Joe Biden: Three Weeks and Four Months

I didn’t watch the full debate, yet, though I’ve seen a few clips. In the clips I’ve seen, Biden responded to Trump’s false claims by simply observing he lied, rather than explaining why and how he does.

I may not watch much more — it’s clear no pundit thinks Biden did well, and his performance overshadowed Trump’s own terrible performance. That may not be how all viewers see it: in the Univision focus group, for example, undecided voters said that Biden, though he spoke slowly, appeared presidential. But pundits are going to drown out what actual voters think and focus on what they think.

I don’t know whether this will affect the race. I don’t know whether Biden will heed calls to drop out. Biden is doing great at a rally in North Carolina, but both Hakeem Jeffries and Nancy Pelosi have made comments that make it clear serious discussions are going on. I keep coming back to this: Biden flubbed the abortion answer last night. That’s the minimum necessary required for any Democrat this year, as every Democrat in the House knows well.

I wanted to lay out two thoughts that may be a useful way of discussing the issue: about three weeks and four months.

When Biden was asked whether he would drop out earlier in the year, he responded by saying he believed he had the best shot of beating Trump. He also responded that his age was not hindering his ability to do the job. Even given his low poll numbers, those claims were nevertheless true, in part because everyone’s poll numbers suck and he has had surprising success, as measured against recent Presidents, in his presidency.

But at that point — in the weeks leading up to the State of the Union, for example — he was largely doing one job, that of President.

In the past three weeks, during a period that (Republicans have gloated) he was largely holed up at Camp David, Biden has been engaged with four really stressful efforts:

  • At the G7 he had to play leader of the liberal world at a time when US power (and democracy generally) is waning, in large part because Americans are abandoning it, for good and ill
  • He had to be President at a time when state and Congressional Republicans and SCOTUS MAGAts have pursued US failure rather than permitting any Biden success
  • He did a lot more retail campaigning than he had been doing, adding not just to his physical stress, but exposing him to a far greater soup of germs than he normally is
  • His kid was convicted in a trial that not only laid bare what a cost Joe’s political career has been on his family, but that would, without question, never have happened if his son were not the son of President Joe Biden

I raise this not to offer excuses. Biden had the stamina to fulfill what the Presidency required of him leading up to the SOTU. But the last three weeks have added a number of additional stresses. I would be unsurprised if, in ten days or ten years, we learned the cold offered as an excuse last night by some Biden supporters was revealed to be something more.

Still, such a haystack of stresses is the job of being US president. The extremism of Republicans is different, in degree, than in the past, but they’ve been hyper-partisan since Reagan. And only the decades-long effort to target the Clintons the campaign rivals the unrelenting campaign against his son. But it’s a stressful job and the last three weeks have been particularly stressful, politically, physically, and personally.

Whether or not Biden stays in the race, he will likely to make that decision based on the same question he did earlier in the year: Does he believe he has the best shot at beating Trump? Does he have the stamina to do the job?

Maybe the last three weeks have or will change Biden’s mind about those questions. Maybe they won’t. The question that will determine whether he stays in the race remains the same, but the circumstances could change the answer.

Now consider that this happens more than four months before the election.

Did you know that civilized countries (and nascent fascist countries led by megalomaniacs) run entire elections in a fraction of that time?

As noted above, at least one focus group of undecided Latinos said the debate will lead them to vote Biden, not Trump. Short of catastrophic medical event, there is no chance Trump will be replaced. There is no chance that Trump will become anymore likeable, honest, or coherent. If someone besides Biden had four months to capitalize on his negatives, it might flip the table. It would eliminate the double haters election. If someone named Biden found a way to make Trump’s malice matter more than his stammer, it might well matter.

Joe Biden has a choice to make about whether he remains the best shot to beat Donald Trump. And one way or another, Republicans will be stuck with a candidate who vigorously acts unpresidential.

178 replies
  1. Clare Kelly says:


    From The Guardian blog today:

    “ I know I’m not a young man, to the [sic] state the obvious. Well, I know I don’t walk as easy as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth,” the president said.

    He went on:

    I know right from wrong. I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. I know, like millions of Americans, I know, when you get knocked down, you get back up.”

    The Biden surrogates’ statements of fact and support are strong and spot on.

    Stakes, not odds.

    • ToldainDarkwater says:

      I can’t agree more. I just watched some of Biden’s rally today and he’s doing well. He called Trump a “one-man crime wave”. Also, “only two presidents have had the total number of jobs lower when they left office than when they started. The other is Herbert Hoover. So we have Donald Herbert Hoover Trump.”

      • Rayne says:

        Aided by a teleprompter,” that article says — not that he read word-for-word as prompted.

        Are you saying there was no ad libbing at all? Because the SOTU demonstrated he can riff easily.

      • Shadowalker says:

        “Four score and seven years ago today…”
        Guess what, even Lincoln had to use a piece of paper with that speech he wrote to refer to, and it was only 271 words. These days no one needs paper.

    • originalK says:

      CNN has the debate transcript posted – and Biden’s performance was just an issue of delivery. His facts and understanding are solid.

      For those of us who follow issues, Trump’s grasp is non-existent. Not to mention the blatant lies, exaggerations, failure to answer questions, well-worn rhetorical grooves.

      Is anyone who isn’t versed in Trumpspeak going to understand this?:

      As far as the abortion’s concerned, it is now back with the states. The states are voting and in many cases, they – it’s, frankly, a very liberal decision. In many cases, it’s the opposite.

      But they’re voting and it’s bringing it back to the vote of the people, which is what everybody wanted, including the founders, if they knew about this issue, which frankly they didn’t, but they would have – everybody want it brought back.

      Ronald Reagan wanted it brought back. He wasn’t able to get it.

      Everybody wanted it brought back and many presidents had tried to get it back. I was the one to do it.

      And again, this gives it the vote of the people. And that’s where they wanted it. Every legal scholar wanted it that way.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks much for the link. Reading a transcript allows us to strip away what CNN may have done in live video production which positively/negatively affected the candidates — the sound engineering being one such factor which may have affected audience perception.

        • Ruthie2the says:

          As I mentioned on a previous thread, I couldn’t watch the debate but read about it. What struck me was that discussing economic issues before addressing the insurrection or Trump’s felony conviction and/or civil conviction for sexual assault gave Trump an enormous advantage. It allowed the audience to see him address an important issue for any president, thereby conferring him with a certain amount of legitimacy. It’s an issue, moreover, that the general public trusts him on more than Biden (?)!

          Only later in the debate, as I understand it, did the discussion turn to Jan6 and his criminal and civil convictions. The tone would have been very different if these issues had been discussed first.

