73 Comments

No. Biden is the nominee. Stop with the hypotheticals. Focus on his accomplishments, which are stellar. Beat the drums on trump and his crimes. Raping little girls!!! Stealing national secrets. Making foreign policy deals as a civilian. Nearly all the commenters on Threads support Biden. It’s just the pundits who can’t stop rending their garments. Give it up. It’s Biden or trump. Democracy or facism. The Constitution or Project 2025. I know what I prefer.

Expand full comment
author

Nancy, if you read the essay and are familiar with my writing generally you understand that I am supporting Biden, opposing all attempts to remove him, routinely write of his accomplishments, make it my business to inform people of the horrible things Trump has done, and do not project hypotheticals as opposed to conducting a professional analysis of what is happening in politics right now and what its consequences would be. You also know that I do not like being told what to write about, do not like being told to stop expressing myself, and do not like being told to give up. I understand you meant those words in good faith but I do need you to know that my integrity as an independent journalist is important to me. I am not looking to make decisions about what to write by taking a vote.

Expand full comment

Absolutely, Seth. Most of these readers are a good deal older and more politically aware than the majority of tuned-out swing voters who will sway the election. If you look for a person who polls well in that population segment, you found her. 12 years of both vetting and political acid tests, with Barack. Great favorable numbers with groups: younger, and/or female, and/or black swing voters.

Expand full comment

I think that this is the first time, at least in the Television Age, where a candidate went on television to dispel a rumor, only to pour gasoline on it. People who are deeply connected, at a professional level, who would spin something six ways come Sunday, if they thought that there was a chance that this was just a blip. If you look at the people who could conceivably win, because they have both the reputation, and more importantly, the ability to pull the politically disinterested, unplugged in, swing voter, who’s more connected to reality TV than reality? That’s our 4-6%. No one will poll better than Michelle Obama, who brings along political Dems and the disaffected, and does not stomp on Kamala Harris’ achievements. She could run, in four years, with more visibility than the Biden Administration has given to her.

Expand full comment

I was looking at the 538 percentages to win in November. I was surprised to learn that Michelle O's percent chance to be POTUS was 4x that of RFK Jr.. I'm not sure whether that was before or after the debate melt-down.

Expand full comment

Actually, he's not until the convention.

Expand full comment
founding

Biden has announced that he will stay in the race!

I applaud him for this! All of these opinions about Biden being too frail and too old. To run our America

Are insane! Look at all he has done for all of us! He says what he will do. And he gets it done..

Many were disappointed in the debate that he had with the biggest liar on earth and a Felon.. and a Devil. Yes. Biden was weak yet he was recovering from a cold and from traveling all over the World!

He had a bad night. When a good man fails..

He rises!!!! And This is what Biden has done!

He is older and wiser.. he is the best man for us to be

President of our Country Tis Of Thee!

He is here to Serve.. All the People!

He loves our Country, Democracy, cares about everything everyone needs..

He has the most beautiful, smart, ambitious woman

Beside him as his Vice President as Kamala Harris!

Together they are a fabulous team and will serve

America and win!

Only We The People can save ourselves…

By voting Blue! For President Joe Biden..and Kamala Harris! Vote Vote💙💙💙💙💙💙

Expand full comment

Perfectly said, thank you! 💙

President Biden has proven his worth for 3.5 years yet 90 minutes is enough to make pundits clutch their pearls and want to push him aside.

Who will they choose since whomever they choose will be without any money and have only 4 months to make their case. I think it’s they who are throwing the country under the bus!

Expand full comment
founding

I love what you said .. so very true.. no time to change… Biden can do it!💙

Expand full comment
founding

I dread to think how many "poor 90 minutes" I've had in my life. Imagine if we were all eviscerated and cancelled because of just one of those times. Who would be here now?

Beautifully put, Buffy. Judge the man on his deeds. It's not just for his compulsive criminal activities that fat lad holds those tiny hands out and says "I did nothing".

Expand full comment

If only it were that simple. If it were only a matter of an uncharacteristic 90 minutes, I and many other Biden voters would not have been watching through out fingers, in terror, if at all.

Expand full comment
founding

Vote Trump then! Simple.

Expand full comment

Not a chance. But I prefer to cast my vote for a winning candidate.

Expand full comment
founding

Me too. I've voted today. Not for whom my heart would like, so I do sympathise with you. My head, however, screams to eliminate the far-right in Britain, before it's too late. Crush the orange turd for us, will you? He's a bad influence on the braindead over here as well. ;-)

Expand full comment

I've always thought that vesting one person with so much power was a necessary evil, so that voting was blocking the most evil. By the way, I saw that Nigel Farage's party, the closest thing to MAGA over there, would win on;y three seats.

