That’s Easy: Age – Joe Biden is finally admitting that his advanced age is an issue.
The 80-year-old, who is the oldest president in history, recently told David Muir of ABC News back in February that concerns about his age are “totally legitimate.”
Joe Biden was frank with Muir. “It’s legitimate for people to raise issues about my age,” he said. “It’s totally legitimate to do that. And the only thing I can say is, ‘Watch me.’”
Worries About Age
Biden would be 82 when sworn in should he win re-election. Many ordinary Democratic voters who have watched him over the years are concluding that he should step away and allow someone new to take his place. Polls reflect this view.
Republican presidential candidates, for their part, are already making his age a main issue.
Former South Carolina Governor and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered an especially stinging barb, saying that all political candidates over the age of 75 should be forced to pass a mental acuity test.
Former President Donald Trump agrees, as do 38 Congressional Republicans who wrote Biden requesting that he take a cognitive test.
The White House said such a requirement reeks of ageism, and Joe Biden has successfully defended himself from questions about his age in the past.
He won in 2020, after all. However, foibles in low-pressure ceremonial duties have the Biden detractors in his own party worried.
Joe Biden: Signs of Age
And Joe Biden once seemed to need a young girl to guide him by the hand to exit the stage after a speech.
He also often misspeaks and says nonsensical things in public.
Ultimately, Biden will be judged at the ballot box. In 2020, he earned 81,283,098 votes, or 51.3% of the votes cast. Trump called him “Sleepy Joe” but the winning tally showed that the majority of the American people thought he could shake off the disadvantages of old age and lead the country effectively.
People wanted government experience and they certainly got it in Biden, who served as vice president for eight years and in the Senate for decades.
The re-election campaign could be different, as Joe Biden has shown some alarming propensities to have embarrassing moments. He is rarely seen doing anything taxing. The one time he was shown on a bicycle he fell over after stopping to talk to voters.
He suffered no injury, but the clumsiness was alarming.
Of course, Donald Trump is no Ironman triathlete himself. He does not seem to exercise much, except for playing golf.
But other possible candidates are much younger or physically active. Haley is 51.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, 57, works out regularly and plays pick-up basketball.
So expect the Republicans to make age an issue in this campaign. Biden’s handlers will likely make sure the president denies his advanced age is a factor. The faltering and hesitating performances during public appearances must be minimized by Biden.
It would be easy to splice together a number of senior moments into an attack ad that would question his alacrity in public.
The biggest test for Biden will be the presidential debates in 2024.
A good performance in those forums could put the age question to bed — or it could haunt him enough to scare independent voters away.
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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.