Open Thread: Does Joe Biden Actually Want to Run Again?

Certainly the Horse-Race Media Touts want him to get out in the scrum again, but I don’t get the impression he’s all that enthusiastic about the idea. In fact, I’m getting a strong flavor of Teddy Kennedy’s reluctance before his disastrous campaign against Jimmy Carter (which, as we only discovered after Teddy’s death, was because he was credibly afraid of being murdered like his brothers).

There is, or was, a weird theological argument / superstition among working-class American Catholics that used to be called “Irish Jansenism”. Basically, it held that the right ethical choice was the one about which you felt the least enthusiastic or the most conflicted — “If being virtuous was easy, anyone could do it.” It was widely influential when I was growing up, and I assume at least as popular in Joe Biden’s formative years.

Biden’s certainly old enough, and experienced enough, and has done enough for his party and his country, that an honorable retirement has to be tempting. He doesn’t talk about wanting to be President any more; he talks about the urgent necessity of removing Trump, and hints about promises made to his dying son. But he sounds, to me, like a man trying to talk himself into an unpleasant duty because he “should”, not like the happy warrior he’s always played on the national stage.






150 replies
  1. 1

    I like Biden, so I beg him not to run.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Find me one article anywhere urging him to take up knitting, or baking, or even tinkering with his Trans-Am.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    I hope that he doesn’t run. His time was 2016, and he didn’t.

  4. 4
    patrick II says:

    Perhaps the Horse-Race media, without acknowledging it, would prefer someone who would lose to Tramp. Trump helps sales and Keeps taxes low.

  5. 5

    @Gin & Tonic:

    tinkering with his Trans-Am.

    Corvette. It was the Onion’s take on Biden who had a Trans-Am.

  6. 6
    JLowe says:

    Maybe an angry Joe Biden is what we could use right about now.

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: I know.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m working on a post about knitting a Trans-Am. Does that count?

  9. 9
    Another Scott says:

    https://twitter.com/anamariecox/status/930175081636089856

    ana marie cox Verified account @anamariecox

    Jesus.

    Jezebel Verified account @Jezebel

    Joe Biden on Anita Hill: “I feel really badly that she didn’t feel like the process worked” http://bit.ly/2hqMvsm

    12:46 PM – 13 Nov 2017

    Yeah.

    It’s old, but so is Joe.

    Stay home, Joe.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  10. 10
    chopper says:

    i hope he doesn’t run, but i’m afraid of telling him that or he’ll whip out a butterfly knife.

  11. 11
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Another Scott: Oh, God. that’s bad. I’m still mad about it. Enough that I’m still mad Obama picked him in 08.

    “She” didn’t feel like the process worked?! Honey, add millions of us to that. he diminishes it to just Professor Hill there. He can eat glass … just like we did, and still do. I hope he eats it by inserting it in his weenis.

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Onlyif it’s about Uncle Joe knitting a Trans-Am.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: My uncle’s name is Joel, but I can probably make it work.

  14. 14
    PJ says:

    I also don’t think Biden wants to run. If he wanted to run, he would have already entered the race. He would have been working on it since Trump was elected. I understand his reasons for not running in 2016 (his son Beau had just died; his other son Hunter was dating Beau’s widow – which right wing media would have run with like a greedy dog who snagged a string of linked sausages; and Hillary had locked up a lot of the big money donors), but I also think he didn’t really want to run then, either – if he had, he would have been working on it since 2012, as Hillary did.

    The unfortunate thing is that he thinks, as I do, that if he had been the Democratic candidate (a big if), he would have beaten Trump, because he wouldn’t have had twenty years of anti-Clinton baggage to deal with, and he wouldn’t have had to deal with the people who would vote for a woman, but not that woman. And he believes he could be an effective President (which I also do). But I also don’t think he can win the Democratic primary now, and there are many other candidates already running who would likely be effective Presidents as well (though probably none who are as well versed in foreign policy). And he’s smart enough to know that, whatever the polls say now, he would have to work very hard to win the primary and everything he ever did or said would have to be answered for. Which is why he probably won’t run, but it will still gnaw at him until he dies.

  15. 15

    the Horse-Race Media Touts

    …are overwhelmingly racist and misogynistic and agree with the GOP on most policy points despite calling themselves liberals. They would love Biden over the actual front-runners.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Another Scott: Not old enough (just to clarify for anyone wondering, I followed the link, and he said that it in fucking 2017)

    and all his other baggage aside, Biden is like Klobuchar, offering nothing that I’ve seen to excite the base, just smug I-know-what’s-best insiderism. And again I say that as someone who is deeply skeptical of the left triumphalism of the Wilmer-AOC wing of twitter

  17. 17
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    If only he wasn’t so shrill!//

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s the spirit.