        • dimmsdale says:

          I wonder how much of that — bad camera angles on Biden, EQ’ing his feed in a way that emphasized his hoarseness, and the somewhat late in the game decision (if I understand it correctly) to have the game-show hosts, er I’m sorry, ‘moderators,’ avoid fact-checking at ALL — grew out of something Marcy pointed out on the Nicole Sandler show: that our media whores seem completely cowed by Trump such that it massively interferes with objective reporting. I’d very much like to know (never will, of course) what went into those decisions in granular detail. Marcy’s elucidation of a cowed media took place in a general discussion of how Trump uses Truth Social to threaten actual physical harm to his enemies, and I can’t help wondering (rank speculation here) if explicit threats were made to CNN brass as well. (Personal physical threats? General ‘nice network you have there, shame if anything happened to it’ stuff?) The more the general public seems to be turning away from Trumpism, the more the naked threats are emerging, it seems.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      “I don’t debate as well as I used to.”

      That’s a damning admission for someone re-upping for a job that requires, perhaps above all other attributes, mental agility.

      In all the talk since the debate, I haven’t heard another absolutely necessity that he is in serious want of: coat tails.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Trump didn’t answer any questions (greenlighted by Tapper), and Biden kept getting follow-on questions with no time to answer before getting his microphone cut. CNN was in the tank for Trump and has been getting well-deserved blowback for it.

        Trump didn’t win the debate either (one still has to answer the questions to win). The polls show it. He just proved again why he’s not fit to be POTUS. A sociopath can be remarkably focused and self-confident when they know there is no consequence or callout for lying in real time.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Thus, the need in this election, of all elections, for serious coat tails.

          And an agile Dem adversary would have wiped the floor with Trump’s combover, bad moderators notwithstanding.

          BTW, what happened to his debilitating cold at the rally shortly thereafter?

  2. Pat Neomi says:

    This is such a tough call–both for Biden and for Democrats writ large. The lists of pros and cons of Biden dropping out are both long. But there is SO much for Dems to hammer the GOP on that Biden’s inability to do so last night is worrisome at best.

    Although the comparison is clunky, in some ways this election is feeling more like 2016 than 2020 in that both candidates are very unpopular. That did not bode well for Clinton in 2016, and I fear that it will not bode well for Biden this year. If the Dems could neuter the GOP’s arguments against Biden (i.e., he’s too old, etc.), they would be far better off because the GOP does not have much more to run on—their policies are NOT popular. Dems can highlight this and offer an alternative if the focus isn’t on an octogenarian incumbent.

    Moreover, the media’s obsession with focusing on Biden’s shortcomings rather than Trump’s manifest unfitness for office is redolent of “But her emails!”, and I suspect that the media will continue to be complicit in ensuring that the narrative about Biden persists—warranted or not. To cite Clare’s post above, Biden may well know how to tell the truth and get things done, but will the media relay this message? Unlikely. To the extent that 2016 might offer lessons, Biden would be wise to take that into account in determining if he still thinks he has the best shot at beating Trump.

    • Dark Phoenix says:

      It doesn’t matter if the Dems replace Biden or not, the media is going to harp on the shortcomings of whoever it is, no matter what.

      • Pat Neomi says:

        Likely true. But all shortcomings are not equal. Dems need to figure out whose shortcomings are the least problematic electorally.

        • Clare Kelly says:

          Perhaps this will help in terms of pragmatics:
          “Here’s why it would be tough for Democrats to replace Joe Biden on the presidential ticket”

          Also from LATimes, please see:
          “ Republican political consultant Mike Madrid chalked up the concern to “a ton of bed-wetting.”
          “This was not a good night for Biden,” Madrid said. “There’s no question about it. Was it disastrous,” and will it drastically change the trajectory of the race? “No.”


          “Newsom praises Biden, shoots down post-debate questions about replacing him”

          “I was taking notes about all the lies,” Newsom said to MSNBC. “I ran out of paper.”
          Taryn Luna
          LA Times
          June 28, 2024

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      Remember Obama ‘lost’ debates too. He ‘lost’ the first debate with Mitt Romney. There are 4 solid months before the election and 1 more debate scheduled. Talk of replacing Biden after 1 debate is just plain silly, imho.

    • Chirrut Imwe says:

      The big difference between 2016 and now is the voters have 4 years of Trump in the White House to consider.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        …not to mention 4 years of Trump’s whining, bitching, lying, cheating, stealing, grifting, ranting, threatening and mental collapse.
        “C’mon man, you’re a one-man crime wave.” –Dark Brandon

      • Nutmeg Dem says:

        Exactly. In 2016, most people (except Dems) had no idea what a Trump presidency would be like. We now know it was a total dumpster fire.

  3. Magbeth4 says:

    Regarding the stresses Biden has been under the past 3 weeks, I can attest to a reality of being over 80: a confluence of such events as he has had to maneuver with a stressful debate at the conclusion plus a “cold,” can, indeed, take a real toll. All it takes is a misstep, either literally, or from a stutter, which he suffers from, to throw ones general state or appearance of health into a tailspin. Biden may recover from this sufficiently to carry on his Presidency, but he is in his declining years, with the future of this Country and its form of government at risk from Republican intentions. I will vote for him (as I am a Democrat) and because he seems to be generally a decent person of some intellect and government experience of many years, but I am worried about his next term. Whom he chooses as his Vice-President makes the future problematical. Harris does not have the depth of experience needed. If Biden chose someone else with a deeper experience in governance, such as a Governor, that would give me more confidence. Governors have a wider range of perspective which makes a transition to National leadership a better fit. Either that or a long-term Senator who has served on Committees that involve Budget, Security, and Military

    People should not despair about Democrats available. There are plenty of very viable Democratic lawmakers who could fit the bill.

    • dogshelpgod says:

      WTF? Drop the black woman from the ticket? Aren’t things tough enough for the Dems now? Besides, Harris has loads of state and federal government experience and is super smart and articulate. She may not have run a good primary campaign in 2019, but don’t swallow the MSM’s savaging her. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that she’s black and a woman. By golly, she could even ascend to the presidency.

    • P J Evans says:

      The campaign treasury won’t transfer to a new candidate. Not without a lot of legal maneuvering. If it’s that urgent, it’s already too late!

    • Clare Kelly says:

      Re: “ Harris does not have the depth of experience needed”

      As someone who has followed her career, I wholeheartedly disagree.

      In addition, I’m wondering what you think she’s been doing for the last three years.

