Joe Biden is the right person

Illustration by Alison Cimmet

During the Democratic race to figure out who would take on Donald Trump in the 2020 election, I was all over the map.

I started as a Joe Biden guy—because I love Joe Biden and I’ve always found him to be incredibly decent and honorable. When he started sucking in the debates, however, I shifted. First, to Kamala Harris before I saw how poorly her campaign was being run. Then Cory Booker. Then Mayor Pete. Then back to Kamala. Then Elizabeth Warren. Then Mayor Pete. Then Warren.

Then, toward the end, I was—once again—all about Joe Biden.

As I am today.

In my lifetime, there have been right moments for presidents and wrong moments for presidents. I believe, after Richard Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford was precisely what America needed. I believe, after the Iranian crisis neared an apex, Ronald Reagan was what America needed. I believe, after 12 Republican years, Bill Clinton was what America needed, and in the aftermath of George W. Bush’s eight, eh, not great years, Barack Obama was what America needed. That doesn’t mean I favored (or didn’t favor) their presidencies. It just means the timing lined up.

Right now, at the start of 2021, Joe Biden’s timing lines up.

Joe Biden is old. Joe Biden’s record has holes. Joe Biden stumbles and stutters and is throwing 85, whereas he once hit 98 on the radar. I’ve often said he’s Dwight Gooden with the Devil Rays, but now—seeing him in action during the transition—I’d say he’s more Dwight Gooden as a Yankee. Mike Schmidt ins’t swinging through his heat, but the guy can still go seven innings and hold a team to two runs.

I digress.

In the aftermath of the (ongoing) Donald Trump hellstorm, the thing this nation needs is steadiness and agreeability. We need someone calm, mature, professional, empathetic. And that doesn’t mean I want Joe Biden to give in to Republican madness. It doesn’t mean I relish Biden trying to appease Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. But I do want him to talk to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio; to at least make the effort to listen and—maybe, just maybe—come to some agreements for the betterment of America.

The last four years have been … e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g. The meanness. The pettiness. The sniping. I’m tired of it. You’re tired of it. Biden, if nothing else, isn’t petty. He’s a deal maker; a hand shaker; a political leader who counted John McCain (before he died) and Lindsey Graham (before he turned into Darth Vader) among his closest friends.

I’m not sure this nation can be fully repaired.

But at least we have a grownup back in the White House.

One willing to hear what others have to say.