The New York Times Columnists Biden Cares About Tell Him to Go

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President Joe Biden’s supporters might have hoped that his performance in Thursday night’s debate against Donald Trump would stamp out burning questions about his age and his ability to secure another term in office. Instead, his stumbling and error-prone display poured gasoline on the flames.

The conflagration reached all the way to the opinion pages of The New York Times, where not a single one of a panel of 12 writers concluded Biden had won the head-to-head with his opponent, a recently convicted felon. Worse still, a host of columnists at the newspaper were outright calling for him to abandon his re-election bid altogether.

“I watched the Biden-Trump debate alone in a Lisbon hotel room, and it made me weep,” wrote Thomas Friedman, a political commentator and friend of Biden. “I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime—precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election.”

He went on to call Trump a “fire hose of lies” who is himself “nowhere close to what it will take for America to lead in the 21st century.”

“To give America the greatest shot possible of deterring the Trump threat in November, the president has to come forward and declare that he will not be running for re-election and is releasing all of his delegates for the Democratic National Convention,” Friedman wrote.

He later expressed concern about Biden’s performance in light of his prep. “If that is the best performance they could summon from him, it’s time for Joe to keep the dignity he deserves and leave the stage at the end of this term,” he wrote.

Nicholas Kristof reached a similar conclusion.

In a piece under the headline “President Biden, I’ve Seen Enough,” Kirstof also described Biden as a “good man” who “capped a long career in public service with a successful presidential term.” “But I hope he reviews his debate performance Thursday evening and withdraws from the race, throwing the choice of a Democratic nominee to the convention in August,” he wrote.

Kristof explained that it’s now “hard to avoid the feeling” that Biden remaining in the race will boost Trump’s chances of winning a new presidential term. “We see the world through narratives, and one of the narratives about Biden is that he is too old,” he wrote. “His performance reinforced that narrative when he needed to shatter it. Biden, unable to puncture Trump’s repeated falsehoods, allowed a convicted felon to win the debate.”

He wrote that Biden could “resolve” the issue “by withdrawing from the race” and allowing replacement candidate to be chosen.

Kristof acknowledged that the decision to withdraw would be a “wrenching choice” for Biden. “But, Mr. President,” he added, “[O]ne way you can serve your country in 2024 is by announcing your retirement and calling on delegates to replace you, for that is the safest course for our nation.”

If he was looking for solace, Biden wouldn’t find much from Frank Bruni either. “But can Biden beat Trump?” he asked. “That question predated the debate and will be asked with even more urgency and panic in its aftermath. As will this one: Is it really too late for another Democrat to take Biden’s place? With stakes this high, mustn’t that be discussed one more time before the convention?”

Paul Krugman joined the pile on in a piece entitled: The Best President of My Adult Life Needs to Withdraw.

He wrote: “I must very reluctantly join the chorus asking Biden to voluntarily step aside, with emphasis on the “voluntary” aspect. Maybe some Biden loyalists will consider this a betrayal, given how much I have supported his policies, but I fear that we need to recognize reality.”

Three more of the NYT’s Op-Ed writers, Ezra Klein, Michelle Cottle and Ross Douthat, weighed in on the “Matter of Opinion” podcast which was given the ominous title: Is Biden Too Old? America Got Its Answer.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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