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        If you only pay attention to the MSM, you’d think that Harris slept her way to the VP slot and now the Biden Admin hides her because she’s so manifestly unlikeable…

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      “Harris does not have the depth of experience needed. ”

      I voted for Joe Biden because I like him. I believe that he is a decent and caring man. He’s a devoted father and grandfather, spending quality time with his extended family whenever possible for more than photo ops. Joe Biden is a man of faith and regularly attends church. Unlike his opponent, Joe is a man mature enough to recognize and admit a miastake. Joe listens to people when he has interactions with them, instead of incessantly bragging (lying) about himself. His opponent regularly insults those with whom he disagrees and dispenses juvenille taunts and lies almost non-stop to cover for his lack of knowledge.
      Joe Biden’s opponent in the 2020 Presidential election and currently in line to be his opponent in the 2024 Presidential election has proven, conclusively and continuously, that he is unfit to hold any public office, much less the most powerful office in our nation.
      Joe’s opponent is going to be sentenced on July 11, 2024 for his jury trial convictions on 34 felony counts. I don’t care that he has the stamina to lie for 90 minutes straight. He’s a charlatan, a cheat, a pathalogical liar, and a serial misogynistic, racist miscreant.
      Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his Vice President and we elected them. They have done an outstanding job in the face of total Republican recalcitrance. The US economy rebounded due to the foresight and experience of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and ther economic advisors. The USA recovered from the pandemic that Joe’s predecessor bungled so badly, and is the envy of the entire world.
      Imagine what Joe and Kamala could accomplish with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House of Representatives. Why, I’ll bet they could actually save Democracy.
      Knowing that Joe Biden believes with all of his heart (and with his half century of experience in Washington DC), that Kamala Harris could take over the job in a hearbeat, or in the absence of a heartbeat, I think we should heartily accept Joe’s evaluation of the qualities and strengths of Kamala Harris, and elect her Vice Peresident in 2024 and President in 2028.

      • Rayne says:

        Imagine what Joe and Kamala could accomplish with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House of Representatives.

        They need 2/3rds in the Senate to fix what’s wrong with both the Senate itself (filibuster) and get things done including changing the number of SCOTUS jurists.

        • Shadowalker says:

          Senate only needs a simple majority for rule changes on the first day of the session. After that it gets more complicated according to parliamentary rules.

        • 2Cats2Furious says:

          Um, no. You need 2/3 of the Senate to convict someone who has been impeached by the House. You only need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster as the rules currently stand.

          As Shadowalker correctly notes, a simple majority can change the filibuster rules, which aren’t mandated by the Constitution. Unfortunately, with Manchin and Sinema opposed to changing the current filibuster rules, that wasn’t going to happen this term. But a DEM majority in 2025 could change the rules.

          Personally, I’d like to see the filibuster eliminated for laws granting additional rights, like reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, etc. That is my dream scenario, anyway.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to 2Cats2Furious
          June 29, 2024 3:28 am

          We should push for 2/3 because we can’t remove Thomas and Alito without this, assuming we can win a House majority to impeach them first. I am not content with merely expanding SCOTUS; Thomas is corrupt and needs to be removed at the very least.

          We also need the power to approve treaties with Ukraine, Moldova, and NATO depending on how these two countries’ accession to NATO pans out. Ditto for new/revised treaty about the use of outer space.

    • Colleen Ramirez says:

      Harris was AG of California and that state’s Senator for several years before becoming VP to Biden. She’s been an engaged VP for more than 3 years. She’s plenty qualified so maybe it’s something else.

      • Magbeth4 says:

        I do not question Harris’s intelligence, nor her history as a Senator and before that, her California experience. I am referring to the fact that she has not the depth of foreign policy experience Biden has, nor the experience of running a complex organization such as a State government, which a Governor would have. Learning how to juggle every element of governance is something she lacks: not for lack of ability, in general, but because of lack of THAT kind of experience. Her ethnicity is an asset, not a liability, and I did not imply that by what I stated.

        • JAFO_NAL says:

          Almost no one in government today has the depth of experience in foreign policy that Joe Biden has due to his Senate committee and Vice Presidency service. How much experience in the areas you mention did Obama have? He did well enough to get re-elected.

        • Grain of Sand says:

          I have wondered WHO would have Joe’s foreign policy experience. Harris could find a vp with this strength. But just speculating, Joe’s still my pick.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I agree with both JAFO_NAL and Grain of Sand, but want to add “if we do find a unicorn with as much foreign policy experience as Biden, how old are they likely to be?”
          Or to say it another way, how old can his replacement be, before replacing Biden makes no sense?

  4. David Brooks says:

    “Did you know that civilized countries…run entire elections in a fraction of that time?”

    The British election *campaign* (which is what you meant) starts with the first Prime Minister’s Questions after the formation of a government, and runs up to five years with the presumptive PM candidates already selected.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      Did you know that 58% of Americans report owning stock, either directly or indirectly through funds? Presumably that percentage includes residents of the Volunteer State, Tennessee.

      • David Brooks says:

        I think you were referring to my snarky comment in an entirely different thread. Nonetheless, I don’t consider my 401(k) statement a brokerage account.

        Still, I apologize for offending any sufficiently wealthy Tenneseans.

        • Clare Kelly says:

          A 401K is merely the legal vessel.

          If it is held at a brokerage firm, it is indeed a *brokerage account*, by definition.

    • dopefish says:

      In Canada, federal elections can be called whenever the current government wants (but they can’t be more than 5 years apart). It begins by the PM asking the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, and ends 37 to 51 days later on election day. We don’t have entire years of “campaign season” here.

  5. Alan King says:

    Biden’s parting shot about Trump’s 2020 election denial: “Something snapped in you”

    No blame, no spin, just the truth. Something did snap in him. It stunned Trump.

    • Clare Kelly says:

      Although I disagree about *when* Trump ‘snapped’, I found President Biden’s “Something snapped in you” statement to be a generous and genuine way to point out the Emperor’s nudity.

      The moderators appeared to believe he was fully clothed.

      And now, I shall take my ‘free!’ Friday and read the new Pulitzer for literature.

      Feck the laundry.

  6. xyxyxyxy says:

    Hopefully Dr. Jill Biden (she’s not an MD) will have second thoughts and get him outta there.

        • Clare Kelly says:

          Indeed, to both your observations.

          I found myself wondering why the OP felt comfortable dropping tropes and missing the big picture here on this blog.

          ‘Thought I’d ask directly, lol at self.

          The press has learned nothing from 2015, imo.

        • EatenByGrues says:

          For many, it’s not panic–a lot of them are actively trying to hound Biden out of the race.

          Only a few weeks ago, Trump was convicted of 34 felonies. There was no equivalent dogpile.

          Part of that is Trump’s superpower is shamelessness, and the press has figured out that their usual means of persuasion don’t work. But I suspect a lot of folks in the media either want Trump to win, or want a cool story to cover. Or want the Democrats to run a centrist instead of a guy like Biden who walks picket lines and ends foreign wars, rather than serving as strikebreaker-in-chief.

        • xyxyxyxy says:

          So I’m Scaremongering? Interesting comment because Dr. Wheeler writes above “but both Hakeem Jeffries and Nancy Pelosi have made comments that make it clear serious discussions on going on.”

        • Rayne says:

          It would be wholly irresponsible for the Democratic Party’s highest ranking members not to discuss continuity, just as successful businesses have regular discussions about continuity, or families ensure its members receive ongoing support no matter the condition of the heads of the family.

          Two names not mentioned: Chuck Schumer and Jaime Harrison. To me this suggests the House is worried about retaining its current numbers let alone gaining more seats, and if the difference making or breaking a House majority is the topic of abortion which Biden flubbed during the debate, hell yes, House Minority Leader and House Speaker Emerita are going to be talking about this in addition to matters of continuity.