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    Courtesy of Odenkirks, #BestPresident.

    thank you for electing me as your sixteenth President. I will do great job! #bestpresident

    President for one day and more of the South already thretaning to secede. Being treated very unfairly by Slave States, more than any other President!

    That loser Jeff Davis (fake president) is going to get what’s coming to him! No mercy for double-crossers.

    Just offered the excellent Robert E. Lee of Virginia our top post @Army. He is a world-class general from West Point (very smart). I pick the best people!

    Robert the Rat made a very poor decision . . . good! I don’t want a third-rate general leading our fine men! #bestpresident

    Stovepipe hat too heavy, filled with legal papers, Bible quotations &articles of war. South, test me, I will sign!1!! #bestpresident

    More at linkie.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    Alex Trebek has stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

  21. 21
    Ohio Mom says:

    My bottom line is, I just want a Democratic candidate who can win. I don’t care what size shape gender height color background or history they have.

    I don’t care if they’ve done stuff I don’t like. For one small example, I didn’t like Hickenlooper befriending my former governor but if he could win (I doubt it) I’m for him. Biden has said lots of things worthy of an eye roll or worse but if he can win, I’m for him. The list goes on.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: Oh, that sucks.

    My father died of that over 30 years ago, and from what I understand the prognosis hasn’t changed appreciably in the intervening decades.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    Aww, that stinks. Brutal, pancreatic cancer, just brutal.

  24. 24
    Steeplejack says:

    I think successful politicians—like actors, athletes and musicians—struggle with the issue of retirement. When is it time to go? At the highest level, there is a natural exit point: after you’ve been president, that’s it. That can be frustrating for those who get close but don’t quite make it. There’s probably a great temptation to think, If I run one more time I can make it. And, by the nature of the profession, you’re surrounded by people who are to some extent enablers. “You can do it!” It’s hard to tell the boss the product isn’t a good fit when the boss is the product. And preference polls that are about nothing more than name recognition just add fuel to the fire.

  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    @JPL: My Mom had that. Most of the time, pancreatic cancer isn’t found until it has advanced and spread. Also, medical science has not yet found an effective treatment. I hope Mr. Trevek gets top of the line palliative care., and that he knows how many people have enjoyed his efforts to entertain us.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ohio Mom: Hickenlooper put a belled fool’s cap on his head and danced like the long lost Fourth Stooge with that “I’d just go to Mitch McConnell’s office and talk it out” comment, and while I suspect Biden thinks he could do the same, all Biden needs to do to get me excited is announce that his Medicare For All policy is a public option/buy-in.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    @JPL:

    It took my father within a year of diagnosis.

    Prayers for him and his family.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: Too good a death for that lying fraud.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    which, as we only discovered after Teddy’s death, was because he was credibly afraid of being murdered like his brothers

    Understandable but utterly wrong. He was of far more use to the right-wingers alive.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @Ohio Mom: @rikyrah: efgoldman’s daughter was on Jeopardy a few years ago.

    He’s going to keep working.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    The Democrats need someone who can match Trump for glibness and speaking skill.

    Obviously, this does not mean that Trump is particularly skilled, but he knows how to rattle his opponents and rally his supporters. You gotta be fast with a sound bite. Biden is not good with a fast quip.

    Otherwise, I think he is a little old. But there are so many Democrats running that it is pointless to pre-disqualify anyone.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    has done enough for his party and his country

    Assumes facts not in evidence (unless you’re a banking/credit card behemoth).

  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    Too good a death for that lying fraud.

    @Adam L Silverman: Jesus, what did he do, kill your mom? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: Let’s just say the the process for picking the contestants for Jeopardy is not exactly on the up and up.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: You also forget, because I’m polite and civil, that my occupation is actually merchant of death. I’m a dangerous person, not a nice one.

    I don’t like being lied to. I don’t like being jerked around. I don’t like having my time and money wasted. And if I can’t find a way to even the scales, I’m more than willing to just watch the universe do it.

  36. 36
    satby says:

    @ AL up top:

    But he sounds, to me, like a man trying to talk himself into an unpleasant duty because he “should”, not like the happy warrior he’s always played on the national stage.

    I totally agree, and also hope he doesn’t run. He’s a good guy, but he’s earned his retirement. I hope he takes it and stands ready to help whomever our nominee is during the campaign and in a new Democratic administration. We’ll need all able bodied hands on deck to clean up the mess the Trumpers will leave behind.

  37. 37

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You also forget, because I’m polite and civil, that my occupation is actually merchant of death.

    I thought you were a cultural advisor to the merchants of death, not an actual merchant of death yourself.

