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Joe Biden: Too Old To Run for President Again?

Joe Biden
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with supporters at a town hall hosted by the Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition at Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Is Joe Biden Just Too Old to Run Again?: Many Democrats are looking for fresh faces for the 2024 Presidential election, although so far, Joe Biden is refusing to get out of the way.

Biden hasn’t officially announced that he is running for re-election, but he is expected to do so quite soon.

But he has a problem: A new poll has cause for concern. It shows that not all of his supporters agree he should run again

Poll Delivers Bad News for Joe Biden

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey released February 6 reveals waning support among Democrats for another term for Biden.

Only 37 percent of these voters want Biden to run again. This is a different result for the president compared to when 52 percent favored Biden to be the standard bearer last year before the midterm elections.

Economy Is Improving

Biden has remained undeterred while attempting to trumpet his achievements. The last jobs report burst through estimates as 517,000 jobs were created in January. Economists thought there would only be 187,000 new jobs last month. The unemployment rate is 3.4 percent – the lowest since 1969.

While inflation has been stubborn, the consumer prices index has begun to subside. Gas prices have mostly leveled off without the usual spikes that worry motorists.

There Are Good Things to Run On

The president bucked a historical trend when his party performed better than expected in the 2022 midterms. Democrats barely lost the House of Representatives and even gained a seat in the Senate. He helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which the White House claims will “bring down costs, reduce the deficit, and take aggressive action on climate.” Biden points to his record of improving health care for veterans and supporting legislation to improve job creation to better compete with China.

His Advanced Age Is Getting in the Way

However, despite these accomplishments, the poll found that only 22 percent of all voters say he should run again. So, what’s the problem? For many people the main issue is the president’s age. 

Sarah Overman, 37, a Democrat from Raleigh, North Carolina, told the Associated Press, “I, honestly, think that he would be too old. We could use someone younger in the office.”

The Struggle

Joe Biden often gives the appearance that he is not up to the daily duties that other presidents have been able to handle with ease. He struggles to do low-pressure ceremonial tasks. He has trouble reading from the teleprompter. He has tried to shake hands with people who are not there. Biden often needs to have someone guide him to the exit when he looks confused on stage. He mis-speaks and makes claims that are not true, especially when telling tall tales and embellishments about his past experiences.

Republicans Will Have Some Youthful Candidates

If he gets re-elected and serves another four years, he will be 86. This has voters wondering if Biden has passed his prime. However, no other candidate has made any overtures to run against him. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump is 76. One woman who is set to challenge him is Nikki Haley who is only 51, but she is an underdog. There are others who are expected to run against Trump such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is 44, although he has yet to officially declare for the race.

Recent Events Are Not Confidence Builders

That leaves Democrats to ponder the future with Biden running for re-election. The president often seems surprised by events. He was caught unaware that he had classified documents in his possession. He reacted slowly and indecisively during the incident with the Chinese high-altitude reconnaissance balloon. The southern border is a mess and the withdrawal from Afghanistan during the first year of his presidency was chaotic.   

An Excellent State of the Union Address Is Needed

The poll also found that only 23 percent of Americans believe they have “a great deal” of confidence in Joe Biden to run the White House. Biden has an opportunity to change negative perceptions in his State of the Union address February 7. He can discuss his leadership ability during the war in Ukraine.

Joe Biden can unveil a plan for immigration reform and bipartisan legislation to improve policing. The speech will be the beginning of his re-election campaign. If he seems to stumble or lose confidence, opponents will claim he is not up to the task of continuing in the White House. If he receives high marks for the speech, he can put together a string of public appearances where he appears fit for duty and confident in his communication efforts.

It’s not over for the president. He still has time to turn his overall approval rating around and convince the skeptics that his age is not a problem. The Biden administration hopes people will give him credit for his accomplishments and not focus on his missteps and foibles.

The speech must have vigor and confidence and show that he is totally in command. He will need to connect to people who believe that he is distant and has lost a step. Thus, the stakes are high, and Biden must show he is up to the challenge.

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Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

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