Loose Ends (226)

Exactly what does New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham think she is doing suspending the 2nd Amendment because of an “emergency”? The state’s attorney general (a fellow Democrat) has told the governor her act is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in court. Even one-time teen gun-grabber heartthrob David Hogg has called her move unwise and unhelpful:

But Governor Grisham is doubling down. Theory: this is an audition to replace Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate next year. She likely thinks scratching the left’s gun-grabbing itch will elevate her political profile.

Speaking of Biden and his running mates, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius says it out loud: “President Biden should not run again in 2024.”

I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for reelection. It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping Trump. . .

Because of their concerns about Biden’s age, voters would sensibly focus on his presumptive running mate, Harris. She is less popular than Biden, with a 39.5 percent approval rating, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight. Harris has many laudable qualities, but the simple fact is that she has failed to gain traction in the country or even within her own party.

Time is running out. In a month or so, this decision will be cast in stone. It will be too late for other Democrats, including Harris, to test themselves in primaries and see whether they have the stuff of presidential leadership. . . I hope Biden has this conversation with himself about whether to run, and that he levels with the country about it.

Biden having “a conversation with himself” would require acres of popcorn. In any case, expect this column to circulate widely among Democratic circles the rest of the week.

Separately (perhaps), the New York Times reports that Joe Biden is “sad” and “frustrated” by Hunter Biden’s ongoing legal trouble:

He plunged into sadness and frustration, according to several people close to him who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their relationships with the Biden family. Since then, his tone in conversations about Hunter has been tinged with a resignation that was not there before, his confidants say. . .

Subtext: Wouldn’t you feel better if you didn’t run again, so you can “spend more time with your family”?

Biden is “keeping Hunter close.”

People who know both men say their bond is singular in its intensity. But even allies of President Biden, who prides himself on his political and human instincts, say he has at times been too deferential to his younger son, appearing unwilling to tell him no, despite Hunter’s problems and his long trail of bad decisions. . .

Allies of the president have deep respect for the bond, but have privately criticized Mr. Biden’s apparent inability to say no when Hunter sought to pull him into his business dealings. Some allies of the president say his loyalty to his son — inviting him to state dinners, flying with him aboard Marine One and standing on the White House balcony with him — has resulted in wholly avoidable political distractions.

Maybe because Hunter is blackmailing the old man, or because Joe is in on the influence peddling?

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