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It’s hard to believe Biden never talked with Harris about 2024: Goodwin

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It’s hard to believe Biden never talked with Harris about 2024: Goodwin

On its face, the claim by Vice President Kamala Harris that she and President Biden have never discussed whether he would seek re-election seems the kind of ridiculous lie that only a politician would tell. With Biden’s growing age and declining faculties, and their party’s troubled state, not to mention Harris’ staff problems and low standing with voters, it is impossible to believe the president and vice president have never talked about 2024. 

And given the stakes for the country, they would be guilty of negligence not to talk about the future. Surely it came up at some point?

Nope, not once, insisted Harris. She told The Wall Street Journal in response to a question about 2024, “I’ll be very honest: I don’t think about it, nor have we talked about it.”

So we are to believe that not only have they not talked about the next election, she hasn’t even thought about it. That would make her almost unique in the United States! 

Harris says all this while declaring she is being “very honest,” which, naturally makes the claim even less believable. But that’s her story and she’s sticking to it. 

So, in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary and in the spirit of the holiday season, let’s be kind and generous. Perhaps there is a chance, a very technical, narrow chance, that Harris was guilty of engaging in extreme political spin but not of telling an outright lie. 

In that case, here’s a possible scenario that comes to mind.

Imagine it’s late Friday afternoon and she and the president are alone in the Oval Office after a rough week, meaning it could have been almost any Friday this year. Nothing is going well, they’re tired and frustrated and she looks at him and says, “Joe, we have to talk.”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks before President Joe Biden at a Democratic National Committee holiday party.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks before President Joe Biden at a Democratic National Committee holiday party.
AP / Patrick Semansky

He blinks his eyes as he wonders who she is and is about to ask how she got into the building when he remembers she’s his vice president. But he doesn’t like her tone and clenches both fists as he assumes she wants his job.

His eyes narrow to tiny slits and he says to her: “Look, kid, here’s the deal. You haven’t got it. So back off.”

She’s shocked at his reaction. She only wanted to talk about getting their polls up so the midterms wouldn’t cost them Congress. Instead he cuts her to the core with an insult.

She does what she always does when she’s nervous — laughs loudly. He ignores her and turns his back to walk away — and suddenly she is on fire with fury. 

President Joe Biden speaks at a Democratic National Committee holiday party.
Biden became the oldest sitting president this year.
AP / Patrick Semansky

“I haven’t got it? I haven’t got it?” she practically screams. “You doddering old dimwitted fool, you’re wrecking the country and killing the party. 

“People are saying you’re the worst president ever, worse than Carter. You can’t even read a teleprompter without veering into gibberish. You keep telling that same stupid story about the Amtrak conductor, which everybody knows isn’t true. Even Obama’s fed up and thinks you’re hopeless. 

“And you say I haven’t got it? How dare you!”

Now it’s Biden’s turn to be shocked. He wheels around and instead of taking a step, stumbles toward her. Afraid he’s going to fall, she catches him by putting both hands on his chest and steadies him. 

“Who are you calling old?” he demands. “I’m 69. Feel these muscles,” he shouts, flexing his biceps.

“And don’t give me that Carter crap. And so what if Obama doesn’t like me. What did he ever do for me?”

Jen Psaki previously said Biden intends to run in 2024.
Jen Psaki previously said Biden intends to run in 2024.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

She can’t believe her ears and lets him have it again. 

“What did Obama ever do for you? He made you vice president, that’s what. Without him, you’d be in Delaware eating Jell-O and taking long naps. And there wouldn’t be any reporters around to care what damn flavor of ice cream you like. 

“In fact, you might not be able to afford ice cream. You wouldn’t have a job and your brilliant son Hunter wouldn’t have any income because nobody would pay him off to get to you.” 

She moves toward him, her prosecutor experience kicking in. “And tell me, who in the world is buying that crap he calls art?”

“And one more thing, you old goat, you’re 79, not 69!” 

Now he’s shouting, too. “What a cheap shot. Anybody can forget how old they are!”

Suddenly, he seems worn out. He lowers his voice and says matter of factly: “Look, here’s the deal. You’re no help. I gave you the job and lots to do. You said you would fix the border but you won’t even go there. What do you do all day?

“Nobody wants to work for you and even our media friends don’t like you. Do you know how terrible you have to be not to get a puff piece in the New York Times? 

The Biden administration has had a rocky first year.
The Biden administration has had a rocky first year.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

“You’re the first female vice president, you’re black, you’re way out there on the left, all the things they want. But still the Times won’t say anything nice about you.”

At that moment, Jill Biden walks in and shushes them. She takes her husband by the arm and leads him out the door toward the residence. As they walk down the hall, Harris hears the first lady tell the president he can have sprinkles on his chocolate ice cream tonight.

There you have it — a scenario that makes it possible to believe Biden and Harris never actually talked about 2024. After their disastrous year together, there’s nothing left to say.

Adams’ early lead(ership)

Celebrating his election victory, Eric Adams vowed to “show America how to run a city.”

Early signs indicate he’s striking a nerve.

Even before he takes office, Adams’ intense focus on tackling crime is getting Democrats’ attention across America. San Francisco Mayor London Breed changed her tune last week from “defund the police” to declaring a state emergency to halt decline. Soaring crime, open drug use and homeless encampments are turning the once beautiful city into a dangerous eye sore. 

Mayor-elect Eric Adams speaks at a news conference at the Queensbridge houses in Long Island City.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams speaks at a news conference at the Queensbridge houses in Long Island City.
AP / Brittainy Newman

Even President Biden, who saw no evil during last year’s riots and the murder surge that followed, is finally alarmed. In a Friday commencement speech, he saluted Adams’ choice of Keechant Sewell to be NYC’s top cop and called for more police funding.

“We have to spend more money” to give cops the “help they genuinely need,” Biden told grads at South Carolina State University, a historically black institution.

It’s a given the pols are reacting to polls showing most Americans think Dems are too soft on crime. No matter. The only important thing is that officials do the right thing.

Reader gets ‘Acton’ on Cuo

Reader Jim Irish turns to history to endorse my observation about Andrew Cuomo that “power corrupts, and third terms corrupt absolutely.”

Irish writes: “Lord Acton, the writer of the original maxim that ‘power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ would find your use of it humorous. 

“But he would find no humor in Cuomo.”

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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