It was only a dream.
The White House sent out a press release. “Joint press conference tonight, with President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. This will be a major announcement, to be carried on all networks and social media platforms.”
For hours on end, the Twitter pundits and cable news hosts speculated on what this could be about. Americans waited breathlessly for the big news.
At 8 p.m. sharp, the two political rivals, arm in arm, strolled to the podium. Biden spoke first.
“My fellow Americans, as you may have heard, the 2024 presidential election is less than 18 months away. The speculation has already begun as to who’s in and who’s out, and the polls show that Donald and I each have a commanding lead among our parties’ prospective candidates.” He paused, put on his aviator sunglasses, grinned and said, “I don’t know how this guy does it. He gets into more briar patches than a bag of bunny rabbits, but nothing ever sticks.”
The 46th president stepped aside, motioning #45 toward the microphone.
Trump pulled at his jacket and nodded at his successor. “For once, Sleepy Joe is right. I do have a huge lead in the polls. Maybe the most impressive lead in the history of history, and that goes back several years, maybe millions of years.”
Biden cut in. “But listen man. Here’s the deal. I’m giving you the straight facts.” His voice lowered to a whisper. “I’m no spring chicken. I don’t buy green bananas. My Social Security number is 4. Moses was my high school valedictorian.” He was on a roll, until Trump edged him away from the microphone.
“What Lyin’ Joe is trying to say is, our time has passed. He’s been on the government payroll since John Adams was president. Or maybe it was John Quincy Adams, no one knows for sure. They used his personal notes to write ‘Hamilton,’ because he really was in the room where it happened.
Biden was not amused. He chimed in, “That’s some pretty big talk from a guy who has more attorneys than Harvard Law School. I mean if you win, will the band play ‘Hail to the Chief’ or ‘Jailhouse Rock’?”
Trump said, “Okay, enough with the insults. Let’s do what we came here to do.”
Biden’s expression suddenly turned serious. He looked directly into the camera and said, “Like we said, we’ve seen the polls. And even though we’re the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations, we also know that most of you, the vast majority of you, don’t want either of us to be president.”
Gesturing toward Trump, Biden said, “This guy got one term, and it didn’t end all that well. I can understand why most Americans wouldn’t vote for him. But here’s the thing. I understand why they don’t want to vote for me either.”
You could hear the reporters gasp in disbelief. Are we hearing what we think we’re hearing?
“Look, I’ll be 82 years old at the beginning of a second term. I wish I had won the presidency when I was a lot younger. Lord knows I tried, over and over. But the numbers don’t lie. My mind isn’t going to get any sharper, and with each passing day, there’s less pep in my step. Americans deserve someone younger, more energetic, and someone who can lead with new ideas for future generations. That’s not me. And frankly (pointing at Trump), it’s not this guy either.”
It was Trump’s turn. “I know, I’ve rubbed some of you the wrong way. I adopted this loud, brash persona when I was starting out in business, cranked it up even more as a reality TV star, and took it through the roof in the White House. I wish I had toned it down, but here we are. And I’m facing the facts. Republicans need a new, younger leader who can unite the party, and the nation. So I’m not going to run.”
Biden put his arm around his rival. “Neither am I. We both love this country, and it’s simply the right thing to do.”
But it was only a dream.
› David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at email@example.com, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.
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