'Dear Joe, you need to go': Biden's childhood mate pens emotional note warning of Trump's return - Hindustan Times

'Dear Joe, you need to go': Biden's childhood mate pens emotional note warning of Trump's return

ByAditi Srivastava
Jun 30, 2024 10:55 AM IST

Jay Parini calls for Biden to reconsider presidential bid after debate disaster. Urges party leaders to support other Democratic contenders.

President Joe Biden is under pressure to withdraw from the presidential race following Thursday's debate disaster. Democratic donors are urging the president and the party to reconsider their decision to support Biden for a second term, alleging concerns about his health and fitness for the position. Now, Biden’s childhood friend and longtime supporter, Jay Parini, has joined the chorus of those calling for Biden to step aside. In a heartfelt letter, Parini appealed to Biden's sense of legacy and national duty, reminiscing about their shared roots in Scranton.

Who could be Joe Biden's potential replacement? (Photographer: Cornell Watson/Bloomberg)(Bloomberg)
Who could be Joe Biden's potential replacement? (Photographer: Cornell Watson/Bloomberg)(Bloomberg)

Biden's childhood mate writes letter to prez

In an opinion piece for CNN, author and poet Jay Parini recounted his enduring friendship with President Joe Biden, noting that his mother had been Biden's babysitter. Parini praised Biden’s leadership and achievements in guiding the country through major crises, including the pandemic and economic upset. He acknowledged Biden's efforts in gun control measures, improving infrastructure, crime control, and addressing inflation. Parini also highlighted Biden's successful marshalling of support among allies for Ukraine, a move that has earned the country admiration.

Also read: Ex-doctor for Obama, Trump claims Biden ‘likely suffers from Cognitive disease,’ must resign for national security

However, the tone of the letter shifted as Parini recalled Biden's recent performance in a debate against former President Donald Trump. During the debate, the POTUS displayed signs of major concern: his raspy voice, frequent fumbles, and episodes where he seemed lost while making his points led many to question whether he, nearing 82 years of age, might not be the ideal choice for president.

‘Joe you’re an old man now’

Citing Biden's "wobbly and disoriented" status that was evident during the debate, Parini conveyed major worry about his capacity to successfully guide the country through another term in office. “you’re an old man now, like me. I know what it’s like to summon the energy to move forcefully through the day. Our bodies don’t cooperate as they once did. Sometimes it hurts even to get up in the morning,” he writes.

Also read: Jill Biden's ex-husband slams her for allegedly pushing Biden to run post debate setback; ‘not the person i married’

Stating that the prez looked, “ancient, pale and fragile,” Parini called on his childhood mate to focus on the nation's future and his own mark on history by relinquishing the presidency to a more robust Democratic contender. He also voiced concern, highlighting the critical threat of a possible Trump victory, noting that "Democracy is truly at risk." “I found myself weeping. Weeping for you. Weeping for our nation.”

‘If Trump returns he will give Russian president free rein’

Parini didn’t mince his words when alling out former president Trump’s history of attempting to weaken democratic standards and speculated about the catastrophic outcomes of a second Trump administration, including foreign policy setbacks and domestic policy reversals.

“If Trump returns to the White House, he will give Russian President Vladimir Putin free rein to crush the poor Ukrainians and anyone else who annoys him,” he said reflecting on Trump’s clear inclination towards Putin. “He will give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a blank check. NATO will be imperiled. He will slap massive tariffs on imported goods from China and elsewhere, driving up inflation, as economists suggest,” the author of Borges and Me added.

He called on party leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to make bold moves in transforming the party's approach for the next election.

Parini suggests names to replace Biden in upcoming US elections

"We need a brokered, open convention," Parini asserted, pushing for well-known Democrats such as Governors Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, and J.B. Pritzker to emerge as strong contenders as substitutes for Biden. “The best available Democrat should stand against Trump in November. Any of them should be able to wipe the floor with him,” he added.

Closing with a plea rooted in their shared upbringing and values, he remarked, “Be the great man you are, Joe, the one we’ve seen in action and admired for many decades. We salute you. It’s tough, I’m sure. But your final act of greatness lies right before you now.”

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