At 80 years old, President Joe Biden is not only the oldest president in American history, but he is also on track to break that record again should he win his re-election bid in 2024.
It’s an issue voters care about; polls have shown time and time again that Americans would rather see a younger Democratic presidential candidate replace Joe Biden on the ticket.
An ABC News and The Washington Post poll released on July 2, 2023, also found a huge majority – some 68% of Americans – saying that the president is just too old to serve a second term.
It’s a problem that’s unlikely to get better, with the president getting older – and arguably less coherent and competent – by the day.
Now that the president’s re-election campaign is already underway and the Democratic primaries are quickly approaching, however, there is a small and narrowing window for the Democratic party to change its collective mind and choose somebody new.
Robert Kennedy Jr. hopes he’ll be the nominee, instead. So does Marianne Williamson. The only “young” candidate the Democrats can realistically hope for is 58-year-old Vice President Kamala Harris – the woman most people assume would replace Biden should he step down before the election.
The chances of that happening are slim. Arguably, the man with the closest shot at taking the nomination from Biden is Kennedy – but even the Kennedy camp must know that taking the nomination away from a sitting president, even one as unpopular as Joe Biden, is hard to achieve.
But that doesn’t mean Democrats – or those more sympathetic to their politics – aren’t admitting that there is a problem.
Here’s What The Atlantic Has to Say on Joe Biden
In an op-ed for The Atlantic – hardly an outlet sympathetic to the GOP – Eliot Cohen, a Never Trumper and prominent national security expert who opposed Donald Trump in 2016, called on President Joe Biden to step aside.
After expressing his gratitude for Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump in 2020, and spuriously claiming that the president “saved” the country, Cohen argued that he “has no business running for president at age 80.”
“I am as healthy as any late-middle-aged person (admittedly, I cringe at the word old, which tells you something right there) can be. But I know that at this stage, I do not have the energy I had a decade ago. I forget more things, and if my body does not hurt when I wake up in the morning, a little voice in my head asks whether I am dead and do not yet know it,” Cohen continued.
It’s exactly the same argument used by current Republicans, though perhaps worded more eloquently and void of the obvious hypocrisy that comes with their simultaneous backing of 77-year-old former President Donald Trump. Cohen isn’t the only person to recognize that the party is taking a risk with such an old president, though the reaction to his piece might offer an insight into how – and why – President Biden will still be the party’s nominee.
Cohen later admitted that his piece had attracted a “hateful” response, arguing that Republicans “do not have a monopoly on angry illiterates.”
There are, of course, plenty of angry, hateful, and yes, illiterate, Democrats out there.
They also happen to be the loudest voices – and the loudest voices in the Democratic Party are the ones who win. They are the ones who dictate policy. They are the ones who convinced the future vice president to defend BLM rioters in 2020, and to encourage a once “moderate” future president to advocate for extreme gender ideology.
President Biden is clearly too old to run again in 2024, but if the loudest voices in the Democratic Party want a puppet, then a puppet they will get.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.