I'm 78 and I'm not running for president

I’m too old.

Like Joe Biden.

I recognize Joe Biden. I know him. I know what it is to struggle for a word, as Biden did when he couldn’t remember, holy smokes, the name of God when he said, “All men and women created by—you know, you know the thing.”

Or when he called Super Tuesday “Super Thursday.” Or when he proclaimed he was a candidate for the “United States Senate,” and he advised everyone that if you don’t vote for him to “vote for the other Biden.”


When Biden says, “If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 3o percent chance we’re going to get it wrong,” he could be mistaken for Yogi Berra who once  said, “Pair up in threes.” Maybe you know what he meant, but you can’t be sure.

As the New York Times noted, “A day on the campaign trail without a cringe-inducing gaffe is a rare blessing. He has not been too blessed lately.” And that was back in 2008.

Seems that Joe has been working on getting old for a long time.

Remember Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Brinsely Sheridan’s play, “The Rivals,” who butchered the English language? Like her, Biden’s blunders would get him tagged President Malaprop.

His gaffes are too numerous to itemize here. Taken alone, each one might not be troublesome, but altogether, they describe a man who is well past his prime. Dangerously so.

But here’s the kicker: Biden’s opponent is another old guy, Bernie Sanders. What we have here is one old guy (Biden) who is possibly out of his mind running against another old guy who is definitely out of his mind.

Add to that this lament: The only two viable candidates the Democrats have are two, old white guys. (That’s another story that I’ll leave to the professional race baiters.) Of course, whichever gaffer gets the Democratic nomination, he’ll be facing another old white guy, Donald Trump.

Boy oh boy, what a country. Out of more than 300 million Americans, the best we could find to head the executive branch is septuagenarians?

Here I’ll be instructed that age isn’t a factor, that [fill in the name of your favorite geezer] is bright and quick as a man [half or whatever] his age.

That, of course, is horsepucky (a vulgarity probably not familiar to anyone under 70). You’d don’t just lose a step. Or struggle to find the right word. Or can’t remember if you applied deodorant this morning. You no longer think or react as quickly. It’s harder to focus. Taking in new information is a challenge. You doze off.

And consider:  The next president could be an old guy who might have to face an Article 25 removal from office because, as it said, he has “lost his faculties.” And picking who’ll be the vice president to take his place will be chosen, not by us, but in the dark.

The average life expectancy at age 78 for an American man is about 9 years. (It’s a year-and-a-half longer for women, but that’s also another story.) With that in mind, I plan to live life fully in a way that’s pleasing to me and wife Barb. And not pursuing an ego-driven dream that inflicts myself on my family, community or country.

So, here’s the line-up. An old guy whose infirmities are moving from a side show to the main event. Another old guy who is a captive of  the worn-out and discredited ideas that molded him as a hippy dippy youth. And another old guy whose mind tells him that he’s the greatest ever, no doubt about it.

Right now, I’d settle for the latter because what he (Trump) has accomplished is much closer to the mainstream than either what Biden or Sanders would do to America.

Now it’s time for a nap.



My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • I get your point. But if you had to choose between Biden and Trump, you wouldn't choose Trump. Or would you?

  • As I wrote, I'd be forced to choose Trump.

  • It's better to vote for a decent man who occasionally has senior moments than for a narcissistic, pathologically lying con man.

  • I laughed so hard that tears of joy ran down my leg!

  • In reply to Rick Bohning:

    Maybe those tears had to do with your bladder, old-timer.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Get off my lawn!

  • Dear Dennis, I see your point about age. FYI, "gaffe" needs an e in it.
    Also, don't you think that the choice of vice president at the conventions -- or, ideally, earlier -- will help us make our choice?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    The fight over the vp might be hotter than the president. I gaffed on the gaff.

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