          But that shouldn’t be a signal to the rank and file to run around crying, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

      • tomm-aip says:

        Just another right-wing troll pretending that Jill Biden is the puppet master, pulling Joe’s strings to control him, since he’s no longer cognitively able make decisions.

        • xyxyxyxy says:

          Wives are most likely the closest advisors to presidents, doesn’t mean they are puppet masters.Except most likely Nancy Reagan.
          Biden has always had foot in his mouth disease, doesn’t mean he can’t make decisions. And like all presidents he has a ton of advisors to help him, hopefully, smart ones.

  7. ChuckVoellinger327 says:

    First time commenter after years of reading Marcy off and on since the FDL days. Changing horses in the middle of the stream sure seems like a weak move to me and if anyone thinks “Dems in disarray” was loud before? See what happens if Joe bows out. To hear Pelosi and Jeffries “equivocating” is foolish on their part, unless Joe has indicated something behind the scenes that we don’t know about, it sure seems lame to me for them to succumb to handwringing.

    • Pat Neomi says:

      I take your point about “Dems in disarray.” But it really seems to be a pick-your-poison moment for them: it’s either that narrative or “Biden’s old.” The media will likely not relent the latter. Which is worse seems to be an important question for Biden/Dems to answer.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        If only Democrats had their own media organization in their pocket to push their narratives, as opposed to counting on the corporate media to not act in their own interest by creating narratives that would drive view and/or benefit their ownership (with another acting as their propaganda arm). That’s a precedent as old as Jefferson and Adams, IIRC.

        • Dark Phoenix says:

          The joke is, if the corporate media WAS acting in their own interests, they’d be working harder than anyone to keep Trump the fuck away from the White House. He considers any media outlet not 24/7/365 kissing his ass to be an adversary that needs to be destroyed; when he says he’ll take revenge on his “enemies”, you HAVE to believe CNN and MSNBC are high on that list.

        • paulka123 says:

          I am sorry this is an incredibly incorrect take. Trump has been around for nearly a decade on the political stage. He has warped a willing news organization, yes. He has also engulfed a political party and created an ecosystem to benefit his cons.

          Dems have failed to respond to this. They have played traditional politics when a new organism has formed.

          One very very small silver lining to this is that when Trump departs the scene the Republican party will implode. They are beholden to a single person, not even a single organization, one, single, person. When that person dies or exits politics, the Republican party will tear itself apart. They are a group of angry vindictive monsters who will turn their vitriol on each other when the guiding principal is removed. Bank on that.

      • Just Some Guy says:

        Do you think that if there was a new Dem candidate the press wouldn’t magnify every potential weakness, real or imagined?

        I mean, have people who write such comments not lived through the same past several decades that I have? WTF.

        • Just Some Guy says:

          Reply to Dark Phoenix
          June 28, 2024 at 5:01 pm

          No need to even go back two decades when the example of Hilary Clinton will suffice!

        • tmooretxk says:

          One persistant belief that you could drop Biden so ” It would eliminate the double haters ” needs refutation – No it wouldn’t. Any candidate proposed by the Democrats will find an immediate, predictably large group of “haters”. Obama had them, Kerry had them, both Clintons had them and now Biden has them. Biden had a bad night, but anyone willing to choose Trump last night over Biden last night is looking for performative values, not leadership or accomplishment. Most of those people aren’t even going to bother voting. Democrats just need to hold the course. The Democrats’ bench is much deeper than the Republicans’, which we should hammer at for the next four months. Is there a single Trump VP candidate that can stand any degree of scrutiny?

        • Pat Neomi says:

          Just Some Guy, my comment wasn’t denying your premise; I was arguing essentially the same thing. There will be these media narratives regardless. So the question becomes: what are the factors that undergird those narratives and how do they provide advantages or disadvantages relative to the alternative?

          I don’t know whether Biden should drop out. But one of those undergirding factors for Biden is that he absolutely shit the bed last night in a pivotal moment in his campaign. The narrative out of that is “Biden is infirm.” A possible replacement candidate, Gretchen Whitmer, has not run for nor held federal-level office. The narrative out of that might be something like “Whitmer is inexperienced.” But toe to toe with Trump, could she, notwithstanding being labeled “inexperienced,” rebut his BS better than Biden? Probably.

          Again, I’m not arguing one way or the other because the analysis is of course more complex than my simple example. But a comparative analysis nevertheless seems necessary and prudent. If the media is gonna do its thing regardless of who the candidate is, the question is who can best weather that assault—which poison is less toxic—because all candidates’ liabilities are not commensurate.

        • Just Some Guy says:

          Reply to Pat Neomi
          June 28, 2024 at 5:37 pm

          We are not remotely saying the same thing. You stated, “I don’t know whether Biden should drop out,” something I would never say, because he shouldn’t. Nor is the question even close to a “complex” issue.

        • Pat Neomi says:

          Just Some Guy @ 6:16 pm, when I said we were arguing something very similar, it was regarding my prior comment from 2:43 pm—the one you commented on at 3:48. In my 2:43 pm comment, I said that it was a “pick your poison” issue regarding negative media narratives about Democrats. In my view, that’s fairly similar to what you said, i.e.: “Do you think that if there was a new Dem candidate the press wouldn’t magnify every potential weakness, real or imagined?” That’s what I believe we’re saying the same thing about—and that alone.

          I never tried to impute any other view onto you. The rest of my comment at 3:48 went far beyond the scope of the thing about which I believed we thought similarly. I tried to make that clear by saying that “the question [then] becomes…”, implying that I was doing further analysis beyond the premise about the media maligning Dems. And thus I would assume, not having any special insight into your views, that you would NOT agree with what followed rather than that you did.

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to Pat Neomi — and to Just Some Guy
          June 28, 2024 6:52 pm

          I need you both to move on to the topic instead of focusing on how you’ve commented past one another. This exchange is chewing up the thread.

        • Dark Phoenix says:

          I agree about Hilary, but I said John Kerry for a reason; he didn’t really have a defined “scandal” for the Republicans to start with immediately… So they invented one out of whole cloth, and it worked, with an assist from the media.

          Anyone you considered replacing Joe with, if they don’t have a scandal for the media to hyperanalyze, will have one provided by Republican ratfuckers a week after the announcement. The media will run “Dems in Disarray” until they get it, then they will BothSides again.

  8. Rugger_9 says:

    And, we still have the Ohio ballot inclusion deadline before the Democratic Convention problem. Don’t think the Buckeye MAGAs will lift a finger to be fair in any way.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      An incumbent presiding over a strong, stable economy is a winning hand that the Democrats would be stupid to discard. I’m disgusted by the ignorant pants-wetting of the NYT editorial board. This debate didn’t make a significant difference in voters’ choices and it’s beyond silly to think it could: Obama, Bush Jr., Fetterman had “disastrous” first debates and yet still won. Fuck the pundits for their feeding the concern-trolling machine.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        That op-ed was a piece of work, laying it solely on the DNC to rescue the nation while giving the GOP a pass (again) and also ignoring (again) their own significant efforts to prop up Convict-1 for his entire political career.

