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Presidential reliability is a relief

It struck us early Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Joe Biden had been inaugurated as president: Nothing unexpected had happened.

That alone qualifies as news in the United States of America these days.

For the last four years as president, and for almost two years of campaigning before that, we never knew what Donald Trump was going to say next, which friend or foe he was going to bash, which rules or traditions he was going to break, which true things he would say were false and which false things he would say were true. The only predictable thing was that he would do something unpredictable, which meant we always had to be ready for it. Some actual work got done in the White House, but far too often the priority there was feeding the fire of public outrage and adoration, stringing out the soap opera.

We will see what happens under Biden, but it is safe to say he is interested in governing, not in drama. He says, and his long track record in Congress supports this, that while he is a Democrat, he wants to do the job for all Americans, and that he operates in the real world, not the world of lies.

That is a huge relief.

We wish Trump well in his new life. Although he is still vigorous for now, he is getting older, and a peaceful retirement might be just what he needs after the strain of being president.

And as with every new president, we send Biden and his team congratulations and best wishes. We hope they work hard and conscientiously to serve us, the American people, in all our variety. We can’t all agree, but hopefully we can live with each other. Hopefully we can open ourselves up to trust each other a little more. And hopefully we can accomplish a few things most of us agree is for the best — like beating the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly and effectively as possible.

We also invite Biden and his team to follow in the footsteps of many previous presidents — from George Washington to Barack Obama — and visit us here in the Adirondacks. It’s full of natural beauty and real, good, independent people who manage to balance private freedoms with state environmental regulations. We think he’d like it.

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