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With 2024 Already a Hot Topic, Joe Biden Says He's a 'Respecter of Fate.' We All Should Be

Bill Press, Tribune Content Agency on

What will you be doing in 2024?

If you think you know for sure, you're either clairvoyant or deluded.

I've been thinking about this question since President Joe Biden's news conference in which he was asked whether he plans to run again in 2024. This was the same news conference in which not a single reporter asked about the pandemic or the economy.

The 2024 question deserved all the eye rolls it got -- c'mon, man, the guy's been president for two months. Yet Biden's answer -- yes -- was treated as big news because in the game of politics the future always matters more than the present. Politicians and the people who cover them are always eyeing the next election, the next fight.

But forget Biden's presidential plans for a moment. Let's talk about the most noteworthy part of his answer to the 2024 question, a remark that went largely unremarked. It's what he said after he said yes.

"I'm a great respecter of fate," he said. "I've never been able to plan four and a half, three and a half years ahead for certain."

 

Wise words. We all should all be great respecters of fate.

Fate can be defined in various ways. In a broad way, it means the things that happen to us unavoidably, through forces beyond our control.

Biden's life is a spectacular example of how potent fate can be. He had just been elected to the U.S. Senate when his first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car crash. He was poised to run for president in 2016 but changed his mind after his son Beau died of cancer. When he announced he would run in 2020, it seemed unlikely that this old white guy, as he was often called, could get elected.

Then he did. And he brings to the job the perspective of someone who knows that after you hope and plan and dream, fate may snatch your plans, crumple them into a ball, toss them in the toilet and cap it off with a cruel chuckle.

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