        Like CNN, the NYT and WashPo are no longer objective voices but MAGA mouthpieces.

        VP Kamala Harris would be a first rate replacement if it comes to that but I don’t see the need. For those using ‘lack of foreign policy experience’ as a rhetorical shield to hide their real issues, I note she’s been also doing a whole lot of foreign interactions at a significant level. Unlike the Project 2025 team and 45’s administration the Biden WH is stocked with people who know and do their jobs well, and most important are listened to before decisions are made.

        Lastly, it was 1972 (IIRC) when the last late change was made to drop Eagleton from the VP slot. Nixon’s CREEP campaign (that was the Freudian acronym) flogged the Ds for being indecisive and unserious which did not help McGovern that year. Expect more of the same from the MAGA Wurlitzer if the Ds drop Biden this year.

  9. originalk says:

    If he bows out over this, I’d respect him as unequivocally as I have for how he’s handled his presidency. Our electorate – particularly men – don’t appear to be ready for modern democratic leadership. If people want to be conned, there is only so much one can do. Likewise if they can’t recognize danger.

    In particular, I would hope he gets to fully enjoy his next 10 or more years with his beautiful pets & grandchildren, devoted spouse and many interests.

    It would be our loss.

    • MsJennyMD says:

      Former Republican operative Stuart Stevens warned:
      “Don’t day trade politics. It’s a sucker’s game. A guy from Queens out on bail bragged about overturning Roe v. Wade, said in public he didn’t have sex with a porn star, defended tax cuts for billionaires, defended Jan. 6th. and called America the worst country in the world. That guy isn’t going to win this race.”

  10. PeteT0323 says:

    CNN should do a prime time post fact check of the debate. Focus on what was said not how it was delivered.

    In addition to, if not in lieu of, the DNC should purchase an hour+ of Prime Time and simply enumerate Trump’s.lies, Project 2025, and focus on the Biden Admins +/-. Noting that many things that were no accomplished were due to Trump “ordering” his Congressional minions to resist.

  11. Clare Evento says:

    What I worry about is the long campaign slog & the physical/mental toll that grueling schedule creates. Biden needs to reserve his energies for governing and leave the campaigning to surrogates. How is that done and how would it be received?

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    • UziTenenbaum says:

      Can’t be done. This is the job, and what he signed up for.

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  12. soundgood2 says:

    From Heather Cox Richardson: “Of far more lasting importance than this one night is the clear evidence that stage performance has trumped substance in political coverage in our era. Nine years after Trump launched his first campaign, the media continues to let him call the shots.”
    She describes the “Gish Gallop” — “It’s a rhetorical technique in which someone throws out a fast string of lies, non-sequiturs, and specious arguments, so many that it is impossible to fact-check or rebut them in the amount of time it took to say them. Trying to figure out how to respond makes the opponent look confused, because they don’t know where to start grappling with the flood that has just hit them.”

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      CNN declined to fact-check in real time, which gave Trump license to spew any absurd lies he cared to.

      Decent moderators would have known when he was lying and called him on it. And if they had dispensed one or two whacks on the knuckles Trump might have slowed down a little bit.

      The MSM seems to be playing a don’t-piss-him-off-in-case-he-wins game, not realizing that if he wins they will be completely at his mercy. No amount of, ummm, flattery will overcome that.

      • nord dakota says:

        I would have liked them to have played, say, video of his “fine people on both sides” statement, or the video of him preparing for and delivering his “peace” statement in the Rose Garden and how petulant and scowly he was and how he refused to say anything hinting at himself having lost the election. And maybe some of his theory about magnets not working if you pour a glass of water on them, followed by Hannibal “what a guy!” Lector.

        But he didn’t tell a LOT of lies. He told three or so. Over and over and over.

        The most obnoxious thing about the debate is how the media launch it as if it is a sporting event.

  13. Error Prone says:

    CNN today, roughly 48 million people watched. That’s not much of the electorate, and of those what percentage would a non-pundit guess had their minds changed?

    It’s not what was said, which pundit sees danger, whether Jeffries or Pelosi fret.

    It is that the media encourage a short attention span, and it will fit this.

    Biden is okay, Harris is okay, and they have Hollywood.

    The sky has not fallen.

  14. bawiggans says:

    Circle the wagons and not the firing squad. Gut up. The administrations of these two men both have track records that are predictive of future performance. Make this a choice between one or the other of them instead of the media’s default of it being a referendum on the incumbent. Ignore Biden’s debate performance. Speak and write of it no more. Discipline yourselves and focus on what is really at stake. This election is not a casting call for a reality tv show. It is one of those node elections where the candidates are functionally ciphers for fundamentally different visions of the American future. Those visions are the only thing that matters and we have to hammer that home incessantly. MAGA is filling out the details of their project for an American fascism and it is getting clearer all the time. They are emboldened to disclose it by the pliability of their base and their confidence that they have put in place the means necessary to prevail, regardless of the outcome of the vote. We must put their arrogance to the test by electing Joe Biden.

    • Fancy Chicken says:

      To bawiggins-

      Reading all the comments again today on the 29th and I just wanted to say that yours is my favorite of the bunch so much so I copied it (with your handle’s attribution) and saved it in my file of things powerful to post on the little bit of social media I indulge in.

      Thank you for your concise and spot on take of this moment.

  15. RitaRita says:

    Logistically and legally, how would a change in nominee take place?

    Obviously it must be doable. At this point, I don’t think it is needed. Biden has to do some face-saving in the next few weeks. I do wish that he were a better orator. We need a strong voice in favor of democracy.

  16. dimmsdale says:

    Here, in my view, is who actually lost the debate last night: Ron Klain, Anita Dunn, Ben LaBolt, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Cedric Richmond, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Quentin Fulks, Michael Tyler, and Rob Flaherty, and anybody else tasked with prepping Biden for the debate.

    If these people retain a shred of trust today, after their strategic malpractice led Biden to, for instance, respond to Gish Galloping lies with stumbling attempts to refute them with crammed-in-the-brain fact, I mean come ON people! There are actual communications experts who know better than that (I’m looking at Mehdi Hasan, of course, and Anat Shenker-Osorio, two of many who are NOT part of the enriched Dem consultant class).

    Communicators who understand debate better (especially with narcissists) wouldn’t have made Joe a faster thinker, or more nimble on his feet, but they would have simplified his job: communicate his values and his heart and his vision in a way that would have resonated with Americans.

    At least, such is my belief. The guy we saw up there last night, no matter how you characterize his “performance”, is the most progressive President I’ve ever seen, and the most successful. THAT guy, with all his stumbles and freezes and whatnot. I’m sure our media whores are going to do everything they can to damage him. And the single most effective response to that, I think, is to fire that comms team instantly.

