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Forget Joe Biden: Donald Trump Is Just Too Old To Be President

While numerous analysis has questioned whether President Biden is too old for another term as president, his likely opponent, former President Donald Trump, is nearly as old as he is. 

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. By Gage Skidmore.

Joe Biden isn’t the only old guy running for president: While numerous analysis has questioned whether President Biden is too old for another term as president, his likely opponent, former President Donald Trump, is nearly as old as he is. 

There has been a lot of talk, of late, about the leading politicians in the United States being uncommonly old. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is 90, appears to be in serious cognitive decline, while 81-year-old Republican Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has appeared to suffer on-camera medical episodes twice in recent weeks. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), while relatively spry at age 83, announced this week that she will run for another term in the House, which a Politico profile last week attributed to her reluctance to have herself and her fellow San Francisco Democrat, Feinstein, depart Washington at the same time. 

But most of the commentary of late about politicians being too old has concentrated on President Biden, who at age 80 is the oldest president in history, and is vying for a second term that would conclude when he’s 86. 

Pollsters regularly ask voters what they think of Biden’s age, and even Democrats tend to consider it a major vulnerability. Biden’s visit to Asia this week was seen, per the New York Times, as an attempt to show he’s still up to the vigors of a campaign. 

Donald Trump Has An Age Problem? 

One columnist offered a rebuttal this week, noting that Biden isn’t likely to be the only older candidate running in 2024. 

Per Frank Bruni in the New York Times, “Trump is really old too.” 

Indeed Trump, who is 77, was the oldest president prior to Biden, and he would turn 80 during a second term. It’s not as though there weren’t ever questions about Trump’s mental fitness when he was president. And per Bruni, if Trump wins the 2024 election, he will be older at the end of his term than Biden will be at the end of his first term, and would therefore overtake Biden as the oldest president. 

“To our intensifying discussion about whether President Biden has grown mentally fuzzy and too old for a second term, I’d like to add this question: How would we even notice Donald Trump’s lapse into incoherence, when derangement is essentially his brand?,” Bruni writes. 

Bruni added that while Trump is not as old as Biden, he still is very old. 

“I’m not claiming that Biden, 80, and Trump project the same degree of vigor. I have eyes and ears. Trump talks louder and faster than Biden does and moves with a thudding force. He’s like a freight train to Biden’s cable car, or a big, bulbous tuba to Biden’s tremulous piccolo. Listening to Biden, I want a volume knob I can turn up. Listening to Trump, I crave nonsense-canceling headphones,” the columnist added. 

Plus, Bruni said, it’s about more than age, as Biden appears to take better care of himself than his presidential predecessor does. 

“The situation is more complicated than that, and the conversation about it omits dynamics that it shouldn’t. Trump is a mere three years younger than Biden, and he’s overweight. His diet is garbage. His cardio is golf putts. Biden, on the other hand, is a trim tribute to regular exercise,” he writes. “And Trump diverts attention from his age by going to significant lengths to conceal it.”

Nikki Haley, who is running for president as a Republican, said when she launched her campaign that there should be a competency test for politicians over the age of 75, which would apply to both Trump and Biden. 

It’s not clear exactly how the proposal would work, who would administer the tests, and what would happen if the politician failed- would they be barred from running? Kicked out of office? It’s likely meant as more of a campaign talking point than something that will actually ever be enacted. 

“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said in February. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.