighters who weren’t fighting frequently enough to keep sharp would schedule tuneup matches with capable boxers to shake the ring rust out of their form. Their managers wouldn’t pick palookas or chumps but boxers who could challenge their guy in a way that would reveal his weaknesses and indicate what part of his game needed more training.

President Joe Biden needs a tuneup. He’s a stiff when speaking at the lectern. When not a stiff, the 80-year-old can be a dolt, saying, as he did this week, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “losing the war in Iraq” when he meant Ukraine, or blurting out a senseless, “God save the Queen, man,” at a gun control rally last week. The English language has never been his friend, so it’s logical that his managers, er, his aides, have limited his exposure to the press. No president since the equally doddering Ronald Reagan has held so few press conferences. Not since Ray Leonard’s ill-advised third comeback has a contestant seemed so out of condition for a big rumble.

Biden has actual challengers in Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr., but according to Shafer, they wouldn’t be good for this effort. Biden needs ‘real’ candidates to challenge him:

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California is already acting like the president-in-exile, proposing a new gun control constitutional amendment, working to ban gas-powered cars and threatening to arrest Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for kidnapping migrants. Like Newsom, Pete Buttigieg wears his presidential ambitions on his forehead like a bumper sticker. There’s surely not a moment that he’s not thinking about being president, so why not act on those instincts, the same ones that launched him from mid-city mayor to Transportation secretary?

The most hilarious and sad passage in the column is this:

Besides putting him in fighting trim (or not), primary adversaries would prepare us for the all too real possibility that he’s incapacitated by a stroke, seriously injured in one of his frequent falls or another bike crash, or just dies one evening.

Shafer is right to be concerned about this. Just last week, NBC News reported that 68% of voters have questions about Biden’s fitness:

68% of all voters say they have concerns about Biden having the necessary mental and physical health to be president, including 55% who say they have “major” concerns…

What also stands out is how concerns about Biden’s mental and physical fitness have grown since we last asked this question in Oct. 2020 — when 51% of voters said they had concerns, with 38% having “major” concerns.

And check out these numbers: In 2020, 21% of Democrats said they had moderate/major concerns about Biden’s fitness. Now it’s 43% of Dems who say this.

Of course, Biden doesn’t help himself on this issue. Every time he speaks, he reminds the public about it.


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That would mean Democrats would have to discuss actual issues out loud. They don’t want that. Democrats no longer run that party. Leftists do and they don’t go in for debating. They issue settled edicts, demand acceptance and conformity..

    Ironclaw in reply to Whitewall. | July 5, 2023 at 8:24 am

    You are attempting to draw draw a distinction where there is no difference. Democrats and Communists are the same God damn thing

I didn’t know politico was a parody.. Thanks for the heads up Mike!!

The_Mew_Cat | July 5, 2023 at 7:58 am

Biden is running whether he is fit and trim, or not. The (D) strategy is to hobble the opponent by prosecutions, since they know Trump is the (R) nominee. If something happens they will deal with it at that time.

Does it really matter to the ballot harvesters who the democrat candidate is?

    Paula in reply to Concise. | July 5, 2023 at 10:39 am

    No, because all of the voting machinery is still in place that got him elected the first time.

      henrybowman in reply to Paula. | July 5, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      They can’t change candidates without losing their investment in the millions of preprinted ballots still left over from the last election.

Everybody knows that that demented pedophile is not fit. But it won’t matter because we won’t have an honest election

Suburban Farm Guy | July 5, 2023 at 8:53 am

Look at the gross dishonesty of how he was selected for the 2020 run. He did not win the primary — Kamala reduced him to a sad old man looking at his shoes with nothing to say, by calling him racist. Which is true, but all the Democrats are. Then he kept surrendering his time, saying it was up when it wasn’t. He was the worst candidate up there, and Kamala, who had already dropped out because she is so awful — plus she had totally humiliated him — was somehow made his VP. This article is an exercise in spinning a false reality for idiot children, aka democrat voters — a clown show, a test of how far removed from reality one is. To see what obvious lies you will act like are perfectly normal.

Yes, the two worst candidates on the debate stage were forced on everyone by the powers behind the scene. What a farce.

    henrybowman in reply to Suburban Farm Guy. | July 5, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    And now that even a majority of Democrats disagree with the demands of the behind=the=scenes DNC cabal, they have become a direct threat to oUr pREcioUS deMOCraCy!
    Insurrection 2.0!

not_a_lawyer | July 5, 2023 at 8:55 am

The respected author of this article has failed to grasp the nature of the democrat party. They will manipulate the primaries, forbid debates, anything to drag their chosen candidate across the finish line.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the candidate themselves. How many times have we heard Biden say something along the lines of “I cannot say anything more or I’ll get in trouble.” That is a clear admission that he is not in charge.

If the powers that be in the democrat party do not want Biden on the ticket, there will be no Biden on the ticket. It doesn’t matter what Biden thinks.

Look at Fetterman. In no way, shape, or form should this man be a member of the Senate, yet there he is, clearly mentally damaged and all.

Wasn’t it Caligula that tried to have his horse elected to the Roman Senate? For the democrats it is not about getting intelligent and charismatic leaders into positions of power, On the contrary, the less intelligent and charismatic, the better. Fetterman is a drooling slob that needs to be at home with a nurse taking care of him. The democrats realize this and laugh at the electorate when they can prop him up as one of 100 of the most powerful people in congress. They would try to nominate a horse, if they thought they could get away with it, and perhaps they can.

It comes down to humiliation. “Your candidate can fill up football stadiums with adoring voters all across the country, and we will keep our candidate in the basement. We will still win. Look, you plebes! We can get anyone across the finish line, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”

The COVID hoax allowed them to manipulate the voting rules, and they will ride that victory until we are all pounded into dust.


P.S. Old Twain quote: “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it”

Old Navy Doc | July 5, 2023 at 9:09 am

I think Joe should be checked for Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. It’s a fungus that will take over control an ant’s brain and would explain the past two years nicely.

Does he mean like when Bernie Sanders won the 2016 primary vote, yet the ‘crats installed Hillary instead? …through super-delegates …because they believe in democracy and evidently they believe some votes count more than others. I bet they think some votes count as three-fifths of others still!

What does being capable have to do with it? Biden wasn’t capable the first time he ran.

E Howard Hunt | July 5, 2023 at 10:40 am

He is very proud of his son.

retiredcantbefired | July 5, 2023 at 11:03 am

Jack Shafer is a cynical SOB.

He does seem to be worried that running a mentally incompetent candidate for President might put Democrats at a disadvantage.

As other commenters have pointed out, he needn’t worry.

It’s amusing that they try and throw shade at RFK Jr who not only is a declared candidate for nomination but has a net +18% favorable and is consistently around 20% despite being ignored in campaign coverage or when covered is disparaged as a conspiracy nut.

Besides putting him in fighting trim (or not), primary adversaries would prepare us for the all too real possibility that he’s incapacitated by a stroke, seriously injured in one of his frequent falls or another bike crash, or just dies one evening.

Nah. I expect ol’ Joe to go the way of the puffball mushroom. This time of year there’s a bunch of ’em around the treeline – they get big as melons and then one day, they’re just gone – blown up – nothing remains but a dried out old husk. When I was a kid, we used to give ’em a squeeze and they’d send up a brown dust plume. I’m kinda surprised ol’ Joe hasn’t popped from one of his falls.

Problem for Inner Party Democrats: Can’t get rid of Biden, but can’t keep him either.

BierceAmbrose | July 6, 2023 at 7:12 pm

They don’t decide these things in primaries.