    • Cheez Whiz says:

      I did not watch the “debate” (life is too short already) but what I’m getting from all the DOOMED, I SAY, DOOOOOOOMED is his manner was the problem, not the incredibly stupid decision to treat the “debate” as an actual debate. Maybe if he wasn’t crammed full of bullet points he could have focused on insulting Trump, the only practial approach to engaging in that puppet show. Where have all the flowers gone, indeed.

      And while I would respect a decision by Biden to withdraw, it would be a shitshow to rival 1968. Ask Hubert Humphrey how that worked out for him.

      • P J Evans says:

        I remember the shitshow that was replacing Eagleton, the VP candidate. I still think we’d have done better to keep him.

      • bgThenNow says:

        My father was in Chicago in 1968 as an alternate delegate, for McCarthy. He told of Humphrey standing in front of the delegation with tears on his cheeks begging for their votes. Back then we kept a tally of the votes on paper as they came in. Kind of like when the votes were being counted to put Thomas on the Supreme Cult.

        I remember 1968. And I remember the counting for Thomas.

    • Matt___B says:

      Anita Dunn was interviewed on MSNBC this morning. Total softball and yawner. I was hoping she would at least have been asked “why did you spend prep time filling Joe’s head with facts and stats instead of encouraging him to respond intelligently to Trump’s barrage of lies?” but alas, that question was not asked. Policy wonkism for its own sake lives on in the senior adviser class…

    • grizebard says:

      This seems to me to get to the nub of the matter. As media advisers you have to understand the nature and debating tactics of the opponent and the debating strengths and weaknesses of the person you’re advising. If what they were doing was simply trying to cram into Joe Biden as big a mess of stats as they could muster, they definitely got things wrong. He’s been in the job for nearly four years, and hands-on, so he knows that stuff. All he really needed was help in how best to handle his effortlessly-lying opponent – some well-crafted put-downs of Trump, things that would strike home and be remembered by everyone. Like in that past VP debate “I knew John Kennedy…”.

  17. paulka123 says:

    While I understand the instinct to consider replacing Biden, it would without a doubt be the worse option.

    If Biden, say in the next couple of three weeks, says he wasn’t running, there would be a month plus of intra-party fights that would play into Republican hands. Then you have a very late convention (which would be incredibly divisive) leaving next to no time for the new candidate to be essentially rolled out to the American people. Trump would likely not even bother debating as that would ONLY help whoever Trump’s opponent would be.

    No, we are stuck with Biden, and it is time to rally around him

  18. Error Prone says:

    Trump slogans “Make America Great Again.” Nobody in the press has asked, “When was that?” The 50s, with Red baiting? With the book then, “The Power Elite?” When The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit subdivided the land he’d inherited? Back when the casino failures stiffed all those banks? When Roy Cohn lived and represented Fred and Don? When Ginsberg wrote Howl? The Great War? The Second War? The Korean War with “Who lost China” finger-pointing? The Vietnam War? When Rudy was respected? The Great Depression, so let’s Make Depressions Great again? What substance is there to the MAGA slogan? It’s like, Make Coca Cola cheap again. Go back to those little curved bottles in the red vending machines? Back in a day, a nickle a bottle. What go-back is he pushing? Force him to say. Crappy cars of the 50s and 60s where you were lucky to get 100,000 miles without engines sludging up and Route 66 was state of the art before the Japanese perfected making reliable sensibly sized autos and Eisenhower pump-primed via the Interstate Highway system? Big Cadillac tail fins? Can we ever be that great again? Ford making Edsels? Gas under a dollar? Twelve miles to the gallon? No President impeached since Andrew Johnson? When?

  19. FiestyBlueBird says:

    There will be another debate in September, correct?

    I don’t see Biden dropping out unless a truly serious health problem arises.

    I watched three hours of Olympic Track and Field Trials last night, and not one second of the debate. Three more nights of coverage coming up. Great performances by great athletes. I highly recommend it.

    The only debate bit I watched in 2020 was the “Will you shut up, man?” moment, a day or two after.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Biden is already in, but I would expect that Convict-1 will find an excuse to drop out since I can’t see the Biden campaign agreeing to the rules CNN set up to help Convict-1 and I can’t see Convict-1 agreeing to anything that doesn’t allow him to do what CNN let him do. Plus, he’ll claim he ‘won’ the first one (no movement on the polls, hmmm….) and doesn’t need to do another to show superiority of his ‘intellect’.

      Wasn’t Tapper involved in some ‘gotcha’ journalism while at ABC?

  20. Tracy Lynn says:

    To everyone who has commented that Biden should drop out — my question is, to be replaced by who? Who is willing to leave their current job to fundraise and run for president? Who has the campaign infrastructure in place to run a nationwide campaign with 4 and a half months to go? Get serious. This whole whiney, “why I can’t have nice things,” rant is pointless and exactly what the GOP wants from Democrats.

    • ERIC SEELE says:

      To be replaced by Governor Whitmer of MICHIGAN. Who won re-election BY 10 POINTS. Who can select Senator Bob Casey of PENNSYLVANIA as her running mate. Who would inspire the Democratic base to elect the FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT.

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  21. Peterr says:

    The pivot today by the Biden campaign has been impressive. A few excerpts from The Guardian’s live blog of Biden’s campaign rally in Raleigh NC.

    First, the warm-up:

    Jill Biden is introducing her husband, and implicitly downplaying concerns over his performance against Donald Trump in last night’s debate.

    “There is no one that I would rather have sitting in the Oval Office right now than my husband,” the first lady said.

    “What you saw last night on the debate stage was Joe Biden, a president with integrity and character, who told the truth. And Donald Trump told lie after lie after lie.”

    And once Joe took the microphone, he made it clear:

    In comments that came as close as any to addressing his stumbles against Trump in last night’s debate, Biden acknowledged that he is indeed old, but believes he can still beat the former president in the November election.

    “I know I’m not a young man, to the state the obvious. Well, I know I don’t walk as easy as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth,” the president said.

    He went on:

    I know right from wrong. I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. I know, like millions of Americans, I know, when you get knocked down, you get back up.

    Biden then made plain that he believed he can still do the job:

    Folks, I give you my word as a Biden, I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job. Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.

    The transcript doesn’t do justice to the words, as Biden moved from reflective about his age to passionate about his vision. When he pivoted and said “I know how to tell the truth” his energy ramped up and the crowd went berserk. The “I know” riff that followed was broken up with the audience shouting back after each sentence.

    Biden is no Black Preacher. But that’s how that riff came across, complete with the Amen! and Preach it! from the congregation.

    Biden is going nowhere, and he’s going to fight back to recover from last night’s performance.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No sign at all today that the media generally, and quite a few in the progressive press, are so panicked by a single incidence that they clamor to get rid of Biden, despite that he’s the one rowing their lifeboat in a storm. FFS.

      • LadyHawke says:

        That’s it exactly! And who do you want steering the ship in a storm?
        Trump would walk over every one of our drowning bodies to get to the shore. To mix sayings, he is a human dumpster fire.
        Jeesh, people need to calm the F down. Our good and true President Biden can do this. WE can do this. GOTV!

