I have refrained from moving to the next step in this thinking. But the fun part of politics is speculation, right? So if Joe decides to not run, some of the questions that follow are:

1. When should he make that announcement? Not running is supposed to create a "lame duck" whose political power is diminished. But it's not like he has a Congress that he can send legislation to. The House is a Clown Show on good days and a stage for traitorous insurrectionists on the bad ones.

2. There will be a slew of eager candidates, should Joe endorse early?

3. How important is it to support anyone but an "old white guy"?

4. Who would attract the youth vote?

5. Who would women support?

6. How to prioritize #4 and #5 without losing key groups like African Americans and Latinos (who are hardly monolithic in their politics)?

7. How closely should this candidate associate with Biden?

8. The young voters will demand a central focus on Climate and the Environment. Will that alienate some independents?

9. Just how "progressive" should this new candidate be on social issues like universal health care and the nightmare of child care?

10. Should this candidate demand a new tax structure that stops the freight train of money to the top 1% of Americans? Should he/she call out the Oligarchs for their election meddling?

11. Can this candidate be "pro labor" (most people) and still foster business innovation and American competitiveness?

12. Is it time to demand that our next President be a woman - finally? Men have a generally terrible record when it comes to waging peace.

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Those are all good questions and good food for thought. I have no answers but would look forward to seeing these debated. That said, I'm still on the fence about your suggestion in your letter to the President. There are a lot of important issues but the one that looks largest for me is winning in 2024. I have not seen any demographic polls though.

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Jan 28, 2023Liked by Bill Alstrom (MA-Maine-MA)

Thank you for articulating what I have been thinking. I am so grateful for all that Biden has done the past two years. He was the right President for the right time. And I think it’s time to make sure our younger population is motivated to engage in our democracy

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I find this discussion to be quite emotional. I get accusations of ageism when I suggest Joe is "too old". There is nothing to be gained by suggesting that 80 is too old to be the leader of the free world. On that subject, I have mixed emotions. By 80, one has accumulated a lot of excellent experience and critical perspective.

And I think, overall, Joe's general wisdom and good judgement still make him a highly qualified leader. Especially, when you consider what we have recently suffered through.

But I also think there is a case to be made that someone 15 or 20 years younger would have a better grasp on technology and social trends that are moving faster than greased lightning (how's that for an old guy's saying?). And as one who is moving closer to that age myself, I do think it unlikely that someone 80 could compete with someone who is 60 in terms of physical stamina and mental agility. It is a complicated subject.

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Jan 27, 2023Liked by Bill Alstrom (MA-Maine-MA)

I absolutely agree with every point you made regarding Biden not running again in '24.

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👏👏👏 agree

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