Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan has written an insightful column.  The important messages are knowing when to leave the stage and “always thinking about American.” Is history going to repeat itself?

“The only time Democrats get excited now is when the subject is Donald Trump. Then they get marvelously worked up. An official of the administration called to let off steam. “Trump says NATO doesn’t pay its bills—has anyone noticed the irony? Donald Trump is the biggest deadbeat in history. How many hundreds of contractors did he stiff through his career, how many plumbers didn’t get paid for their work, and he complains about others? Talk about projecting!”

But when the subject is Joe Biden, they’re depressed. They have accepted that he is the inevitable nominee and explain the reasons. I can’t get myself to buy them. The thinking is too limited, too weary and defensive about life. And so a last stab at why it doesn’t have to be this way.

Mr. Biden is stuck at 39% approval; Mr. Trump is leading; a large majority of the country thinks he’s too old for the job. It’s not that his walk is slow or stilted, not that he occasionally loses his thought. It’s that the presidency is a speaking role and he can’t make a sustained case on Ukraine, Israel, illegal immigration, all the great issues. This leaves things confused, without a central voice, and makes people nervous: there’s too much mystery around this White House. They say he’s fine when he’s well-rested, but events don’t knock softly on the door and ask if you’re ready for them.

This is what Democrats argue: There is nobody else. But there is. Here we summon the usual names, starting with the Gs—Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Add Jared Polis, Josh Shapiro, all the candidates of the 2020 primary. There is no Biden movement within the party that would bolt without him, no Biden cult that must be appeased.

The Democrats will never be able to agree on anybody. Then they aren’t a party. A party’s function is to yield up and secure the election of candidates who fulfill its mission and meaning. The Democratic Party is a mess, but its constituent parts don’t want it to die, they have too much invested. In the end they’ll make a choice.

It would be bloody. So what? It would be vital, not as if the party is in some somnambulistic shuffle toward a dark, inevitable fate.

It’s too late.Lyndon B. Johnson, the last president to decline to seek a second term, dropped out on March 31, 1968. There was still time for contenders to launch and fund races. The primary rules have changed since then, and ballots have been printed up. Mr. Biden can free his delegates, either from the day he steps aside or at the convention. Only political romantics think an open convention is possible. You can’t know it’s impossible. Now and then in life you have to say, “History, hold my beer.”

But the American people would see chaos. Americans appear to enjoy chaos. It will only help Trump. His campaign is planning on a Biden rematch; he’ll be crowded out of the news cycle for months; it’ll throw a wrench in his works.

What about the Kamala problem? What problem? She can run for the nomination like anyone else.

It’s too big a gamble. Backing Mr. Biden is a gamble. Bookmakers give him a nearly 70% chance of losing.

The family won’t go for it. They aren’t the arbiters of American history; the White House isn’t their candy store.

He will never change his mind.Barack Obama dissuaded him from running for president in 2016. If Mr. Biden steps aside, sacrificing all vanity and need, he is a hero to his party forever. If he stays and loses, he’s Ruth Bader Biden. They’ll never forgive him. His legacy is the second Trump term.

Has anyone had The Talk with him, his family and staff? All the odds laid out, the arguments made, a plea spoken? Has anyone been frank, candid, tough?

If not, why not? Donors love to talk, so do senators and governors.

We end with the famous political intervention that took place 50 years ago this summer, in August 1974. Sen. Barry Goldwater, Sen. Hugh Scott and House Minority Leader John Rhodes went to Richard Nixon to tell him it was over.

Goldwater, in his blunt and gossipy 1988 autobiography, remembered telling a newspaper, in the spring of ’74, that the Watergate scandal reminded him of Teapot Dome. He was summoned immediately after for dinner at the White House. He hadn’t seen Nixon much and was taken aback. The president’s conversation was a stream of “ceaseless, choppy chatter.” He was “constantly switching subjects,” “hunching and quickly dropping his shoulders.” Goldwater drove home and dictated for his personal files: “I have reason to suspect that all might not be well mentally in the White House.” The next day he phoned fellow guest Bryce Harlow, Nixon’s counselor, who offered comfort: Nixon had merely been drunk.