  38. 38
    takebakawashi says:

    …Teddy Kennedy’s reluctance before his disastrous campaign against Jimmy Carter (which, as we only discovered after Teddy’s death, was because he was credibly afraid of being murdered like his brothers).

    I had no idea. Where can I find out more about this?

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I watched my father die of pancreatic cancer, and it’s not a fate I’d wish on Dick Cheney.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m a national security professional. Being a senior civilian advisor doesn’t mean I’m always arguing against the use of kinetic action and lethal force. Sometimes it is is arguing for more effective ways to use it or providing clarification for how to use it without causing further problems.

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    I said after 2016 that I’d turn all of my attention toward California and write off the rest of the nation. This is why. You aren’t going to win over the butthurt white people. We tried, and they responded by electing Trump. Whatever policy opinions they felt were worth listening to got burned to the ground over that decision. You cannot reason with them, and it only hurts Dem turnout to try.

    The time to wage ideological debates with these people is long past. Instead of demanding buy in, we put policies forward and tell them to either get on board or get left behind. That’s ultimately what the civil war was – the end of debate and a settling of policy due to action. The south lost, and they had a choice to get on board or not. They did a bit of each, and I’m tired of hauling their sorry ass around 150 years later. It’s not a debate any more. Here’s where we need to go. Join in, or reap the economic consequences. That’s the very argument being put to California now by the Trump administration. Time to give right back. Biden missed his chance. Time for Dems to come in and act.

  42. 42
    dr. bloor says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You have no idea how unsettling it is to see a highly competent and accomplished NatSec professional go off the rails over game show rigging.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dr. bloor: Fine, fine. This is terrible news. I hope he gets all the best drugs and his passing is as easy, comfortable, and painless as possible.

    Happy now?

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Alex Trebek is a likable person, and it’s so sad. I’m glad he decided to continue working because it seems to bring him joy.

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    Sen. from SD says Trump paid off Stormy because he loves his family so much:

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1103305879653355520

  46. 46
  47. 47

    @Adam L Silverman:

    my occupation is actually merchant of death

    That might have been a bit too grim of an occupation for the folk on Jeopardy.

  48. 48
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Find me one article anywhere urging him to take up knitting, or baking, or even tinkering with his Trans-Am.

    Well here’s a very long and detailed one pointing out that he’s a lousy politician who has left an awful legacy. Will that do?

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: My unpleasant, unfortunate, and thorough waste of my time and money experience occurred when I was an undergraduate.

  50. 50
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    which, as we only discovered after Teddy’s death, was because he was credibly afraid of being murdered like his brothers

    I wanted to know more, and found this article at NBC News. Teddy ran for President knowing that he was already on many RWNJ hit lists.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    Alex Trebek is a likable person

    Being Canadian, it comes with the territory.

    ;)

    BTW, he’s 78.

  52. 52
    Kdaug says:

    @Adam L Silverman: To be determined

  53. 53
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Should have auditioned for Ingmar Bergman instead, I guess.

  54. 54
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: If Jobs couldn’t buy his way of it, it can’t be bought out of.

  55. 55

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: I saw Teddy speak at UCLA just before the CA primary, the Secret Service was there in force. Still have my Kennedy ’80 button(I voted for Jimmy in the primary).

  56. 56
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @zhena gogolia: Presumably he also cheated on Melania two months after she gave birth because he just loved his family so much.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Iwent over to the sergeant. Said, “Sergeant, you got a lot of god-damned
    Gall to ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself! I mean I mean I
    Mean that you send I’m sittin’ here on the bench I mean I’m
    Sittin’ here on the Group W bench, ’cause you want to know if I’m moral
    Enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a
    Litterbug”

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    You cannot reason with them, and it only hurts Dem turnout to try.

    I don’t think that what you say about affecting Dem turnout is true or is supported by the data, especially in California. We have Independents, more Independents I think than Republicans. And most Independents lean toward the left, but they are always in play and can be persuaded by one side or the other.

    I may despised most Trump voters, but if I can turn them (or Bernie supporters or other idiots) and get them to vote for a Democrat, then it helps secure the win. And that’s what I want. Not voter purity. And any Democrat who says “you will lose my vote if you try to appeal to disaffected Republicans” is a goddam fool.

    ETA: I heard some idiot on the radio whose life was saved because of the Affordable Care Act talk about how he couldn’t vote for Hillary in 2016 because she was not likeable. He is knee deep in the regime of a president whose policies would kill him and still thinks that not voting for Hillary was the right thing to do. Total moron. I think that there is a lot of conventional thinking that has to be done away with. If Trump is a monster, and I think he is, then I would do anything legal to get rid of him.

