Before announcing his campaign for president, Joe Biden received some expert advice from his former boss, Barack Obama: "You don't have to do this, Joe, you really don't."
Yet here we are. Now that Election Day is finally upon us, it's worth looking back on the meandering, discombobulated misadventure that has comprised the third presidential campaign of Joe Biden's 47-year career in public office.
Biden, who will turn 78 later this month, didn't always demonstrate what most casual observers would consider the minimum level of mental dexterity required of a presidential candidate. For example, he occasionally forgot he was running for president and frequently struggled with rudimentary math, claiming to have arrived in the U.S. Senate "one hundred and eighty years ago" and mourning the "over 120 million dead from COVID."
When he wasn't taking refuge in his basement, Biden waged a tireless campaign against the English language, touting the superiority of "truth over facts" and pledging to mobilize "true wind in gnash of a d'pressure." He was occasionally baffled by teleprompters, particularly the phrase "end of quote," which is not traditionally spoken aloud.
What he lacked in basic cognitive function, however, Biden made up for with the blind rage of a senior citizen lashing out at a Wendy's cashier. Reporters, podcast hosts, members of the public, and even his own supporters were on the receiving end of the former VP's violent outbursts. "Look, fat," he famously addressed an attendee at one of his campaign events. "Are you a junkie?" he asked a CBS reporter.
Win or lose, Biden can hold his head high knowing that Obama was a fool to urge him not to run and content himself with the friendships and memories he made along this incredible journey.