On Saturday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd spoke for three quarters of the Democratic Party, urging President Joe Biden to announce that he will not be running for re-election for the good of the country.
In her opinion piece, titled, “Hey, Joe, Don’t Give It a Go,” Dowd urged the president to not make the mistake that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did, and leave office before overstaying his welcome and making things worse for the Democratic Party.
Dowd began, stating, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a cautionary tale. She missed the moment to leave the stage, ignoring friendly nudges from Democrats and entreaties from Obama allies.”
As such, “Her death opened the door to the most conservative court in nearly a century. Her successor, a religious zealot straight out of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ is erasing Justice Ginsburg’s achievements on women’s rights,” Dowd noted, referencing Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
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Addressing Biden directly, she insisted, “The timing of your exit can determine your place in the history books.”
Though she acknowledged the recent string of successes for Biden, such as Democrats finding enough support to pass legislation such as the “Inflation Reduction Act,” the columnist argued that this “winning streak” should not inspire him to run again.
“The opposite is true. It should give him the confidence to leave, secure in the knowledge that he has made his mark,” Dowd said.
She continued to give the president credit, stating, “President Biden has had a cascade of legislative accomplishments on tech manufacturing, guns, infrastructure — and hopefully soon, climate and prescription drugs — that validate his promises when he ran.” She called them “genuine achievements that Democrats have been chasing for decades, and they will affect generations to come.”
Though again, she mentioned that he could “leave on a high, knowing that he has delivered on his promises for progress and restored decency to the White House.”
Dowd characterized Biden’s presidency “as a balm to the bombastic Donald Trump,” and “an escape from Trump and Trumpism, a way to help us get our bearings after the thuggish and hallucinatory reign of a con man.”
Implying that’s all it should have ever been, she subsequently wrote, “Then he and his team got carried away and began unrealistically casting him as an F.D.R. with a grand vision to remake the social contract.”
“Biden’s mission was not to be a visionary but to be a calming force for a country desperately in need of calming, and a bridge to the next generation,” Dowd wrote, adding that “he’s a logical one-termer.”
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Dowd gave credence to the “growing sense in the Democratic Party and in America” that dodging a “comeback by Trump or the rise of the odious Ron DeSantis,” requires “new blood.”
She argued that if Biden admitted his plans for next term now, “it would give Democrats a chance to sort through their meh field and leave time for a fresh, inspiring candidate to emerge.”
Dowd then called Biden a “lame duck,” but spun that to work in his favor, writing, “Usually, being a lame duck weakens you. But in Biden’s case, it could strengthen him. We live in a Washington where people too often put power over principle.”
“So the act of leaving could elevate Biden, freeing him from typical re-election pressures, so he and his team could do what they thought was right rather than what was politically expedient,” she claimed.
Dowd also mentioned that the question of Biden’s age won’t go away, as it’s “already a hot topic in focus groups and an undercurrent in Democratic circles.”
She then concluded her column, stating that for Biden to deal with these “dangerous times” involving inflation, climate change, China, and “women’s rights on the line,” “It might be best to have a president unshackled from the usual political restraints.”
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