Expand full comment

The debate was a sample of one which, statistically is irrelevant. We've been constantly criticizing the MSM but now we're going to trust them. And, as Seth so accurately stated, we're only talking about the first 10 minutes as being horrendous. Allan Lichtman who is an American University history professor and has successfully predicted many Presidential races, said that Biden’s performance in the past 4 years has been exemplary and his performance in a 90-minute debate cannot be used to judge his overall performance. Noah Berlatsky wrote “The pundit class needs to get a grip: Politics isn’t fantasy football and there’s no One Weird Trick to beat Trump”. The real question in this race is who do you trust now that the President has absolute and presumptive immunity. We all know the answer to that.

Expand full comment

Did I read correctly in this article or elsewhere that shortly before the debate Biden took trips to Europe and CA? Who are the adults in the room including him, his family, and his staff? A person in good health decades younger would be worn out. And this was a late evening debate pitting Biden, a stutterer, against a known amoral bully. Going forward, Common sense is needed. And likely a staff shakeup too.

Expand full comment

Good Point!

Expand full comment

The media is doing what it has been trained to do since saint ronnie imported Russian operative Rupert with his faux news - heads we win tails the dems lose. I'm coming to believe none of the US mainstream media really believes what they are seeing and what the right wing, like the Koch head of Heritage Foundation just told us: the revolution will be bloodless only if the liberals allow it. If that isn't an open declaration of insurrection, what is? Tomorrow we will be 248 years old and are back exactly where we were before the Declaration of Independence!

Expand full comment

Well said

Expand full comment

I saw the entire debate where Biden was starting to nod off from the combination of jet lag & too much cold medicine. Interestingly, he later stated he was, during the debate, having trouble staying awake during the debate. VISIBLY true!!

His schedule of repeated trips across the Atlantic in recent days before the debate was challenging at any age. His last flight back from Europe went straight to Calif for a fundraiser on Pacific Time. I worried ahead, when I heard the plan in the news, that had to be excessive jet lag before heading back to Washington in the run up to such a major debate.

If Biden's political advisors & handlers regularly, routinely saw him in the shape he was in during the debate, they would NEVER have permitted him to debate in prime time. It's because he was physically struggling to keep from falling into deep, sound sleep that he fumbled so drastically.

Expand full comment
author

The family has confirmed he was *not* on medication. Not disagreeing with any of your views, just noting this recent development—which I admit surprised me.

Expand full comment

He should have been on some medication. What are doctors for?

Expand full comment

I was thinking cold medicine too. Many of these medicines would ruin any person's debate performance.

Expand full comment

"Interestingly, he later stated he was, during the debate, having trouble staying awake during the debate"

Absolute, utter, complete excrement of a male bovine. Shame on you.

He didn't "nod off" and he didn't say he did.

Expand full comment

Ah, but he did. And more power to him for fessing up: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4752878-joe-biden-debate-almost-fell-asleep-foreign-travel/. These next 72 hours or so will have to tell the tale - the interview with Stephanopoulos tomorrow primetime up to 90 minutes, an accelerating and suddenly desperate campaign struggle, the run-up to NATO next week, and who knows what unforeseens. Good god, only an absolute nut would want the job. Or, thankfully, Joe.

I'm with Seth on this one -- the govs shouldn't be "having his back" (et tu, Brute?) but standing right beside him, supporting him, and shouting, "this is all of us." And the Michelle dream? Seth, it does sound like a fantasy, but you've got me crying a little here ;-).

Expand full comment

What's the weather like there on Earth II, where the sky is green and the grass is blue?

Expand full comment

Beautifully crafted argument. Many in the comments are the same folks who lost their minds during the first ten minutes of the debate; they tune out too early in your article. The reasons you set out for Biden's possibly stepping down are measured, well-paced and exquisitely civilized. And the Mrs. Obama scenario is worthy of both Frank Capra and Paddy Chayesky.

Expand full comment

As always, Seth Abramson makes my thinker light up and twinkle. This is a fascinating piece of political analysis. One point you seem to have overlooked ... how does anyone get on the ballot in all 50 states if a new nominee (Michelle Obama -- be still my heart) isn't selected until the very late Democratic convention?

Expand full comment
author
Jul 4·edited Jul 4Author

My understanding—and this may be faulty—is that the Democratic nominee has ballot access because of work done by the party already (and over years), whereas any independent or third-party candidate has to rely (respectively) on their own petition drive or the status of their third party to get the access Democratic and Republican nominees are assured of because of the legal status of those two major parties on a state-by-state basis.

