- Wednesday, January 3, 2024

As hard as it is to believe, it’s another presidential election year already. Doesn’t it seem like we just did this?

But here we go again. And it’s all worse than you could’ve imagined. Right now, the choices are President Biden — who has proved for three years that he is not remotely up to the task — and former President Donald Trump, who faces more trials than Odysseus did.

They are the choices. Seriously. Mr. Biden is 81, and Mr. Trump will be 78 on Election Day in November. Apparently, America can’t find one person out of 320 million who can do the job, so we’re stuck with two very old (and very rich) White men.

It’s a rematch. Unless.

First, Mr. Biden could just drop out. Any day right up until the Democratic National Convention meets in August in Chicago to nominate their candidate, Mr. Biden could say he’s gone. The clearly out-of-it Mr. Biden could say that his doctors have informed him that his health is not good enough for him to run for reelection, and he could endorse another candidate — say, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (he sure isn’t going to back his vice president, Kamala Harris).

That’s the easy one.

Second, if he does run, the terrible economy Americans have suffered through during his term could stop him cold. Few people think the horribly named “Bidenomics” is working (how dumb was it for the president to name the absurdly bad economy after himself).

It’s so bad that even Mr. Biden has appeared to abandon the term in his speeches, having not used it since Nov. 1, The Hill reported last month. Americans don’t need a stupid term to tell them that the cost of everything has soared while wages have remained stagnant.

“People don’t feel like they’re doing well,” Kathryn Ann Edwards, an independent economic policy consultant, told The Hill. “Well, put a name to that: It’s being left behind, and it’s being told over and over again, ‘You’re being left behind.’”

Third, Mr. Biden’s dismal poll numbers might just derail his reelection bid. They should: Mr. Biden is among the least popular presidents in modern times at this time in their first term. Mr. Biden’s approval rating has plunged to a record low of 34%, according to a Monmouth University poll released last week. How bad? Seventy percent disapproved of Mr. Biden’s handling of inflation.

For Mr. Trump, first, he, too, could drop out over his obviously poor physical condition. The obese president (he weighed 244 pounds at his final physical as president at Walter Reed National Medical Center in 2020) doesn’t exercise at all and eats a lot of McDonald’s, so that’s not good.

Reports emerged last month that Mr. Trump smells bad. Former GOP lawmaker Adam Kinzinger claimed he smells of a combination of several scents. “It’s not good. The best way to describe it …  take armpits, ketchup, a butt and makeup and put that all in a blender and bottle that as a cologne,” Mr. Kinzinger said.

Second, the courts could stop Mr. Trump cold. The ex-president is expected to go to trial potentially at least six times in criminal and civil cases.

It’s all bad. There’s an ongoing civil fraud trial against Mr. Trump and his company — a verdict is expected this month — that could bar Mr. Trump from running New York businesses.

It gets worse. Another trial starts Jan. 16, in which the penalty for a court finding in favor of writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against Mr. Trump will determine how much he has to pay in damages in this case.

In March, right around Super Tuesday, Mr. Trump is scheduled to go to trial in the federal criminal case against him for trying to overturn the 2020 election. In May, Mr. Trump is set to go to trial in the federal criminal case against him for allegedly mishandling White House documents that he brought back to Mar-a-Lago.

And in August, Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis wants to bring him up on similar charges.

And third, Mr. Trump might find that he has been all but forgotten. Sure, he appears atop the list in polling, but in just over 10 days, Iowa will hold the first-in-the-nation caucuses to gauge where candidates really stand.

It’s one thing to say in a phone call that you support Mr. Trump, but the caucus system requires people to show up at a specific time on a specific night. If they don’t, you lose.

One last thing might stop both candidates: failing health. Now, I would never wish anyone ill, but America would clearly be better off if both of these guys went the way of the dinosaurs.

• 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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