Tom Friedman: Biden must bow out of the race

Tom Friedman: Biden must bow out of the race

Thomas L. Friedman writes:

I watched the Biden-Trump debate alone in a Lisbon hotel room, and it made me weep. I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime, precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election. And Donald Trump, a malicious man and a petty president, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. He is the same fire hose of lies he always was, obsessed with his grievances — nowhere close to what it will take for America to lead in the 21st century.

The Biden family and political team must gather quickly and have the hardest of conversations with the president, a conversation of love and clarity and resolve. To give America the greatest shot possible of deterring the Trump threat in November, the president has to come forward and declare that he will not be running for re-election and is releasing all of his delegates for the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican Party, if its leaders had an ounce of integrity, would demand the same, but it won’t, because they don’t. That makes it all the more important that Democrats put the country’s interests first and announce that a public process will begin for different Democratic candidates to compete for the nomination — town halls, debates, meetings with donors, you name it. Yes, it could be chaotic and messy when the Democratic convention starts on Aug. 19 in Chicago, but I think the Trump threat is sufficiently grave that delegates could quickly rally around and nominate a consensus candidate.

If Vice President Kamala Harris wants to compete, she should. But voters deserve an open process in search of a Democratic presidential nominee who can unite not only the party but also the country, by offering something neither man on that Atlanta stage did on Thursday night: a compelling description of where the world is right now and a compelling vision for what America can and must do to keep leading it — morally, economically and diplomatically. [Continue reading…]

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