Asked recently why he was running for president, Joe Biden insisted to a reporter that burning ambition was not the reason.
“Could I die happily not having heard ‘Hail to the Chief’ play for me?” Biden asked, then answered his own question by saying, “Yeah, I could.”
That’s good to know because it will make the next step easier. It’s the step where Biden announces he’s withdrawing from the race.
Yes, yes, I’m aware that he’s the front-runner for the Democrats’ nomination and that front-runners never exit voluntarily. But I’m also aware that Biden knows something else, too: that growing concerns about his mental and physical capacity are legitimate.
He also must know that he and his team are not fooling anyone with claims that all is well. His rivals, initially reticent to go there, are now willing to raise the fitness issue.
Sometimes they don’t have to raise it because the whole world can see that Biden is slipping. As such, his age, 76, and history of serious medical issues are fair game.
Consider the last half of Biden’s incoherent answer to a question about racial inequality: “The teachers are — I’m married to a teacher, my deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. Make sure that every single child does, does in fact, have 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds go to school. Not day care, school. We bring social workers into some and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help, they don’t know what — they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player — on at night, make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time we get there.”
Then there’s the social media storm about the moment his upper teeth apparently dropped as he began to speak, and he used his tongue to push them up.