      • Rugger_9 says:

        I’m reminded of the RWNM-induced hatchet job where a Department of Agriculture employee was summarily dismissed on BS charges and when the truth came out she decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. See also: Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss who are still waiting to collect on the defamation judgements. Paranoid ‘Scoopism’ and hysteria is normal for the MSM now in the ‘access journalism’ world.

    • John Lehman says:

      The beauty, clarity and vigor of this speech makes me think last night’s “old man” was the stage being set up for the North Carolina rally…even a pillar for the whole campaign.
      (Politicians wouldn’t do that …. would they?)

  22. Justin_28JUN2024_1749h says:

    I’m not just voting for Biden, I’m voting for the people that he chose for his cabinet and agencies. I’m voting for the rights of many that may be trampled in a second Trump regime, the institutions and laws that Trump with destroy or ignore. I’m voting for stability and the continuation of the Republic. What happens when Trump shits the bed on the regular? Do Republicans run around like chickens with their heads cut off? NO! They rally to their candidate even though he is shameless lying sex offending felon with small hands. Biden did bad in the debate, but this hand wringing in the media is useless. Biden’s surrogates should be out there hammering home the points I just made. We aren’t hiring a debater and Biden can point to the job he’s done and the people he has surrounded himself with as reasons to vote for him again. Go make that case!

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  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Laugh of the day. Bob Woodward on Ari Melber, saying with fervent hope that, if there’s a major problem with Joe, we won’t have to wait for it to come in some book or memoir or other. For a former naval intelligence officer, he can be as obtuse as a Nixon aide. Selling such things made his career and a fortune.

    • Rayne says:

      Are you shitting me? Woodward’s that cluelessly lacking in self awareness after co-authoring Peril with Robert Costa???

      *face palm*

  24. Skillethead says:

    As David Axelrod pointed out, Trump is very beatable and by any of a number of other Democratic possibilities. This is also a reasonable takeaway from a post-debate YouGov poll showing that only 20% of independents think Biden gives the Dems the best chance of beating Trump.

    I love Joe Biden and wish him all the best. I also wish he would drop out of the race. I think the electorate really does not want Trump but many are nervous about the alternative they saw last night.

  25. paulka123 says:

    Question for those with far more knowledge on the subject. Trump has been adjudicated an insurrectionist. The SC decided the states could not keep him off the ballot, only congress can do so.

    Should Trump win in November is there a scenario where congress can invoke the 14th Amendment prior to his taking office? Probably not until a new congress is sworn in, but say Dems control the house and Senate. Can they refuse to allow him to take the office?

  26. CPtight617 says:

    Only 49 million watched this debate, the lowest # in over 2 decades. What I have seen of all the (wo)man-on-the-street interviews today, ordinary voters said they either didn’t watch, or were more interested in policy talk, and were not concerned by presentation. There’s a good chance none of this matters next week, never mind in 5 months.

    I get it. The bedwetting is real, but there is no path under the current Democratic Party rules to dump Biden, so that ain’t happening.

    • P J Evans says:

      there’s no way to raise enough money between no and the election, starting from nothing, and that’s what all the panicked people are forgetting – the money is *Biden’s* campaign funding, not the DNC’s money.

        • Rayne says:

          Transferring campaign funds don’t guarantee a win, ex. Bernie Sanders had the benefit of the DNC which had money it gained from Hillary’s previous run.

    • Zinsky123 says:

      I think the low viewership for this debate was because a very large swath of Americans are so sick of the Trump v. Biden narrative, they cannot bear to watch one more second about it on TV, My wife is in that category – she went to a dumb G-rated kids movie, rather than watching any of the so-called “debate” shitshow!

      • kevtobin says:

        To be truthful – it’s not sick of the whole Biden v Trump narrative, for me it was I can not stand to listen to Trump for any length of time. His voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I have no problem listening to President Biden.

      • phred says:

        There are also those of us who have stopped watching debates because the corporate media has turned them into such a waste of time. I remember when said media wrested the Presidential debates from the League of Women Voters. I was furious about it at the time because the 2 major parties were themselves in cahoots with the media to manipulate the debate format to benefit their candidates. It’s been an accelerating slide downhill ever since.

        So, imagine how distressing it is to voters like me, who have already had our say in the primaries to wake up yesterday morning to learn that our votes didn’t count because Tapper and Bash are bad at their jobs and ran a shitshow of a debate. Apparently CNN gets to decide the nominee.

        What a fucking disgrace.

        I can’t imagine what planet the “replace Biden” people are living on. You think the race is shitshow now, just wait. Dems can’t agree on the time of day, who gets to decide who the replacement is, eh? How’s that gonna go for you?

        There is a reason VPs are on the ticket. If something incapacitates the President, we know how this works. So, I am genuinely at a loss to understand wtaf is wrong with people over 90 minutes of railroading by CNN.

        If Democrats wanted a contested primary they could have run one. They chose not to do so. That shipped has sailed.

        • RitaRita says:

          They aren’t debates. They are auditions with news media judges.

          If there isn’t any fact checking or even comments on the truth of what the candidates are saying, then the candidates are being judged on appearance, mannerisms, and speaking voice rather than content.

          Reading the transcript is instructive. Trump is able to appear articulate even when what he is saying is a melange of bits and pieces of his favorite memes, relevant or not.

  27. bgThenNow says:

    Former Bush speechwriter David Frum: “Biden’s evident frailties have aggravated that job and made it more difficult, but they have also clarified whose job it was. Not his. Yours.”

  28. Eichhörnchen says:

    Donald Trump could not have been handed a greater gift – except maybe for President Biden being indicted. I’m not referring to Biden’s debate performance; I am referring to the Democrats’ pearl-clutching, bed-wetting, and otherwise shooting themselves in the foot. And all at the prodding of the MSM, which has swallowed GOP talking points whole.

    • MarkPalm says:

      While the managers of this website have wisely (?) chosen not to offer the option of “Up-voting” here in the comments, occasionally I do regret that. Yours is one such comment. I would be up-voting with every digit of my hands and toes. But those digits can and will be used in more productive ways towards the political ends we both desire.

  29. Bob Roundhead says:

    FDR defeated fascism and save our country while in far worse shape. I will stick with Joe. He is doing a great job.

  30. klynn says:

    “Joe Biden has a choice to make about whether he remains the best shot to beat Donald Trump. And one way or another, Republicans will be stuck with a candidate who vigorously acts unpresidential.”

    Republicans ARE STUCK with unpresidential, criminal Trump. “Bing, bing, bing bong” man. A man referenced with “incoherency” in major headlines over and over. A man with the unchanging foundational character of lying. As Scaramucci says, “Trump lied ‘every 100 seconds’ in debate…”

  31. Upisdown says:

    It was a tragic sight. I can’t get over it. The challenge was to destroy RW narratives of Biden wandering off. Needing to be led around. Inability to retain or communicate thoughts. Requiring more than a week to prepare for a ninety-minute debate, and being unable to function. But instead of destroying the narrative, it was allowed to be cemented into place on live TV without any way to dismiss it as edited.

