Maybe Joe Biden is a lot better at this campaign thing than people think

Mar 7, 2024; Washington, DC, USA; President Joe Biden smiles before delivering the State of the Union address to Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 7, 2024. Left is Vice President Kalama Harris, right is Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La) Mandatory Credit: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY
President Joe Biden smiles before delivering the 2024 State of the Union. Photo: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY via IMAGN

For weeks, pundits have been floating the kind of stupid ideas that only very smart people can dream up. Convinced that Joe Biden was turning the White House into an assisted living facility, panicked liberals were suggesting that Biden should step aside, either by throwing the convention wide open or by endorsing another candidate as his replacement.

This political version of fantasy football was dumb for two big reasons: It was predicated on the idea that some unnamed person would perform much better than Biden, and it glossed over the massive chaos that such a last-minute ballot change would bring about.

Yet political observers were so sure that Biden was not up to the task that they convinced themselves that throwing Democrats into turmoil was somehow a better strategy for winning than reconciling themselves to the fact that Biden isn’t going anywhere.

Then came the State of the Union address.

For over an hour, the world got to see a fiery and energetic Biden dish it out to Republicans, responding to their taunts by toying with them the way a cat toys with a mouse. He was funny and quick on his feet. No wonder Biden got favorable reviews from viewers.

The president was far from the “dithering and diminished” old man that Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL) attacked in the GOP rebuttal. Indeed, Britt was the one who flopped. She was so bad that she trended (not in a good way) on social media and was described “as the stuff of nightmares” by a fellow Republican. Britt also lied when she tied a sex trafficking story to Biden’s border policies. As it turns out, the story took place entirely in Mexico 20 years ago.

At this point, you’d think people would stop underestimating Biden. He went through the same cycle in 2020, when his primary campaign was considered dead in the water, only to roar back to life.

There is no getting around the fact that Biden is now even older than he was then. During his speech, he poked fun at his age, which helped address the elephant in the room. But he demonstrated that he is up to the job.

As always with Biden, there were flubs. He’s not the smooth speaker that Barack Obama is. But that’s not a sign of age. That’s just who he’s always been.

Biden’s biggest problem, besides his age, is the mainstream media. We are now facing an endless run of stories about how tired the American public is with the rematch between Biden and Trump. Well, the rank and file of each party, especially the GOP, had a chance to nominate a different candidate, and they didn’t.

Worse still, Donald Trump’s felonious and dictatorial inclinations keep getting diminished with time. Axios ran a story that said that Trump was softening his language about the 2020 election being stolen – something that is patently untrue. Trump keeps getting treated as if he is just another candidate instead of the threat that he is.

Due to a misplaced sense of balance, you can count on the media continuing to resort to both-sidesism throughout the presidential race. At least for the time being, however, we can put aside the image of Biden as teetering on the edge of senility and needing to step aside quickly. He’s going to be the Democratic nominee. Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. Those are the choices. It can’t be any clearer than that.

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