Mark Pincus: Biden Is Even Riskier Than Trump


President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hold hands and gesture as they watch the Independence Day fireworks display from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Mandel Ngan via Getty Images)

TGIF: It’s Just My Brain

The wheels come off the Biden spin machine, the Supreme Court goes into overdrive, the Drag PAC assembles, Steve Bannon goes to jail, cheese goes gay, and much, much more.

When Nellie asked me to fill in while she is off birthing a person, I said yes but only on slow news weeks. She assured me that no news ever drops the first week of July and I’d be able to paste in a few of my favorite Mormon mommy TikTokers, write a sentence or two about Seattle’s annual Independence Day Flag Burning Parade, and then go soak my feet in the pool. She lied. It’s been a hell of a week, and Nellie said no take backs, so I guess you’re stuck with me. Let’s go. 

→ Will he or won’t he? The New York Times reports that Biden told an ally that he is weighing whether to continue in the race. What they don’t say is that ally is actually the nice Bulgarian woman who helps him into the shower. Either way, last week’s disaster of a debate continues to roil the Democratic Party, which is now tasked with trying to figure out who is the least terrible candidate: a historically unpopular VP or the guy who starts sundowning around noon. Or maybe somebody else?

The Dems are in a tough position. Biden’s most trusted advisers (read: Hunter) want him to stay in the race, but everyone else is desperately trying to think of someone, anyone, who can win against Trump while also sparing the old man’s feelings. 

So far, most of the freakout is happening behind closed doors. Publicly, most Democrats are standing by their man—for now. Just three Dems in Congress have called on Biden to step aside. And, barring that chat with the ally, the president himself seems to be in full “I’m not quitting” mode. 

Not that he has done anything this week to demonstrate his fitness for office. While the president laid low, his press secretary said that it was really just a cold, plus maybe a bit of jet lag. White House aides told Axios that the president is “dependably engaged” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In a meeting with concerned Democratic governors who flew in to check on the old guy at the top of the ballot, he said all he needs is to work less, sleep more, and be able to clock out after 8 p.m. In that same meeting, the president is reported to have said: “It’s just my brain.” This is supposed to reassure us? What’s even more troubling is that longtime friends of the Bidens told New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi that they were “shocked to find that the president did not remember their names." Incoming statement from the White House: “Guys, it’s just face blindness.”  

I get it: Biden is a beloved elder statesman, and no one wants to hurt the old man’s feelings. So just do what they did at the retirement home when my grandpa had dementia: tell him whatever he wants to hear. Good news, Mr. President, you won the election! We’ll get Gorbachev on the line for you right after dinner. More ice cream? It’s chocolate chip. Seriously, this works. 

→ Or maybe it’s just the media? Nothing to see here, folks! Just when we thought the spell had been broken and most of the media was finally willing to report on what’s been happening before our very eyes, former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is now advising the Biden campaign, claimed on MSNBC that the media is rigging this whole thing. In this case, the former mayor was referring to her hometown paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an editorial calling for Biden to exit stage left. 

“Let me just say I was very disappointed with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” Bottoms told Chris Jansing. “As we have talked about making sure we’re protecting elections and making sure there’s no undue influence, this was undue influence by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or an attempt to influence.”

As Jansing pointed out, it’s an editorial board. Attempting to influence elections is their literal job. Then again, Bottoms is a political operative. Spin is her literal job too. 

→ Speaking of spin: The New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn sent a note out to staff, congratulating everyone on their coverage of Biden’s age: “What I’ve seen and what our readers have experienced from our team is steadfast, fact-based reporting. . . . We have stayed on that story with every turn, always with nuance and context, through today’s outstanding report.”

See, now that a critical mass sees that Biden is plainly too old, we’ve shifted straight into revisionism. We’ve been telling you the truth the whole time. Except, in March, the Gray Lady was likening Biden’s age to just a new, later in life style—like Scorsese with The Irishman (s/o Jon Levine for re-upping this). And those videos of his many senior moments before the debate? Misleading! Bad faith! You aren’t watching an old man be old, they said. Those are deepfakes and cheapfakes

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Associated Press offered up 2024’s answer to “mostly peaceful” riots:

→ KHive, assemble: Personally, I vote Al Franken as Biden’s replacement. He’s smart, funny, Midwestern, and he loves women. But Vegas has Kamala as the probable Democratic nominee. And I guess that makes sense, given that she’s the vice president and all. “It’s her party now,” read the banner headline on Drudge this past Wednesday.

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