Witcover on Politics: On the Question of Biden’s Decision to Seek Reelection
By September 18, 2023 One Comment 435•
As a long time admirer of the columns of David Ignatius in the Washington Post, I was surprised and dismayed to read that he had advocated that President Joe Biden not seek reelection in 2024.
I have always admired Ignatius’s advocacy of a strong American foreign policy. But I could not grasp that he would call on Biden to step down after his current presidential term.
As a longtime reporter on Biden and author of his biography, “Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption,” I have followed him over many years from his home state of Delaware to see that he is a most effective policy maker and defender of our cherished electoral process.
I was disturbed that Ignatius would conclude that Biden should step aside because of his age of 80, after three years of constructive service in the White House.
Now, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has raised the question of age yet again, in his announcement that he will retire from the U.S. Senate, citing his belief that he can no longer make a meaningful contribution to the political dialogue in light of his own advancing years.
Romney’s statement leads me to conclude that President Biden would be well served by urging Romney to join in his call for greater bipartisanship in opposing former President Donald Trump’s repeated assaults on our American electoral process and his allegations of unproven fraud in the 2020 election.
Romney, like Biden, hearkens back to former times when politicians viewed public service as a calling to advance the greater good, via dialogue and compromise, instead of insults and stand-offs. The time has come for Republican leaders like Romney to take firm steps to restore the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan as an effective counter to Trump and a resounding voice in American politics.
President Biden and the democratic process badly need a restored opposition party right now, and Mitt Romney can play that role.
Jules Witcover is a longtime columnist and author of 20 books on politics.