To no one’s surprise, President Biden has announced that he will seek a second term. That announcement has stirred up oceans of talk about his ability to serve another four years, because he is 80 years old. Considering the fact that I’ve served in public life for over 30 years and have reached age 80, I feel comfortable expressing my views about his candidacy.
Biden’s decision to run for re-election was the result of many factors, which I understand and can easily explain. First of all, as difficult as the most important job in the world is, with its myriad headaches, it is impossible to just walk away from it. Is being president a boost to your ego? You bet it is. Having musicians play “Hail to the Chief” virtually every time you walk into a room has to be a pretty cool experience. Traveling on Air Force One is also hard to dismiss.
But putting ego aside, Biden has plenty of reasons to defy his biological clock and seek office again. Whether you like him or not, he has had a highly successful four years, and working with both Democrats and Republicans, he has gotten a number of major pieces of legislation passed that will have a dramatic impact on the lives of all Americans.
His infrastructure bill is responsible for the planned reconstruction or replacement of approximately 3,800 bridges. Billions of dollars have been distributed to local governments to rebuild their aging highways. Thousands of public buildings that are in dangerous condition are being rebuilt with infrastructure funding.
America’s major shortage of microchips will be attacked thanks to a multi-billion-dollar program to create American-manufactured chips. Think about the vehicle you drive, or your smartphone. Cars and phones need microchips, most of which come from Taiwan and China. Our country needs to make more of them, and the process to do that is happening thanks to the Biden administration.
Senior citizens have much to be thankful for due to Biden’s efforts. Ask any senior who needs insulin injections what it cost them annually in 2021. Many will acknowledge that the cost of insulin has resulted in less food on the table. Biden pledged to reduce its price to $35 per month, a pledge he has kept.
Four years ago, the alliance of European nations was in total disarray. Many that were once our friends were disenchanted by our lack of communication, and our disrespect. Biden has brought the members of NATO together, and for the first time in many years, the organization is prepared to fight any attempt by Russia to expand its territory.
There is no doubt that Ukraine would be under total Russian control if not for Biden’s determination to protect it from becoming a Russian colony. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine wasn’t just an effort to take over another country. Russia would like to swallow up all of the previous parts of the former Soviet Union. A winning takeover of Ukraine was intended to be the first in a series of takeovers of country after country.
The 2023 version of the Republican Party is enough to encourage any Democratic incumbent to run again. Red state after red state is passing laws to deprive women of their personal rights, and finding ways to deprive minorities and college students of their voting rights. The GOP has abandoned all of its founding principles, and has been captured by the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and other zealots.
Has Biden made America into Pleasantville? No, that hasn’t happened. To date, there has been no bipartisan solution to the border crises. The Democrats want a rational way to let migrants enter the country. Many Republicans want the border forever sealed so that no one, not even those fleeing anarchy and crime, can walk on American soil.
If the Republican Party had a roster of moderate and impressive candidates for the White House, Biden might have hesitated to seek a second term. But sadly, Republicans have no Ronald Reagan type waiting in the wings. Their alternatives will not make America great again.
So if I were Joe Biden, I’d go for it.
Jerry Kremer was an Assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? firstname.lastname@example.org.