On March 9, 2020, Joe Biden — then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — described himself as “a bridge” to a new generation of Democratic leaders who are “the future of this country.”
As we approach the halfway point of President Biden’s first term, it’s clear that the time has come for him to embrace his place in history as interim president and step down gracefully.
Biden faces record approval ratings, a looming red-wave midterm election, new worries about his physical health and cognitive fitness, a failed national agenda with no way forward and glaring mistakes of foreign policy. If the Republicans capture Congress, he will also face questions he cannot answer about his involvement in his son Hunter’s lucrative foreign affairs.
As a staunch Democrat, I have no intention of criticizing the character or integrity of Biden — whom I voted for on the 2012 ticket — and I acknowledge that his presidency has had some successes. His administration deserves credit for the rapid distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which helped pull the country out of the worst days of the pandemic. Biden also signed two bipartisan reforms to the law: a major investment in American infrastructure and an unprecedented gun safety bill.
But Biden hasn’t done what he was elected to do: heal America after years of polarization and division. This healing process failed in large part because of his team’s inability to pursue an inclusive agenda.
Biden has put the Democratic Party on track for a disastrous midterm election. He is widely blamed – and in fact is largely responsible – for the rampant inflation surge to 9.1% in total and 11.3% in wholesale prices, despite his efforts to speak out against it. others like Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There’s a reason Democrats are avoiding the topic of Biden on the campaign trail — it’s hurting their electoral chances. Biden’s approval rating just hit an all-time high of 31%. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (64%) would prefer he not run again in 2024.
The president’s precipitous loss of support – even within his own party – was largely driven by voter concerns about his age and obvious cognitive decline. A majority (53%) of Americans already had doubts about his physical fitness for the office before his COVID-19 infection at age 79 reignited concerns and another verbal gaffe – suggesting he has cancer – sent his communications team in damage control once again.
But beyond his physical and mental fitness, Biden has proven throughout his tenure that he is incapable of effectively leading his party and his country, both at home and abroad.
The president’s landmark bill — his Build Back Better plan — will go down in history as a fiasco. Biden remained singularly focused on advancing this so-called transformational bill last year, often while ignoring the broader political forces at play in the face of rising inflation, soaring crime, to the southern border crisis and frustrations over COVID-19 mandates.
And since the failure of Build Back Better, the Biden administration — and national Democrats — have yet to come up with a new agenda for the country that is anything other than a knee-jerk reaction to extreme right-wing positions on issues. social.
Biden has also been an inadequate commander-in-chief. Last August, he oversaw the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, which was, quite simply, an absolute disaster. This embarrassment led America’s allies to question our word, further destabilized the Middle East, gave Putin the confidence he needed to invade Ukraine, and put Taiwan at risk.
Unfortunately, Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East underscored his inability to project American leadership internationally. He has failed to pressure Tehran to slow down its nuclear program and find allies to counter Russian and Chinese influence in the region. Although Biden acted oddly cordial with the Saudi crown prince, he could not persuade the Saudis to increase their oil production.
Biden has clearly lost his ability to govern – just like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did. Now is the time for Biden to follow Johnson’s lead and step down.
With revelations about Hunter Biden’s contacts with his vice president father belying Joe’s claims that he never discussed Hunter’s business, it’s virtually certain there will be congressional investigations if the Republicans win. one or more chambers in November – making it even more difficult for the president to govern effectively.
For his party and his country, President Biden should step down before the midterms and give Vice President Kamala Harris a chance to lead.
While Harris unquestionably has his own political vulnerabilities, Biden passing the torch would provide a much-needed boost to the Democratic Party — which claims to represent Americans of all classes and creeds while still having three former white leaders at the helm. . : Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
As a young person of color – who would be the first female commander-in-chief – a President Harris could help build enthusiasm among the Democratic base and bolster the party’s medium-term chances, especially given the energy surrounding women’s rights following the Supreme Court decision. quashing Roe v. Wade. And raising Harris now would have the added benefit of allowing party leaders and activists to assess whether she is a viable option as the 2024 candidate.
President Biden has served America admirably for nearly six decades. Now, as his final act of service to his party and country, he is expected to graciously step down and help usher in a new generation of Democratic leaders.
Andrew Stein is a former Democratic New York City Council Speaker.
New York Post