    I first blame Biden’s campaign people. If he was up in the polls and out there presenting himself as fit and capable, he could survive a bad debate. But he’s down in polling and most all of the recent appearances have looked questionable. A good staff would make sure there was good tape available of Biden silencing doubters. A good staff would not have let Biden go on stage with almost no voice and unprepared for the lies they knew were coming.

    • P J Evans says:

      “down in polling” – citations needed. And polls aren’t elections.
      Please take your doom and gloom home and lock it in the basement, where it belongs.

      • Upisdown says:

        Seriously? Do you know how to read polls? You honestly want me to cite a poll showing Joe Biden with an underwater approval rating? Come on.

        I’m not dooming and glooming, but Thursday was very bad for Biden. If you refuse to face that reality, you are a major part of the problem. Feel free to suggest solutions because we just witnessed what results from “stay the course”. And it ain’t pretty.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Seriously, citations are always good form and sometimes required. The source of the poll says a lot about its potential for bias. Exaggerated doom and gloom is itself a big part of the problem. Ask the NYT.

  32. Matt Foley says:

    To anyone considering ditching Biden, may I suggest you write down Trump’s lies, his crimes, and his policies (anti-abortion, pro-pollution, pro-billionaire, anti-science, pro-convicted criminal, pro-China, pro-Putin, pro-covid, anti-religious freedom) to help gain some perspective.

    • P-villain says:

      I’d wager there isn’t a single reader of this blog who’s considering “ditching Biden.” That’s really irrelevant to the question, which is, can he still win after this?

      And saying, “Of course, if the NYT and WaPo would just lay off their BS,” doesn’t answer it either, because that scenario will never, ever happen.

  33. dimmsdale says:

    I notice we’re all critiquing Joe’s performance in the debate; I’m not seeing a smidge of criticism about his performance AS PRESIDENT; instead I’m seeing pretty universal praise. His performance in the debate owed a lot to malpreparation by a group of lackluster, head-up-the-ass, same-old/same-old BAD communicators who crammed his brain full of the kinds of policy stats that make people’s eyes glaze over anyway. Having to comb through that encyclopedia of possible ripostes to Trump’s lies, in a two-minute time frame, watching the clock tick? That’s not a presidential skill, it’s a game-show skill. I honestly don’t have a read on whether he can pull a win out of this in the coming weeks but really, he HAS to, and we have to help. I take comfort in the low viewership numbers, but the Republican fascisti and our media whores endlessly braying about “Biden old” make it more important than ever to get voter-eligible NON-voters to the polls, and ya don’t do that by a) kneecapping your own nominee and b) confusing debate performance with presidential performance–THIS, we’ll need to set people straight about, probably ad nauseam.

    • Shadowalker says:

      No one elects a President based solely on debate performance. Especially a first debate, or else there would have been Presidents Mondale, Kerry and Romney.

    • Upisdown says:

      Absolutely right. I argued with so many MAGA’s on social media who harped about Joe Biden needing a week at Camp David to prepare. If that time was spent feeding Biden stats and names of actual legislation to remember and recite back, whoever was responsible has no handle on Biden’s free-speaking strengths and weaknesses.

      All Biden needed was short pithy jabs about Trump election lying, insurrection organizing, COVID failures, dictator fanboying, felony commission etc. Couple those jabs with some jokes about how much Trump lies. Biden actually landed punches on Trump when he did that. But when he tried getting wonky listing specific policy successes with names and numbers (which are very valid things in other settings) Biden struggled because of the time constraints.

  34. MsJennyMD says:

    A friend of mine, a physician’s assistant, thought Biden didn’t look well, even looked drugged. She said perhaps with a cold and cough, someone might have given him cough medicine to help, however individuals react differently to over the counter medicine no matter what age.

    Years ago with a nasty cold and cough I took over the counter cough medicine. I hallucinated. A different perspective which could have contributed to his raspy voice and low energy behavior. Certainly, the next day he was perky and re-energized at the NC rally. He said, “When you get knocked down you get back up.” Go Mr. President!

  35. Susan Pasek says:

    Dec. 6, 2017: NYTimes headline:
    A Democratic Chorus Rises in the Senate: ‘Franken Should Resign’

    Are we going to allow a similar travesty to happen again?
    What is wrong with some of our elite Dems?

  36. harpie says:

    Dueling Editorials:

    NYT: To Serve His Country, President Biden Should Leave the Race
    THE EDITORIAL BOARD June 28, 2024

    Phila Inquirer: To serve his country, Donald Trump should leave the race
    Biden had a horrible night Thursday. But the debate about the debate is misplaced.
    The only person who should withdraw from the race is Trump. The Editorial Board Published June 29, 2024, 4:30 p.m. ET

  37. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The NYT’s might be a publicly-traded company, but it’s controlled by its principal shareholding family (through whatever schemes their lawyers have devised to own the shares and exercise control through them).

    The current scion of the family, Arthur “Dash” Sulzberger (they’re all named Arthur something), makes no bones about his conservatism and his family’s apparent desire to get Biden out and Trump back in. I suspect they agree with him about a lot of things, which makes them unfit to publish. But Trump’s obsession with lowering taxes on the super wealthy can’t hurt, nor that Trump is like Boris Johnson on steroids, but more corrupt, so he’s good for sales.

    But the editorial, which Dash must have approved, if not dictated, has the balls to say their demand is designed to help maintain American Democracy. LOL. That’s more chutzpah than Bob Woodward had when he recently said to Ari Melber that he hoped, if anything were seriously wrong with Biden, that Americans wouldn’t have to wait to find out about it until someone published a book or memoir. I guess Bob forgot what he does for a living, so maybe he should take the same “cognitive” test that Trump keeps saying he aced.

    • JanAnderson says:

      The NYT has some balls with that editorial.
      The USA apparantely has only ever had young, fully robust and physically healthy Presidents. None ever had impairments of any sort.

  38. JanAnderson says:

    It’s, the wonderful USA, had some youngish, like JFK, Obama, a few, but for all I can tell, the USA never had a full blown lunatic until Donald Trump.
    He’s no young ‘un either, to begin with. No experience in government to boot when elected 2016. The guy needs two hands to hold a wee glass of water to his lips.
    Why in the world are some Democrats looking for perfection? Are you embarrassed that Biden is old? Look at the history of your country.

  39. xyxyxyxy says:

    re-tmooretxk June 28, all these debates are, is “looking for performative values”. No different from The Apprentice where the only reason the audience loved Trump is because he said “you’re fined”. But when he was president he couldn’t do it to anyone’s face. I never watched the show and I wonder, did he ever do it to anyone facing him on the show?
    And furthermore as to performance, Kennedy “won” the debate over Nixon because people didn’t like that Nixon had a “5 o’clock shadow “. I wonder if people would have said Trump lost the debate if his face turned green if he sweated and his hair dye mixed with his face dye.

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