Five Ways to Leave Your Office: Removed, Resigned, Primaried, Voted Out, Or… You Know
On Thursday’s “Five O’Clock Somewhere” video live chat with my friends Stephen Kruiser and Bryan Preston — available exclusively to our VIP Gold members — I floated the idea of Presidentish Joe Biden getting primaried by some member of his own party in 2024.
As you can imagine, it was a lively discussion — and long after we’d sworn to keep the rest of the live chat politics-free.
Anyway, whatever you might think of Biden’s chances of garnering a primary challenger serious enough to topple him (slim!), it seems increasingly unlikely — nay, almost impossible! — that Biden will take a second oath of office on January 20, 2025.
So with a major apology to Paul Simon for the awful things I’m about to do to his classic song, don’t be so slow, Joe — just get yourself free.
Slip Out the Back, Jack
Let’s get this one out of the way first: Biden is not going to be slipped out the back door by his own cabinet via the 25th Amendment.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
On this week’s Backstage meeting with Bill and Yours Truly, my BillWhittle.com friend and colleague Scott Ott called it a “fantasy” that any president could be 25th’d just because he was awful. PJ Media’s own Bryan Preston called it a “parlor game” on yesterday’s live chat.
I agree with them both.
Absent a massive stroke or some other complete debilitation, the odds of Biden getting the statutory heave-ho can’t be more than 5%.
Make a New Plan, Stan
There are two ways Biden could resign from office, one literal and one virtual.
The first would be to go Full Nixon and late one night turn in his resignation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken (who himself should have resigned earlier this week) before taking off the next morning on Marine One for a quiet and shameful retirement. His health would likely be the official rationale — unless the near-impossible happens and Congress were to impeach him.
The second would be to go Full Johnson and in late 2023 or earl ’24, announce that he won’t seek reelection. Again, Biden would cite his health as the reason.
Neither of these strikes as me extremely unlikely, and Biden himself once said he could see himself as a “transitional,” one-term president.
A new Quinnipiac poll even shows that “a majority of Americans, 54 percent, believe Biden will not run for president again.”
Just from my gut, I’d lay 40% odds that Biden declines to run again, much to the consternation of DOCTOR Jill “Edith” Biden.
No Need to Be Coy, Roy
Who in the Democratic Party would be so uncouth as to primary their own sitting president?
It’s probably not a long list. The list of potential primary opponents with the money and organization to actually have a chance at pulling it off is even smaller.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (CPSU-Vermont Oblast) might do it. As Kruiser noted when we were discussing this on “Five O’Clock Somewhere,” Sanders is pretty much always running for president — so why not do it again against an almost fatally wounded incumbent?
Gov. Stacey Abrams (D-Arkham Asylum) might make a play at it, too. She raises serious funds and, most importantly, is delusional enough to think America is delusional enough to nominate her and then elect her.
Speaking of Georgia, I can almost see Sen. Raphael Warnock (Finger-Wagging Commie) make a run at Slow Joe. Also, Warnock has little to lose since he’s not likely to keep his filler Senate seat longer than two years.
On the slight chance Biden runs again — and assuming he doesn’t somehow miraculously recover from this week’s various, compounding, and continuing humiliations — he almost has to draw a primary challenger.
Who do you “like,” if that’s at all the right word, for an intraparty opponent?
The question might be moot, however. Given everything wrong with his health and his leadership, I just don’t see how Biden can run again in 2024. So I’m putting the odds of Biden getting primaried at 30%.
Just Listen to Me
Ah, would that the voice of the voters be heard loud and clear on November 5, 2024.
“NO. TO. JOE!”
You know, the way our voices don’t seem to have been heard very well at all on November 3, 2020.
Five percent odds. Despite how awful a Kamala Harris caretaker presidency would be, at the rate Biden’s health and everything else are declining, how is Biden still president on Election Day 2024?
I just don’t see it, do you?
You Don’t Need to Discuss Much
The one polite people aren’t supposed to talk about is the one we must discuss today.
At a time of crisis, the president doesn’t stay hidden away at Camp David. He doesn’t run off to his beach house to sleep better. He takes questions from the press, and not just from one ABC chat show host who got his start as an operative for Bill Clinton. A president doesn’t point fingers at everyone but himself.
Glenn Reynolds wondered on Thursday if Biden hadn’t had “a breakdown in the face of this massive failure.”
Biden is supposed to speak again Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern after I’ll have published this column. We’ll see what he has to say, but more importantly, we’ll see how he says it and whether he takes any questions from the press.
But here’s the unpleasant truth: Once cognitive decline sets in, it doesn’t get better. Under stress, the decline accelerates.
Biden’s physical health doesn’t seem that great either, as evidenced by the “old man shuffle” you see every time he walks — even when he’s walking away in a huff, like after Monday’s speech.
That kind of thing accelerates under stress, too.
The odds of Biden dying in office?
Today, I’d put them at 15%.
Ask me again tomorrow and you might get a higher number.
What happens when and if Biden leaves office early is the subject of another column… one I’m going to need several strong drinks to steel myself to write.