DAVID MARCUS: It’s time to have ‘the talk’ about Grandpa Joe as he launches re-election bid

The nation has been given to understand that Joe Biden has announced his run for a second presidential term that would end on or about his 86th circuit around the sun.

The president is at that advanced age when families start having hard conversations about taking away grandpa's car keys, or whether Aunt Julie should really be using the stove unattended. Well, it's time for America to have that talk.

There is little doubt that for a half hour or so, Old Scranton Joe can be propped up in front of a flag reading an announcement off of his IMAX-sized teleprompter. Whether he will know what he is saying is another matter, but he'll get through it, likely with the promise of ice cream to follow.

As with every speech Biden gives, we will experience the feelings, familiar from eyeing family members who are elderly, of concern as his eyes toggle between a dim light of recognition and a visage pleading, "Where am I?"

But as the Octogenarian-in-Chief is so often wont to say, this is not a joke.

Around the globe and between our borders, America faces a CVS receipt of major challenges, and we're credulously contemplating being led through them by a guy who watched the Honeymooners on live television.

Even the New York Times Editorial Board, an outfit so in the bag for Biden that it practically has a Delaware Tramp Stamp, gravely noted this week that the president must "take voters' concerns about age seriously."

What would that even look like? Thus far, when pressed about his vintage, Biden does a kind of weird Jimmy Cagney impression, no doubt informed from his youthful days at the 10-cent picture shows, and with a rye Irish smile, steels his eyes and mutters something like "watch me."

Well, we have been watching, Joe. We watch you stumble down stairs and shake invisible hands, we watch your train of thought ride off the rails with the regularity of Old Faithful, and your comprehension of questions mirror that of someone on their 3rd day of learning Mandarin Chinese.

Is it any wonder that Democrats have already nixed any potential presidential primary debate? They can't have Robert Kennedy, Jr or Gavin Newsom swaggering up to the stage all full of vim, vitally good hair, and the sparkle of youth next to a guy who looks like he dozes off during the early bird special.

And yet, Biden the Elder is somehow the man we have chosen to lead us into a geopolitical battle against the likes of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Joe Biden: a man who looks like he loses battles with tapioca pudding.

What everyone knows, aside from maybe Joe Biden, is that he is no more actively the President of the United States than the White House bathroom attendant, and this holds true for his candidacy as well.

Having sat through the original, we are all prepared for "Biden in Basement 2: The Return of the Lid."

For 18 months, his diverse group of young, enthusiastic surrogates and influencers, perhaps including Kamala Harris' hero Dylan Mulvaney this time, will prance about and prattle off Obama World talking points while the portrait of Joe grows older and more decrepit beneath the floor of his Delaware home.

Hopefully, without any classified documents strewn around like AARP pamphlets this time.

It is not cruel to express concern about Biden's fitness to lead the free world, just as it is not cruel to tell one's aged uncle not to climb ladders to clean the gutters. The true cruelty in both cases is to sit by, watching the rungs be ascended only to result in a dangerous pratfall. 

All of the signs are there, the too oft lost look in his eyes, the sudden rage as Peter Doocey asks an innocuous question (and POTUS turns into Mr. Wilson berating Dennis the Menace), the bizarre and winding fabulist stories he weaves based on lies so old he thinks they are true.

Of course, team Biden will protest that Donald Trump, the man who may be set to oppose Biden, is himself rather long in the tooth, and this is true, but it's also true that, at 76, Trump still looks like he belongs at Studio 54.

The display that is coming our way, as Biden steps back to the podium to plead for votes from even Democrats who don't want him to run, will be a sad one.

He cannot competently discuss the border crisis he says doesn't exist, or the war in Ukraine he lied to the American people about, let alone the serious allegations of his family's influence peddling, most of which, in fairness, he probably doesn't even remember.

Yes, it is time to talk about Grandpa Joe. It is time to admit what we all see and know.  A man in decline, no more fit to run a nation than he is to run a marathon.

For his sake, for our sake, and for the world's sake, we need to look Biden in the eyes, and with warm tenderness, tell him, you've had a good run, but we really do need to take the keys now. It's time. And everybody knows it.

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