On Aug. 6, as impeachment loomed, Goldwater alerted the White House the president may only have a dozen Republican senators with him. The next day he, Scott and Rhodes saw the president. Goldwater had been asked by chief of staff Al Haig not to demand or suggest resignation—that would leave Nixon defiant. In the Oval Office, Goldwater wrote, “Nixon put his feet up on the desk, leaned back in his swivel chair, and began reminiscing about the past.” Then Nixon’s voice turned hard. He challenged his visitors. Goldwater was direct: “Things are bad.” Nixon was sarcastic. “Less than a half-dozen votes?” “Ten at most,” Goldwater said. He’d taken a nose count that morning. “You have four firm votes. The others are really undecided. I’m one of them.”

Nixon asked if he had any options. None were offered. Goldwater left feeling, “He would make the decision in the best interests of the country. It was going to be all right.”

But after the meeting, Goldwater returned to his office and called Katharine Graham of the Washington Post. He didn’t much like the Post—earlier that day he’d stood on the Senate floor, looked up at the press gallery and declared “You are a rotten bunch!” But he knew the Post’s place in the story and its power with its readers. He had one, Richard Nixon, in mind.

He decided to trust her. “I told Mrs. Graham what had happened in the Oval Office.” Nixon might “go off in any direction, depending on how the media, particularly the Post, handled the story. Could they play it cool for just one day, refrain from saying Nixon was finally finished?” If they got Nixon mad, “there was no telling what he would do. As things stood, I believed he would resign.”

Kay Graham chose to trust Goldwater. “The Post was as circumspect as it could be the following morning.” Afterward she never mentioned it to Goldwater when they saw each other. Goldwater thought he knew why. “Newspapers call their own shots.” But he felt the Post that morning put country over self. “I will never forget their recognition of responsibility as long as I live.”

Nixon resigned that night.

These old stories are always so moving, because everyone was always thinking about America, and thinking imaginatively, too, as if history’s a thing you can personally shape”.


“It was the best of times…it was the worst of times”…and these are the most unsettling times…with Trump’s shocking NATO statement Saturday, encouraging Russia to do “whatever the hell they want to do…” brings back frightening memories of World War II and the cold...

read more

Sports Streaming

(Editor’s note: The writer Bill Phillips is a former West Virginia Racing Commissioner & served on the Board of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.) Who is taking care of horse racing?  My first thought upon learning a sports streaming service...

read more

Political Tidbits

Florida Gov. DeSantis received 25,732 votes in two GOP primaries…before suspending his campaign.  Based on his PAC spending 160 million dollars…that works out to a mere $6,217 spent for each vote he received.  His failed campaign got him 9 delegates to the Republican...

read more

Is He Done?

It’s only been eleven days since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “suspended” his presidential campaign.  Since he returned home, I have observed he is following the same pattern he did months before announcing a run for the presidency.  I pointed out several instances...

read more

It’s Time

Has the time arrived for coalition government in America?  We are a two-party country. One that no longer works.  We are faced with a political environment that is getting worse each day.  Congress is divided on nearly every issue and spinning its wheels.  The...

read more

Growing Democrats

Reluctantly, I am going to enter the discussion going on in West Virginia’s Republican party.  The Republican State Committee is considering a resolution to forbid independent voters their opportunity to vote in the May Republican primary.  After a lifetime working to...

read more

DeSantis’ Future

Speculation is starting regarding Governor Ron DeSantis’ political future.  He has three years left as Governor.  In September when his presidential campaign started showing signs of stress, I posted a blog suggesting he consider a run for the U. S. Senate.  The...