  59. 59
    Raven says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I dropped acid, took the bus back to Ft Lewis and took a radio in the laundry room and the news that Bobby was killed hit.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raven: I can honestly state that I am not a litterbug.

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    “I’ll take corrupt, smarmy, lying sleazy asses for 500, Alex.”

    (card rises to reveal clue) “He is -”

    (buzzers sound in unison, contestants shout as a chorus) “Who is Donald Trump?”

    :)

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MisterForkbeard: as I understand it, it’s a legal defense. The Edwards case set a precedent for not guilty by reason of lying for the sake of the marriage, not the election (IANAL, obviously). When Cohen was insisting on how sorry he was to have lied to Melania, I at first thought he was twisting the knife on trump, then a paranoid part of me wondered if he wasn’t planted to help it all go away on that technicality.

  63. 63
    Mandalay says:

    @NotMax:

    BTW, he’s 78.

    Well that certainly doesn’t disqualifying him from running for the Democratic nomination.

    I suppose the glass-half-empty crowd are now going to whine about him being being Canadian and having cancer, but I think he’d make a fine president.

  64. 64
    Kdaug says:

    @PJ: Largely agreed.

    The zeitgeist has shifted. It’s about new ideas, new blood

  65. 65
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The old saying, “Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love,” is still true. I feel like the party needs a candidate a large portion of the base can fall in love with. This is where I think Beto has an in.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @NotMax:

    Alex Trebek is a likable person

    Being Canadian, it comes with the territory.

    Reminds me of this recent Canadian Nice story:

    Canadians find unlocked grocery store, react as Canadians do

    In Ontario, an entire grocery store was left unlocked accidentally over the Family Day holiday of February 19, and not a thing was stolen. Shoppers faced with the lack of employees at the Food Basics store left cash or IOUs, according to CTV. One elderly woman who left empty-handed just left a note for the manager, saying she wanted flour and eggs to make a cake.

  67. 67
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “if I can’t find a way to even the scales”
    Writing is a way.

  68. 68
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Bull. Cohen testified it was to keep it from becoming an issue in the campaign. These guys are idiots.

  69. 69
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Go away, Joe. You are still (mostly) respected. Let’s keep it that way.

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator: I’m not asking for voter purity. And I’m not saying to not try and convince them. I’m saying to not change your policy prescriptions in a hope of winning them over. Every concession you give up loses 2 votes for every one you gain because you have this laser focus on desperately trying to win over a few tens of thousands of white coal miners when you have this:

    Nearly 38% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed that climate change should be a factor in a couple’s decision about whether to have children.

    That’s a massive voting block that Dems should go all-in on, but haven’t because of the policy myths of the white working class. And Biden is the wrong candidate to do that. If you can convince them that climate change is real and we need to do something about it, great, but if not, don’t table or dilute the policy in the hope you’ll win them over because it won’t work. Grab those 18-29 year olds instead.

  71. 71
    PJ says:

    @Mandalay: Every politician is going to have stuff they can be tarred with. Voters get to decide which SOB they prefer.

    I glanced at the article, and it seems that one of Cockburn’s main beefs against Biden is his support for expansion of NATO and getting rid of Yanukovych in Ukraine (i.e., he would not be sufficiently deferential to Vlad.)

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @PJ:

    he wouldn’t have had twenty years of anti-Clinton baggage to deal with

    I can’t think of any current Democrat with more baggage than Biden. That is partly because he has been active for so long, but also because he has made many horrendous choices and blunders.

    Biden is also a mediocre campaigner, a windbag, way too physical with females, way too cozy with Republicans and banks, old and prone to gaffes. Apart from Tulsi Gabbard, he would be the worst possible choice for the nomination.

    He has an aura of competence and respectability because he was Obama’s VP for eight years, but beyond that his achievements aren’t that great.

  73. 73
    dr. bloor says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah….fucked over on a student-loan payoff jackpot. That explains A Lot.

  74. 74

    @Brachiator:

    And most Independents lean toward the left, but they are always in play and can be persuaded by one side or the other.

    The evidence says this is not true. Those voters are more accurately described as unaffiliated rather than independent. A substantial majority of them are as consistent in voting for one party or the other as voters registered with that party, but they choose not to register with the party for reasons good or bad. The number of persuadable voters is much smaller than the number of unaffiliated voters.

  75. 75
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I had a friend who worked for Colonial
    Penn in Philly. He called it a highly lucrative scam. Trebek has represented them for years.

  76. 76
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Peace is our profession
    War is just a hobby

  77. 77
    Emerald says:

    @Raven: Jobs had the curable type, but waited to get the surgery that probably would have saved him because he wanted to try oooey-gooey alternative stuff. Waited a crucial nine months and by then it was too late.

