Joe Biden launched his candidacy for president in 2019 with the words “we are in the battle for the soul of this nation.” He was right. And though it wasn’t obvious at first to many Democrats, he was the best person to wage that fight. He was a genial but also shrewd campaigner for the restoration of what legislators call “regular order.”
Since then, Biden has had a remarkable string of wins. He defeated President Donald Trump in the 2020 election; he led a Democratic rebuff of Trump’s acolytes in the 2022 midterms; his Justice Department has systematically prosecuted the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that Trump championed and, now, through special counsel Jack Smith, the department is bringing Trump himself to justice.
What I admire most about President Biden is that in a polarized nation, he has governed from the center out, as he promised in his victory speech. With an unexpectedly steady hand, he passed some of the most important domestic legislation in recent decades. In foreign policy, he managed the delicate balance of helping Ukraine fight Russia without getting America itself into a war. In sum, he has been a successful and effective president.
But I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for reelection. It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping Trump. [Continue reading…]