read more

2 Crutches

Florida’s hard right Governor Ron DeSantis was already a “lame duck.”  He returned from a failed presidential campaign “as a duck with two crutches”.  He retreated to the Governor’s Mansion.  Others suspended their campaigns facing supporters, friends and the media. ...

read more


Iowa is now out of the way.  Obviously, the campaign for president is getting all the attention.  But there are other potentially vital campaigns just starting.  They may play a significant role in who is  the next president.  Those are races for members of the U. S....

read more

My Take

Ron DeSantis confirmed last night it’s still all about him.  In his Iowa post-election speech, he never once thanked Iowans for their votes & hospitality.  Throughout his campaign he made a big deal of visiting all 99 counties.  MANY PEOPLE AND BUSINESES OPENED...

read more

What Is a Caucus?

Several blog readers have inquired about the Iowa Caucus.  Wondering how it works.  While reading Reuters this morning I came across an article that answers the question.  For those interested here is a link to click. 

read more

“not going away”

Governor Chris Christie said he was “not going away” while suspending his presidential campaign. Fantastic news since he is the person who really knowns Donald Trump.  He left no doubt he is committed to preventing Trumps return to the oval office. It didn’t take long...

read more


In & Out

OUT                                                                                         IN House Speaker Johnson                                                      Who Knows Gov. Ron DeSantis                                                               Ms,...

read more

They’re Off!

Not all races are political, there is horse racing. Many readers of this blog including my wife & I have been involved with horse racing over the years.  She claims to have cut her teeth “on the rail” at Charles Town! Being native West Virginians a piece in...

read more

Stable vs Chaos

Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster and moderator of the New York Times Opinion focus group series, took a usual look at the 2016 presidential race vs the 2024 one in progress. Below are excerpts from Ms. Anderson piece “How Trump is Running Differently...

read more

A Solution

Since posting Robert Kagan opinion piece about a Trump dictatorship he has written a second.  Some of his readers were unhappy he did not offer a solution.  Below are excerpts from his response. “Can a Trump dictatorship still be prevented? Yes. It does not require a...

read more


Posted on this blog earlier was an article from The Washington Post.  I failed to point out those without a subscription to The Post would be required to enter their email address to read the entire piece.  Our apologies

read more

Stop Pretending

Since reading an opinion piece last month “A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable.  We should stop pretending.”  The points made by the author are worth considering and worth my time to read.  After much thought and a couple re-reads, I decided to post on...

read more

Political Tidbits

…history in my home WV county…Randolph now has more registered Republicans than Democrats…Mary Heineman…who guided my political career must be smiling from Maplewood Cemetery…congratulations to Carolyn Jackson GOP Chair in Randolph. Looks like FL Congressman Matt...

read more


Democracy is at stake in the 2024 election at all levels.  One of the greatest threats is the loss of local newspapers.  As a native West Virginian and advocate for rural America my immediate concern is how rural areas are being impacted. A report “The State of Local...

read more

Where Are You Going?

MAGA is the Republican Party.  The remnants sit on Capitol Hill masquerading as the Republican National Committee in a building dedicated by President Nixon in 1971. The building has not been abandoned.  However, Republicans are leaving the party.  The party structure...

read more

Political Tidbits

Is Kamala Harris…Biden’s No. 2 Problem…WSJ columnist thinks so & wrote about it last week.  Read it here. A key FL GOP legislator Randy Fine…dropped his support of DeSantis for President…Florida Playbook was told by Fine…he received messages from colleagues that...

read more

Rights Do In The Right

(Editors Note:  Received this personal email from a longtime friend – Robert L. Harris.  He is an experienced and keen observer of government, politics & history.  I telephoned and asked if he would allow me to publish as a guest commentary on PhilipsBillBoard. He...

read more

To Be Determined

The New York Times/Siene College poll paints a dark picture for President Biden who trails former President Trump in five of the six most important battleground states one year before the 2024 election. Axios reported last week Democratic governors and senators were...

read more