- Wednesday, February 14, 2024

I didn’t fare too well on my Super Bowl bets. I wagered a six-way parlay (I know, right?) and a four-way parlay (got three out of four — that’s still a loser).

But I do know politics. And I’ll tell you something I’m so sure of that I’ve bet a lot more than my $10 Super Bowl wagers: There’s no chance President Biden is actually going to run for reelection in November.

Mr. Biden has been trying to hold it together (his staff is making sure to shield him from everything). But last week, it all came apart when special counsel Robert Hur released a report after a 15-month investigation of Mr. Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. 

Mr. Hur said the facts he collected could — maybe — merit criminal charges, then added that Mr. Biden’s mental capacity is so diminished that if a case were to go to trial, “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”


In essence, Mr. Hur was saying he couldn’t get a jury to convict the doddering old man who can barely put a sentence together and can’t remember — within even a few years, mind you — when his son Beau died of cancer. So he wasn’t even going to try.

As if perfectly timed to illustrate Mr. Hur’s point, Mr. Biden proceeded to say he sees dead people. A lot of dead people. Last week, he mixed up every foreign leader he ever met, twice telling donors that he spoke with Helmut Kohl, who left office as German chancellor in 1998 and died in 2017, in 2021. He also said he chatted with French President Francois Mitterrand at the same G7 meeting, but he left office in 1995 and died in 1996.

Mr. Biden is not even in the same century.

What happened in 2020 — the COVID-19 pandemic meant Mr. Biden could hunker down in the basement of his mansion and still win — will not happen this time around. Even though his handlers are threatening to skip any debates — Mr. Biden even bailed on the softball Super Bowl appearance when NFL commentators kiss his feet — 2024 is not 2020. He’ll have to post up and fight, whether he likes it or not.

And 2024 will be different for another major reason: Last time was weird. This time, it’s just elder abuse. Mr. Biden is not all there — and we’ll all be there, God willing, should we live into our 80s, so that’s no crime — but to run him again would be flat-out abusive.

It won’t be easy. As Axios wrote this week, “A former Biden aide described Democrats’ dilemma: Taking the nomination away from Biden is like taking the car keys away from your parents.” True dat.

No one needs to be angry or partisan at this point. Now, it’s just sad. Mr. Biden was once a sharp mind ready and able to debate any topic (although he was nearly always on the wrong side), but now, well, again, it’s just sad.

Even The New York Times is bailing on Mr. Biden. In a wonderful understatement, the Times’ editorial board said, “He needs to do more to show the public that he is fully capable of holding office until age 86.” Even Maureen Dowd, long a liberal apologist, wrote Mr. Biden’s team “clearly has no plan for how to deal with the president’s age except to shield him and hide him and browbeat reporters who point out that his mental state is a genuine issue.”

Democrats are just now giving Mr. Biden a good long look. They’re starting to realize that if they run him in 2024, they’ll lose by a landslide. Losers don’t last in politics. Ask Al Gore.

While Politico’s Jonathan Martin is convinced Mr. Biden is going — “there is no ’they’ now poised to intervene,” he wrote this week — he just isn’t. Me, I think Mr. Biden has already blessed Gavin Newsom, 56, as his heir apparent. On Sunday, the California governor was in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, hobnobbing with billionaires.

So bet on Mr. Newsom, and bet big. Disclaimer: I lost $20 on the Super Bowl.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on X @josephcurl.

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