Op-Ed |

Joe Biden Is Simply Not There

This op-ed originally appeared in the Daily Caller on July 2, 2024. 

American presidential debates in the modern era have a storied history — and an equally storied history of gaffes and fumbles that turned the course of a campaign.

It is a commonplace thought that then-Vice President Richard Nixon’s subpar performance versus then-Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1960 led, in part (Democratic vote fraud was also involved), to his defeat.

President Gerald Ford’s bizarre insistence, in a 1976 debate with former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, that the Soviets did not dominate Eastern Europe, helped sink his candidacy.

President Jimmy Carter’s folding against former California Gov. Ronald Reagan’s debate critiques in 1980 turned the tide for the challenger’s election.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale’s 1984 debate announcement that he would raise taxes ended his own prospects.

We could go on: Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis’s inability to emote in 1988; President George H.W. Bush checking his watch in 1992; Vice President Al Gore’s self-defeating colorlessness in 2000, and so on. Debates are rich in opportunity and fraught with existential danger for candidates, and that is why we have such an extensive catalog of candidacy-ending episodes within them across the past three generations.

None of them — not one — comes even close to the disaster endured by President Joe Biden on the evening of Thursday, June 27th.

Read the full op-ed in the Daily Caller here

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