    He admitted he was wrong. Hard way to learn to trust science.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    I’ve criticized Biden’s recent speeches for seeming so far down into an over rehearsed and over political consultant polished kindly Uncle Joe persona, that it has been hard for me to understand what he is saying. I’m like ‘Is he saying that? Is that part of his story? Is he playing a character in his Uncle Joe story? What?’ Not all of the speeches, but important parts of them.

    Biden knows his previous campaigns haven’t been successful. He may think he needs to do something different. Maybe he is trapped in his Obama administration persona. I don’t know. If runs he runs, if he doesn’t he doesn’t. It’s a free county. He’d be a useful addition to the dialog in early primaries while his campaign lasted.

    I can see why he would not be enthusiastic. But there is the politician’s ego to go out and campaign and win an election. If one of the tweets about HRC’s reaction to coverage of her clear statement that she wouldn’t run again is true, HRC was a little pissed that it was taken so widely as her final word. It probably was, but she also has the politician’s ego.

  79. 79
    joel hanes says:

    @Another Scott:

    Bankruptcy bill, the toxin that keeps on killing .

    No Biden for me, thanks.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    I’m not asking for voter purity. And I’m not saying to not try and convince them. I’m saying to not change your policy prescriptions in a hope of winning them over.

    Aren’t the Democrats still formulating policy? And there are 100 Democrats running. I agree with you, but it is too early to pretend that there is a hard party platform.

    Every concession you give up loses 2 votes for every one you gain

    Where do you get this?

    Also, states matter. And if you have to downplay policy to win a state, I got no problem with that.

    Also, I don’t know that I would make climate change the hill that a candidate should die on. Climate change is real, but solutions will take global co-operation and a lot of creative thinking.

  81. 81

    @jl: Don’t care about Biden, we’ve got Baud!2020!.

  82. 82
    dexwood says:

    Say it ain’t so, Joe. Retire. Your time has come and gone says this old guy.

  83. 83

    @Adam L Silverman: Merchant of Death, who can also bake Death by Chocolate. You haven’t done your one of your recipe posts in a long time. I miss them.

  84. 84
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I don’t think Biden actually pulls the trigger. He should let people know soon, though.

    As for Adam Silverman’s weird hatred about Trebek…huh? Talk about shit coming out of left field.

    PF37 +2

  85. 85
    PJ says:

    @Mandalay: So don’t vote for him (as I said, I don’t think he’s going to run.)

    BTW, Andrew Cockburn, who wrote the anti-Biden piece, also thinks Russian interference in our elections is a bunch of hooey: https://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/

  86. 86
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I can honestly state that I am not a litterbug.

    How about creating a public nuisance ?
    It’d be enough to gain acceptance by those on the “Group W” bench …

  87. 87
    dogwood says:

    @VeniceRiley:
    No one acquitted himself well during the Hill hearings. But Biden will always have my respect for keeping Robert Bork off the Supreme Court.

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    Recent polling confirms it: a vast majority of Dem voters think of themselves as “Obama Democrats”. Just ’cause Joe was Barack’s VP for 8 years doesn’t make him the most appealing to “Obama Democrats”.

    Let him run. The voters’ preferences will be clear pretty quickly.

    Btw (sorry if this was already noted upthread) BHO put out a lengthy statement today saying he welcomes all these great candidates, looks forward to honest debate, and the most important thing is that Dems keep their eyes on the prize. Sign me up!

  89. 89
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Me too. 6 months. Hurts like hell.

    But oddly at the same time I am so grateful for that time I could spend with him. I have good stories — my favorite is when my Dad was hemming and hawing to the Doc about the Dilaudid he was taking. “Well, I get up and it hurts bad and I take one, then maybe three or four hours — before lunch, I take another. Also, before dinner and when I go to bed….” the Doctor (from India) cut him off, getting where he was coming from and said:
    “There is no such thing as an addicted dying man,”

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @dogwood

    Robert Bork kept Robert Bork off the Supreme Court.

  91. 91
    Captain C says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The fate I wish for Cheney is 20 more years of life at his current level of health, with perfect memory of his all his actions, and a newly-developed conscience that rivals MLK’s.

  92. 92
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: ROKU died a few days ago. I’ve been going through my old DVD collection. Lats night — Apocalypse Now. Michael Herr was a genius — or just a good reporter. And of course I thought of you the entire time. Also, too, Martin Sheen was a handsome man when he was not an old man.

  93. 93
    TS (the original) says:

    @rikyrah:

    I hope that he doesn’t run. His time was 2016, and he didn’t

    He would not have won the primary. He has never won a primary. The only people who want him to run are republicans.