Expand full comment

I need to do more research because I have seen a number of references to state rules (Ohio being the one that pops into my mind first) that require the nominee to be named by certain cut-off dates and many of them are before the August convention. I think that is why they are having a "virtual" roll call in July. Here is an article about it (written on June 23rd - how much can change without notice.)

https://michiganadvance.com/2024/06/23/exclusive-dnc-moves-ahead-on-all-virtual-roll-call-for-biden-presidential-nomination/

ABK in STL

Expand full comment
Jul 4·edited Jul 4

I gather that the funds can be in a way "laundered" (not criminally) through the party and/or PACs to be of use, but that the process is complex and presumably time consuming.

Expand full comment

most of this is so Right On that I squandered funds from my Social Security to subscribe. I'm agnostic on Michelle--she does have the "campaign chest" disadvantage.

What would you think of Joe appearing on some decent interview show (to avoid all the teleprompters is really speaking crap) and saying "I am actually in the peak of health after recovering from my cold. But should bad things happen after I am elected, I care enough about my country to step down in favor of my VP, and I so promise the nation. No need for use of the 25th Amendment. I challenge trump to make that same promise without lying just as he did about Mexico paying for his wall. "

Expand full comment

And of course this is happening tomorrow night 7/5/24 - one-on-one on ABC with George Stephanopoulos at 8pm Eastern time, for as much as 90 minutes. We all know where we'll be. Let us pray this'll be about what President Biden says, not just how he says it. Despite his many, many faults -- he'll never be Bernie, which is why the establishment let him in -- this is the brave and honest man our time demands, and better than too many of us deserve. Fingers crossed that all those celebrity journalists, we-have-your-back-stabbing pols, and big-paper "editorialist" boards that are no more than their publishers' shills, will actually listen to the words coming out of Biden's mouth before they open theirs. And fingers crossed that they and every American not just watch but read the transcripts, and listen/read with text-to-speech for that matter (highly recommended) to last week's debate and tomorrow's interview. Good vs evil - how much plainer do we need it?

Expand full comment
founding

Opportunity there for a media outlet to do the right thing for once.

I gave a wry smile there, ..."Trump ... without lying...." More chance of him becoming a waiflike supermodel! The day he tells the truth, no one will believe him.

Expand full comment

Biden is a disaster and will lose. This isn't just a media freakout, it's there in the polling and apparent in the focus groups of voters who hate Trump (but can no longer vote for Biden)

Data for Progress has a poll showing that voters care more about Biden's age than Trump's threat by an 11 point margin.

Trump is a uniquely terrible candidate but dems have someone who cannot prosecute the case (and more can cancels out Trump's negatives).

Call people stupid, they are, but that's our reality.

I suggest listening to what they say these voters have to say, as this is not just some pundit-manufactured crisis:

https://youtu.be/KlDCwEraFaE?si=0PEvPpfvdPGA6KvW

Expand full comment
founding
Jul 4·edited Jul 4

We've gone to the polls here in Britain today. We have several parties to choose from.

I'm not overly sold on any party but have stuck my cross in the box for Labour. They're the best chance of defeating the Conservatives in my area so that's my pick.

Anything but a Tory. We voted in a Tory MP in 2019 - the first time for 90 years. He's just come out of prison for sexual abuse of an underage boy. It will be another 90 years before the Cons get another chance again, thank God.

Our country is on its knees. Hospitals are crippled, especially after the Cons' "Let the bodies pile high" policy on Covid. Public transport can't get you there. Businesses can no longer afford the electricity to stay open. My very own excrement floats in the stream behind my house, along with everything else flushed into our sewers.

You're lucky you still have a choice. Put your cross next to Trump's name and revoke that privilege. Then you can stand in your own sh*t at the beach too.

Expand full comment

Ellie D. I saw you very troublesome state of affairs just last night on our PBSNews channel. Indeed, I am very sorry for you all. I think your Tory’s are like our Conservatives. Your Labor’s are like our Democrats. If there is any similarity, I think your vote was the correct one. Our Conservatives and your Tory’s are woefully out of touch with reality AND the needs of our respective peoples. Well done, and good luck!

