The Thing About Biden

Full disclosure, I’m planning to vote for Joe Biden in the New York Primary and I hope to vote for him again in November. I won’t think twice about voting for Sanders in November if he wins the nomination. But I cannot ignore the thing about Biden: that he’s getting old and he’s not as quick as he once was. He stumbles on simple sentences. He makes mistakes as he speaks. He garbles words and can’t recall phrases that I bet he’s known his whole life. He’s getting old and he’s not as quick as he once was. But…

…I truly believe that he’s coming from a good place, and it’s hard for me to imagine that the President of the United States is ever forced to make split-second decisions without time to think about them. Yes, I bet Sanders or Trump would beat him in some reaction time test today. But when given the time to consider the issues, when given the time to weigh evidence, when given the time to make informed decisions, I’m not the least bit concerned about his ability to think things through and come to a really good decision. I’m just not worried about it.

Contrast it with Trump (which is the contrast that we’ll likely have to consider in November). Trump might be able to make decisions faster. He might not forget the words to something that he’s known for years. But his bumbling, his poor words, his slips, all seem to come from a bad place, not a good one. His need to obsess about how he’s perceived. His need to compare himself to Obama. His need to repeatedly refer to his “perfect call,” when talking about completely unrelated things (like COVID-19). These things worry me. It worries me that giving him all the time in the world to think about issues, he’s going to come to a harmful answer that is far more about how it will benefit him personally, and far less about what’s good for the country.

I believe that Joe Biden will make decisions based on what he thinks is best for the country, not himself, and the more time he has to decide, the better the decision will be. I simply don’t think that’s true of Trump. I don’t think it’s even close.

So, here’s the thing about Biden: I’ll live with his slowness, because I trust that if we give him time, we’ll see a good heart and wise decisions. I’m OK with that, even if it does’t play well on a debate stage.

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