Yes, Biden will run again. And thoughts on the neverending politics of the covid pandemic.

By Gary Abernathy

Yes, if he’s healthy, Biden will run again

Peter Funt, opinion contributor for USA Today, has a piece online today confidently predicting that President Biden will not run for reelection in 2024, despite what Biden said at his press conference last week when asked about it.

Funt writes, “There is no chance, zero, that Joe Biden will seek to become the nation’s first octogenarian presidential candidate.”

I respectfully disagree. I think we should take Biden at his word when he said, “My plan is to run for reelection.”

Funt recounts various comments made by Biden during the 2020 campaign that indicated he would only serve one term, without flat-out saying so. He notes that Biden described himself as a “bridge” president, adding that the future belongs to the young.

Biden likely thought, at one point, that he would only serve one term. But then something happened to change that: He won. Once in power, especially the presidency, people don’t willingly give it up. When he became Richard Nixon’s vice president after Spiro Agnew’s resignation, Gerald Ford assured people he was not interested in running for president. "I have no intention of being a candidate for any political office in 1976. I say that as forcefully as I can," Ford told the media. But when he became president following Nixon’s resignation and the time came to decide for real, Ford couldn’t resist the temptation to try to stay, resulting in a strong GOP challenge from Ronald Reagan in 1976 that fell just short. Ford was eventually defeated by Jimmy Carter.

Only six presidents who were eligible to run for reelection have made the choice not to do so, the last being Harry Truman, who served nearly eight years anyway after taking over when Franklin D. Roosevelt died just 82 days into his fourth term. Five presidents were not renominated by their parties and therefore did not run again.

In 1951, during Truman’s presidency, the 22nd Amendment was ratified limiting the presidency to two terms.  Even though he had won only one term in 1948, he had already served more than half of FDR’s term beginning in 1945, which would have made him ineligible to run again, unlike Ford, who took over for Nixon after Nixon’s term was past the halfway mark. But Truman could have run in 1952 because he was exempted due to a “grandfather” clause, meaning the sitting president was exempt from the new amendment. However, Truman chose not to run.

In fact, the last modern president not to seek reelection who was eligible to do so was Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1968 after his popularity dropped like a rock due to the ongoing Vietnam War and rioting and violence at home. Since then, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump – they all tried for another term. Ford, Carter, the first Bush and Trump were unsuccessful.

If his health allows it, Biden will run again.

A few thoughts about the politics of covid

Just some brief thoughts on the ongoing political games played with covid-19…

·        It was just annoying to watch President Biden walk into the room wearing a mask for his press conference last week, and then take it off upon reaching the podium. No one was any closer to him as he strode to the podium than when he reached it. Wearing the mask was pure theater. If we’re really following the science, why put on the unnecessary show?

·         As predicted, beating up on Donald Trump has intensified despite his departure from the White House. The latest comes from Deborah Birx, former coronavirus response boss, who is now out there saying that she couldn’t say what she really wanted to say because Trump wouldn’t let her. She’s claiming that after the first 100,000 or so covid fatalities, the deaths that followed could have been “mitigated.” So…. to keep her job, she lied? Or kept quiet? Or, what? Ridiculous. And, it always bears repeating that it was Birx who said early on that anyone dying with covid was classified as a covid death, even if the real cause was another underlying condition.

·         After former Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield recently said he still thinks the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tweeted, “So it appears it was the Wuhan Virus after all?” He’s being vilified for that. Why? Because even if someone is being accurate, they’re wrong if what’s accurate is not also politically correct.

Sign up and share this newsletter

Please sign up to receive this newsletter directly into your inbox Monday through Friday (except holidays or other occasional interruptions) or, if you are already a subscriber and reading this by email, share with a friend using the convenient button below. Thank you!