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Pretending Joe Biden Is Fine

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic primary debate in Charleston, S.C., February 25, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

As what appears to be a willful act of national make-believe sweeps the Democratic primaries, Alexandra Petri has a funny sarcastic column in the Washington Post: “I just remembered Joe Biden is fine.” She writes:

Please don’t show me any footage of Joe Biden saying or doing things. Or of me saying or doing things about Joe Biden, pointing out what I erroneously thought were major and obvious flaws in his candidacy. I forgot: They were not.

Biden has been trying to achieve the presidency since 1988. Even in his best days, he was not a strong candidate. And he’s much weaker today. Are Democrats just going to pretend that Biden didn’t look the other way while family members leveraged their connections to him to go into places like Ukraine and collect large paychecks? That Biden offers a coherent vision of where to take the country other than hokey nostalgia and bromides? That he wouldn’t be, on the day he takes office, older than any chief executive has ever been on the last day of his presidency? That his unscripted speech isn’t rambling, nonsensical, and bizarre? That he isn’t already showing signs of incipient dementia, ten months before his term would even begin? That he doesn’t make Grandpa Simpson look like a sage?

On the basis of winning a single small state, is Joe Biden suddenly . . . fine? I can hear Democrats saying: “Trump’s sentences don’t parse so well, either.” Okay. Wasn’t the whole point of the Democratic primary season to find a candidate who was clearly better than Trump, though?

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