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Jul 10, 2024

Memo to My President: Oy, Vey

A candid communique for your TelePrompter

By Ed Goldman

To: “Scranton Joe” Biden
From: “Bronx Ed” Goldman
Re: Get Outta Here!

So you’re stickin’ with it, hangin’ in there, stayin’ the course, avoidin’ clichés like the plague, droppin’ your g’s. 

Yeah, Scranton Joe. But you’re wreckin’ the country you claim to adore.

Edgy Cartoon

Joe to the world

I thought there was only one egomaniac in this Presidential race (rhymes with “rump”). Turns out there are three, if you factor in Hyannis Port Bobby, the poster child for acid reflux, brain worms and working out. (He does a special kind of exercise that demands you turn your back on the party of your lineage, a program called Pontius Pilates.) 

As soon as you coughed your way into reminding everyone you were from Scranton, PA at that CNN-hosted mixed-mental-arts battle it called a debate in late June, it was pretty clear that your beloved commuter train had left the station. “Clear to whom?” you may well ask. Fair question, man. It was clear to me, to millions of TV viewers and to space aliens who’d been considering the conquest of our planet but then thought, “Ah, give ’em a few years. They’re doing the work for us.” 

You weren’t just having “a bad night,” as described by the Democratic spin surgeons (at this point in your life and career, you deserve more than spin “doctors.” You need specialists, pal. Maybe spin gerontologists). 

What you’ve actually been having is a vacation gone wrong—put another way, a bad ego trip, bro’.

The comedian/philosopher king Bill Maher said he’d vote for you over Trump if all that was left of you were a brain in a jar filled with blue liquid. But he also called you Joe Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice who refused to quit even though she was in seriously declining health. Her death allowed the appointment(s) of the Court we now have and love. Kind of like the tribunal in the first “Superman” movie who ignored Jor-El’s warnings that their planet was about to explode. (Spoiler alert: Two scenes later, ka-boom!)

C’mon, Scranton Joe. You were always a team player, notably switching your stands on countless issues to toe the party line (a list that includes Anita Hill and Afghanistan, and that’s just the a’s, bub). How about doing that one more time? Nobody in your party sincerely wants you in the race, despite all the chatter of support. This I believe includes your wife and family though they’ll never say it aloud. But when Dr. Jill welcomed you off the debate stage and the best she could say is you answered every question, it gave me the feeling she was satirizing the awards ceremony at an elementary school arithmetic contest.

Looking for a Great Gift?

Listen, mac, I’m 73 years old—and if things go well, I’ll turn 74 just after the November election. As you were when you were 73, I’m still relatively peppy. But I would no sooner hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, snow ski for the first time or box in a charity match for the Police Athletic League—activity ideas that have all been floated over the past few years—than run for even my local school board. I may have the desire and even some of the stamina; but all I’d be doing any of those things for would be in service not to my community but to my ego.

Look, friend, I have high blood pressure, tinnitus and arthritis, yet most of the people in my inner circle think I’m a Jewish Energizer Bunny because I write and draw three online columns per week and write magazine articles, books, musicals and plays. The key is that I do all of these things whilst seated, chum. So, like yours, my brain may be functioning fine under certain conditions—but I’m not sure if someone asked me to jauntily jog down a tarmac to a waiting gaggle of reporters I’d retain my balance, composure and vocabulary.

Let’s call it a day, compadre. You have a memoir to write, a son to visit in prison and a guard dog to either retrain or euthanize. These are huge activities, not counting the DIY pickleball injuries class at 7. C’mon, pal. Say that Hunter talked you into stepping down right after allegedly talking you into running in the first place. Or follow the current DC protocol and blame it on your wife. She won’t mind. In fact, most of us don’t think Jill wants to go back up the Hill, Jack.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).