  94. 94
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    Lost some respect for his acting chops when it was revealed that for the near falling down drunk scene he was actually near falling down drunk.

    ROKU died a few days ago.

    The horror, the horror…

    ;)

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    Clinton News Network headline article: Donald trumpov Is Laying The Groundwork To De-Legitimize the 2020 Election

    “The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see,” Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to House Democrats’ launching of a broad-scale investigation into him. “When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!”

    In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe!
    Trump 2020 campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed that sentiment in a statement on the Democratic investigations. “These desperate Democrats know they cannot beat President Trump in 2020, so instead they have embarked on a disgraceful witch hunt with one singular aim: topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately,” she said.

    And asked Wednesday about the Democratic investigations, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this: “They continue to be a group totally taken by small radical leftist fringe of their party and they’re completely controlled by it, they know that’s not enough to beat this President so they’re going to look for other ways to do that.”

    Well of course he is…he’s about to go down in flames. (And Sarah & Kayleigh, that’s it – you just went to the #2 and #3 spots in the tumbrel line)

    National news media: it’s time to get every. single. GOP official in the country to go on the record, now, about whether they agree with this statement.

    Republicans (especially you quiet, tacit supporters of this animal): it’s now or never. Stand up and speak out, or be held responsible for what trumpov does next. And you know – we ALL know – there is no bottom to his behavior.

  96. 96

    @Immanentize:

    Martin Sheen was a handsome man when he was not an old man.

    The Presidency will do that to you, ages you like crazy.

  97. 97
    Jeffro says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Find me one article anywhere urging him to take up knitting, or baking, or even tinkering with his Trans-Am.

    I think Joe has a great future as a gumshoe, based upon the skillz he displayed in Hope Never Dies ;)

  98. 98

    @Jeffro:

    topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately

    Hey Kayleigh, last time I checked the nice grandmother had more votes in the 2016 election than Trump.

  99. 99
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: Check him out in Terence Malick’s Badlands.

  100. 100
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This feels like after the Cosby news broke and a bunch of longtime Hollywood fb friends were all “Everyone that ever worked on those sets/ writers rooms knew this about BC.” and I was all “WTF?!” But I like having my bubbles burst and enjoy knowing the reality of it. So thanks.

  101. 101
    Aleta says:

    My good friend has advanced pancreatic cancer. She got into an immunotherapy trial across the country, at UCSF medical center. She’s a teacher, researcher and a fisherwoman with her own boat, and has been an activist all her adult life. I only knew a little of the big issues she’s successfully worked on, until I looked it up, because of her humility. Her wife, who she was able to marry after 30+ years living together, passed not long after.

    At UCSF the first immuno trial wasn’t working as well as they wanted, so they switched to a high chemo therapy. The side effects have been manageable she says, but still not effective enough in their opinion, so they’ve offered her another immuno trial that has had some good effects for some.

    But she misses her dogs and cats terribly, and has to decide whether to stay out there longer for the new trial, or come home to be with her animals and her friends and boat here. (They’re fine, but howl when she face times them. One gets her ball and brings it to the screen. The pets I mean.)

    It seems like a very hard choice. If she decides to stay longer, I’ve been thinking about going out there for 10 days or so. I could sign up for a pet sitter type situation if one is nearby (there’s a service for that like Airbnb) so she could at least spend some time hanging with a cat or dog. (Golden Gate Park is close by. She can leave her housing for visits and there’s a lot of time off between doses.) Or I’ve thought about bringing her smallish quieter dog out there for a visit, if the vet approves and the pup was able to travel in the cabin w/o stress or flight changes. Not sure that’s possible though, and housing would be harder.

  102. 102
    chopper says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    apparently trebek is worse. you learn something new every day.

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jeffro:

    In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe!

    Yeah, no.

  104. 104
    chopper says:

    @Raven:

    jobs didn’t even try until it was way too late. he dug the holistic bullshit for way too long.

    that being said most pancreatic cancers are the kind where you’re basically fucked no matter what.

  105. 105
    eclare says:

    @dr. bloor: I assume all reality/game shows are rigged as far as picking contestants goes.

  106. 106
    Jeffro says:

    Also, the House Dems continue to amaze, asking for info about trumpov’s meddling with the proposed new FBI building (in order to benefit his hotel) and also requesting docs from Kemp in GA regarding that election. They are firing on ALL cylinders and then some. Go team Blue!

  107. 107
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    God, that was a great movie! Even the soundtrack!

  108. 108
    Jeffro says:

    @Gin & Tonic: LOL that was from an ad when I copied-and-pasted. My bad. I accept my demerit points willingly and without protest.

