Biden Dreams

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He had a hectic day dealing with both national and foreign affairs but as he was usually able to do, when it was time to go to sleep, he could do so without difficulty.
It was the rare occasion when he could not.
Then it came to him. The dream.
He had entered a room where there were a few empty tables. It looked like a restaurant where customers had already left. But at one table near the end of the room, there was this lone man seated with his back to him.
Something about the shape of the man’s head and the contours of his upper body were strangely familiar. Biden was sure he knew the person.
He advanced toward him, determined to find out who the man was.
As he neared the table the man turned around and looked up at him.
It was Bobby Kennedy.
Biden gasped.
Kennedy rose and the two men embraced.
‘Have a seat,’ said Kennedy.
Biden sat down next to him. ‘I’m delighted to see you.’
‘I am, too. You’ve done a good job,’ said Kennedy.
‘Thank you, Bobby.’
‘The pullout from Afghanistan was necessary, painful though it was.’
‘It was difficult, yes, but I had the strong sense the matter had to be resolved so I could focus ahead.’
Kennedy nodded supportively. ‘It’s been a good term.’
‘Glad you think so, too.’
‘Looking back,’ continues Kennedy, ‘maybe too much money was spent on assistance during the pandemic… which contributed to this inflation you’re having to deal with… but hindsight is easy.’
‘I think it was the right thing to do, Bobby. We’ll get through it.’
Biden puts a hand on Kennedy’s shoulder.
‘It’s good to see you, man. You’ve aged but you look good’.
‘You do, too,’ replies Kennedy.
The two men pause as they look at each other.
‘You didn’t come just to say hello, did you?’ says Biden.
‘You’re right,’ returns Kennedy.
‘Do you think I should run again?’
‘No.’
Biden lowers his head.
‘Joe, you have done a terrific job… creating a united front to defend against Putin… injecting vigor into combating climate change… stepping up for the working class… bolstering our investment in tech industries… squaring with China… and in the next two years you’ll do so much more that you will leave a clear mark in the history of our nation. A mark of excellence, Joe. Without a doubt.’
‘Thank you, Bobby.’
‘But age is age, Joe… and it is ruthless. It does not spare anyone.’
Biden nods slowly, as he looks away for a moment.
‘I wish… if I hadn’t been assassinated and gone on to win the election, to have served as well as you have.’
Filled with emotion, Biden reaches out to Kennedy’s hand and gives it a squeeze.
‘You have always been an inspiration to me.’
‘Thank you. You have united the Democratic party, Joe, that’s a strength to build on. Republicans, on the other hand, are badly divided. And Trump’s running will make it worse. It’s unbelievable that a sitting president incited an attack on the Capitol and has not denounced Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.’
‘Nor will he, it’s not in him,’ puts in Biden.
‘His flaws are glaring. The 2024 presidential election should go to a democrat… but
by then you’ll be 82. You are healthy but the perception of old age will affect the voters.’
Biden stares off.
‘I would’ve liked to serve two terms…’
‘But you were vice president for 8 years…’
Biden nods again.
‘There are a lot of good people in the party waiting to hear from you,’ continues Kennedy.
‘You think I’d be challenged in the primaries if I decide to run again?’ says Biden.
‘I believe you would be challenged… adding another stress on you, on top of everything you now have to handle. Instead, if you announce that you won’t be running, that will give other people plenty of time to step up and start to organize. It takes time.’
They look at each other.
Biden smiles. ‘I wouldn’t know what to do with myself…’
Kennedy smiles, too. ‘There will be plenty of things for you to do. And much appreciation for your wisdom’
Now Biden wakes up.
He looks around. The dream was so vivid that it brings tears to his eyes. He always admired Bobby Kennedy.
Through the window he sees that it’s still dark outside.
Jill is next to him, sleeping comfortably.
Biden swings his legs to sit at the edge of the bed. He rubs his face and looks straight ahead.
‘One term… but a damn good term.’