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Biden (and Bernie) Should Leave the Race

Jamie Stiehm on

WASHINGTON -- Time for the old men in the Democratic presidential primary to bow out -- Joe Biden on the fourth try and Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., on his second. Age is an issue in the high 70s, as Sanders' heart attack starkly reminds us.

At 76, Biden is fragile in another real sense: He's shown he can't stand up to President Donald Trump's slings and arrows against him and his son Hunter in the politics of Ukraine.

Known for talking a blue streak in the Senate, Biden was struck strangely speechless for days in the face of Trump's fury. This belies his most "electable" Democratic premise: running against the power of Trump. The lackluster response hurt his standing with a 23% swath of voters, an alarm bell.

If Biden ever had knightly skills in the heat of political battle, he's lost them. In a crowded field bursting with talent and youth -- and a woman rewriting the book on 70 -- one needs stamina, heart and fleetness of feet and tongue to win the race. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is in the top spot now.

After his silence, the former front-runner seemed hapless with a belated speech and an op-ed that ended on a hollow note: he would beat Trump "like a drum."

The New York Times noted Biden's allies found his response "too little too late: a case study in political indecision." His campaign is stuck, losing ground on a strategy that appeals to hearts more than minds.

 

Translated, the campaign slogan is simply, "Everybody likes Joe."

Family irony runs rich. For all his vows not to let Trump destroy his family, Biden has not said a word to defend Hunter, the prodigal son next to the late Beau Biden. He figures often in his father's lavish talk. The oldest son, Beau, was glorified and groomed for president.

If Beau could do no wrong in his father's eyes, the living Hunter, it seems, can do no right. Trouble and addiction followed him around. In an act that crowned his rebel status, he got involved with Beau's widow, Hallie, for a torrid spell. It's biblical -- or Shakespearean. You tell me.

Let's review the plot.

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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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