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @Jeffro:

    Clinton News Network headline article: Donald trumpov Is Laying The Groundwork To De-Legitimize the 2020 Election

    Didn’t some say this about Trump and the 2016 election as well.

    It’s just noise.

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: Trump said the 2016 election was absolutely rigged.

    It’s what he does.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  111. 111
    JPL says:

    @PJ: There are a few candidates that I would not be thrilled with but the only one that I would not vote for is Tulsi Gabbard.

  112. 112
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Biden actually has a lot of support from older Democrats/independents and people disconnected from the social-media sphere who are yearning for a “back to normalcy” change. And a lot of that undoubtedly because he’s a white man–he worked under Obama, but he’s a white man! That feels safe to them, safe and electable. They figure it’ll take a white man to beat Trump.

    The whole thing seems bad to me, in part because I’m afraid they’re right about beating Trump, but it feels abhorrent to vote for anyone on that basis, especially someone I don’t really like, and I don’t really like Joe Biden. Though I have to admit he did and said some good things as VP.

    Biden would be an OK President. Might not be radical enough to clean up the disaster Trump will leave behind. Good enough that I’d certainly do my best to get him elected if he gets the nomination. But I mostly hope it’s not him.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    Trump said the 2016 election was absolutely rigged.

    It was rigged to help Trump, maybe.

    Otherwise, like I said, it’s just noise.

  114. 114
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator: @Another Scott: it’s noise…for now. it’s what he does…sure. He sure is ‘going there’ awfully early this time around. Given that he encourages RW violence and blows it off when it happens, and now has the powers of the presidency, somehow I am not reassured.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: if only someone would have done a front page post about this…

  116. 116
    Brachiator says:

    @Jeffro:

    it’s noise…for now. it’s what he does…sure. He sure is ‘going there’ awfully early this time around. Given that he encourages RW violence and blows it off when it happens, and now has the powers of the presidency, somehow I am not reassured.

    He’s a coward. He ain’t gonna call for violence. If he loses the election, Trump ain’t gonna call out the army. He will be too busy looting the White House.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VeniceRiley: I could have either phrased it better or just should have said nothing. I’m very sorry for upsetting people.

  118. 118
    dexwood says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Fuck that. I’m not upset. I want to know more. Just kidding. . . I think.

  119. 119

    This is crazy and scary
    Alabama judge allows a man to sue on the behalf of an aborted fetus.

  120. 120
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Hickenlooper raised $1 million already. Has he stolen Biden’s lane?

  121. 121
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator: He won’t call out the army, agreed. But I have no doubt he’ll go to the basest of his base, who I hear are ‘very fine people’…

  122. 122
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think you’ve made this point in several of your FP posts, actually. You really ought to give yourself more credit! =)

  123. 123
    NotMax says:

    New Randy Rainbow.

    Thankful he didn’t go for rewriting the lyrics from a well-known Anything Goes ditty to “Kim’s the top, Trump’s an eager bottom.” (Shall spare y’all the rest, which ran through the head of its own volition.)

  124. 124
    Redshift says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yeah, I certainly know people who were wishing during the 2016 campaign that we would nominate a middle-of-the-road white guy, fearing that following the first black president with another history-making change was too risky. With perfect hindsight, that may have been true, but I still feel like it would have been a terrible reason to do it. It’s a similar argument to the one for Biden, and I still disagree with it. If we wait until it’s “safe” for a different kind of candidate to run, it will always be safer to nominate a white guy.

  125. 125
    Jay says:

    @Jeffro:

    “National news media: it’s time to get every. single. GOP official in the country to go on the record, now, about whether they agree with this statement.”

    That’s not their job,

    Just like it’s not their job to ask Hair Twitler how he’s going to manage to keep his companys running, with out undocumented immigrant labour.

  126. 126
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: It was funny.

  127. 127
    hitchhiker says:

    @dogwood:

    Biden was in charge of the Thomas hearings. He alone had the power to let witnesses who could back up what Hill was saying speak to the public. He chose to be a gentleman senator instead. He chose to let Hill be vilified as a slutty liar who secretly wanted to date Thomas and was getting her revenge.

    She went home to OK to be a law professor, and we have been stuck with Thomas for decades.

    Know who came off well in those hearings? Anita Hill. The rest of them — and especially Joe Biden — were useless at best and revolting at worst.

  128. 128
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I can’t read it because I won’t remove my ad blocker, but I think the woman being sued should countersue the man for not keeping his damn pants zipped.

  129. 129
    Searcher says:

    @PJ: This is basically falling into the “Trump voters didn’t REALLY want to vote for Trump” fallacy.