Expand full comment

I agree with you, Caleb. Most voters, including swing voters in battleground states, have thought for over a year that Biden is too old. Biden has consistently trailed Trump (albeit sometimes within margin of error) for over a year, and his team wanted to change the trajectory by arranging a debate in June, with rules that they agreed to. This was Biden's chance to prove he will be able to handle all the challenges of being POTUS for the next 4 years. Unfortunately, he had a very bad night, and most Americans who watched this debate felt Biden looked very old and did not show that he would be able to serve as POTUS for the next 4 months, let alone the next 4 years. Sarah Longwell's focus groups of swing voters in the battleground states showed this perception is not held only by media elites, this is held by many actual voters in the battleground states (which the Dems MUST win to defeat Trump). (As documented in the link above). I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for the Biden/Harris ticket in 2020 and voted for Biden in the primary. I think Biden has done a great job as president, so far, and I watched the SOTU and was reassured. However, I am very, very skeptical that Biden can defeat Trump, without being able to go to rallies in battleground states 4-5 days per week and appear on TV, such as on Kimmel, Colbert, Meyers, etc. He doesn't done that, at close to the necessary frequency yet, and I don't think he has the energy to do so. If he debates again in September, I am not confident he will do much better. In light of the SCOTUS decision in Trump vs. US, this election has become existential. If Trump wins, our democracy may be over. At best, Trump will transform America to Hungary, at worst, he will become president for life and we could end up like Russia. The Dems need to nominate the candidate who is most able to defeat Trump. I will vote for whoever the Dems nominate, because she or he will definitely be better than Trump. The question is, who will the swing voters in the battleground states vote for. I believe Biden is a good man and a patriot, and if Dem leaders can help him understand he is very unlikely to win and that another, younger, candidate can win, I think, eventually, he would be willing to do what is best for the country. If Michelle Obama is willing to serve, I would certainly support her, but I would also be glad to vote for Gretchen Whitmer, Kamala Harris or Josh Shapiro, if the Democratic convention nominates one of them instead. The most important goal must be to defeat Trump. The Democratic Party is not a cult, we do not worship our leaders, normally, and we are the party that can see and face reality (unlike the Trump party). If the reality is that, in spite of all his accomplishments, Biden is still trailing Trump in the polls by 4+% in a week, including in the battleground states, with 70+% of the voters feeling he is not mentally capable of serving as POTUS for the next 4 years, we need to acknowledge that rather than ignoring it or pretending voters don't feel that way. If Biden is too old to rise to the occasion, the Dems need to nominate a candidate who has a better chance of winning.

Expand full comment

Biden being too old will win the election for Trump.

So.... he ain't... !!! Ok.!

Expand full comment

This is absurdity. tRump can’t put a coherent sentence together or answer a question, and he’s only 3 yrs younger than Biden yet Biden’s too old? Seriously?

Why is EVERYONE treating tRump as a normal candidate after almost a decade of nonstop lies and criminality?!

Expand full comment

Barring some event that makes Trump look yet older...yes.

Expand full comment

You should read his article from last week

Expand full comment

American so-called democracy will not survive if voters and media keep putting "person" before politics, policy and substance. A lousy debate performance can happen to anyone, but what should be focused is politics, policy and substance. And you just gotta vote. If you really want an autocratic convicted snake oil salesman without any politics or policy except that he likes Putin and Kim Il Jong, after one debate - then good luck.

The rest of the world is watching - and worrying.....

Expand full comment

Be still my heart 🌹💜🌹

What a wonderful idea.

But, I'm rooting for Biden.

Expand full comment

Our current election scenario is

ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR DEMOCRACY!

Conveying that message to voters that our nation and world will be DESTROYED without a STRONG UNITED DEMOCRATIC ELECTORATE RESPONSE this fall should be the TOP PRIMARY ISSUE CONTINUALLY MESSAGED TO VOTERS!

Expand full comment

I support Biden even now. I had a lengthy career as a political scientist but did not make elections and parties my speciality. But I learned to pay attention to fellow political scientists whose work DOES focus on those things and here is what I suspect many of THEM would say: 90 days from now, if inflation has continued to tick downward and the other economic indicators remain more or less as they have, Biden is likely to have recovered enough voter support to win IF the Democratic turnout in the battleground states is strong AND other parts of the “ground game” (e.g. mail-in ballot curing in PA) function well AND Biden’s team, as expected, zealously prosecutes the mother-of-all negative campaigns deploying the endless trove of Trump-related material we all know they have in stock AND —- this is key — Biden does NOTHING further to undermine his standing. Bottom Line: if Biden stays in, gets lucky, and plays “perfect baseball” they can win. This remains a winnable race. Beowulf can still slay Grendel.

Expand full comment

Seth, I appreciate your writing always, and it gives me great hope. Thank you so much.

Expand full comment

You've convinced me. At least there is hope for our democracy with this scenario.

Expand full comment