We are sorry to write this, but Joe Biden has passed his expiration date for a legitimate shot at the presidency. His gaffes are likely to continue, no matter how insulated his staff tries to keep him.

There has even been talk of having him conduct a “front porch” kind of campaign, where instead of meeting voters on the hustings, he would issue pre-approved pronouncements from a safe home base. That may have worked a century ago, but not today.

Biden’s conflating of several stories regarding him awarding a medal for bravery to a military hero is astonishing on several levels, including that his staff either didn’t know or didn’t care that he was doing this; and that HE didn’t know or didn’t care that he was telling what was essentially a tall tale.

In an NPR interview, Biden said this concocted yarn and his other gaffes are “irrelevant” to being a good President. We disagree.

His defenders argue that even if Biden made up the story, it’s a heck of a lot less fact-inventing than what Donald Trump does on a regular basis. If that is the benchmark by which all politicians are now to be judged, we might as well give up any remaining hope for the republic.

Trump, after all, is what most Democrats, and not a few Republicans, are attempting to defeat in 2020. Biden has been seen by many as the best candidate based on his record and experience and the perception that he is fairly moderate, at least when compared with other presidential contenders in the new Left of Left Democratic Party.

He may be more moderate and experienced, but his repeated stumbles are making him ever more vulnerable to Trump’s brand of ridicule. Should Biden win the nomination, any more foot-in-mouth episodes will be all the more magnified and exploited by Trump and could prove catastrophic.

The idea that “anyone but Trump” should include an opponent seen as old and confused is a bridge too far.

None of this is pleasant. We have found Biden to be a reasonable, centrist Democrat in past campaigns. Much of the current field in his party are so far out in left field that choosing any of them as their party nominee strengthens Trump’s chances in a general election.

But Biden isn’t the answer. Not this time.