    Trump voters may have hated Hillary, but they also loved Trump. You can’t win them back just by (somehow) finding a candidate they don’t hate, because they’ll still love Trump.

  130. 130
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Aleta: If nothing else, your friend can be proud of her small part in advancing medical science.

    Here’s hoping she gets more quality time…

  131. 131
    Baud says:

    Does Joe Biden Actually Want to Run Against Baud! 2020!?

    Fixed

  132. 132

    @Aleta: FYI, there’s a cat cafe in SF, where she could spend some time with kitties.

  133. 133

    @debbie: The girl in question is a sixteen year old and the bf is 19. Pro-life peeps are funding the lawsuit, I think.

  134. 134
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Searcher: Trump’s personal approval rating was significantly lower than the share of the vote he got, which suggests that there really were some people who voted for him without particularly loving him, because they hated Hillary Clinton or they were just tribally Republican and decided to give him a chance. They could be gettable–the question is just how that rates relative to a base-turnout strategy.

  135. 135
    Ohio Mom says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yeah, looking at his photo, he doesn’t look like he has enough cash for a lawyer, let alone a wife and a child.

    He should be thanking the heavens he just missed the statutory rape cutoff.

  136. 136
    PJ says:

    @Searcher: Eh, this is anecdotal evidence, but I heard a lot of “I just couldn’t vote for Hillary” before and after the election, in the news and from people I know, from people who stayed home. I can’t point to any polling evidence, but I do think Biden would have done better in OH, PA, MI, WI. And, as far as this post goes, the salient point is that Biden thinks he would have won, and I bet that bothers him.

  137. 137
    hilts says:

    Biden is a human gaffe machine. If he decides not to run, the best thing he could do for the Democratic Party would simply be to STFU.

  138. 138
    PJ says:

    @hilts: The best thing he could do would be to campaign for whomever wins the primary. As the polling shows, he is very popular.

  139. 139
    dmbeaster says:

    Game show contestants are picked based on what producers think works for the show. Nothing about it is merit based, even if they pretend that it is. And the ones picked are coached on what they want. Same for “reality” TV. There is too much money involved to do it any other way.

  140. 140
    raven says:

    @Emerald: Ah, I don’t know that.

  141. 141
    eclare says:

    @dmbeaster: Exactly my thoughts, the producers go for ratings. That is all.

  142. 142
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    because he’s a white man

    There’s a lot of folks who think running a white male candidate is the way to beat the Republicans. I think they’re wrong.

    In as much as these things matter, I think running a non-white woman would be a better way to provide a clear contrast with the Rs and energize our electorate!

    IMHO…

  143. 143
    Karen says:

    The Dems should take some pages from the Rethuglicans playbook.

    Excluding Fox is a great first step. For the primary there needs to be a way we weed out the others without ripping them to shreds and leaving them vulnerable to What’s His Face in the General.

    When we’re in the General we should focus on our party and maybe Rethuglican never Trumpers, not twist ourselves into pretzels to make ourselves into Rethuglican lite.

    We should seriously think if they can beat Trump during the Primary – before the end of the primary. Many candidates that are there for ego and have no chance in hell to beat Trump. Those should get less money from the DNC and hopefully they’ll drop out.

    The biggest thing is, Rethuglicans vote for whoever is there and they vote en masse and in larger numbers than we do. They may not like who wins the primary but they will vote for them. Whether or not it’s Trump.

    We need to stop being purity ponies. We need to be more pragmatic and face the fact that we’re never going to have a candidate who is 100%. We need to decide that all that matters is getting someone who that will beat Trump. If we don’t do that then we’ll be looking at a 2nd term for Trump. And I don’t think Biden should.

  144. 144
    Aleta says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Thank you!! 💚

  145. 145
    Aleta says:

    @Ohio Mom: Knowing her, I sort of suspect that’s part of her motivation.

  146. 146
    cwmoss says:

    @Gin & Tonic: My sister just beat it. One of the very lucky ones. Nevertheless, too good a fate for a creature like Cheney.

  147. 147
    Aleta says:

    @cwmoss: If you don’t mind my asking, where did she go for treatment? (Thanks either way.)

  148. 148
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @cwmoss: I am genuinely delighted to hear that. That’s the thing about statistics, there’s always an outlier.

  149. 149
    Guam Guy says:

    @PJ:

    This is an excellent analysis of Uncle Joe’s dilemma.

  150. 150
    TriassicSands says:

    @Dorothy A.Winsor:
    I despise Biden, so I beg him not to run.

    Between the two of us — first and last comments in the thread (unless someone comes along way, way, way late) — that ought to represent the A to Z the alpha to omega of opinions about Biden. He should not run.

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