Democrats are starting to face questions about the health of their president, Joe Biden.
Back in late June, Senator Amy Klobuchar was speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when host Chuck Todd asked her about recent NBC polling that indicates voters are concerned Biden does not have the “necessary mental and physical health” to be president.
“In NBC’s poll, 68 percent of voters said they’re concerned Biden doesn’t have the necessary mental and physical health to be president, including 55 percent who said they have “major” concerns,” Newsweek reported also back in June. “This is up significantly from when this question was last asked in 2020.”
Joe Biden Doubts: Todd puts Klobuchar on the spot
“The concern among Democrats has double since 2020,” Todd asked Klobuchar, in reference to Biden’s health. “Do you have any concerns?”
“No, I don’t,” Klobuchar responded. “Our party is united around him. Why? Because we work in a results-oriented business and he has gotten results.” Klobuchar went on to cite Biden’s accomplishments with respect to the economy, manufacturing, and veteran’s rights.
I understand what Klobuchar is saying. Age is just a number. Biden is getting results so who cares how old he is. But that’s not quite on point is it. She’s referring to Biden’s past accomplishments. I suspect what voters are most concerned about is Biden’s ability to do the job in the future, say from 2024 to 2028, when Biden will be between the ages of 82 and 86. Of course Klobuchar isn’t going to go on NBC and say I don’t think my party’s leader has the cognitive capacity to serve as president – a role he currently occupies. But Klobuchar isn’t stupid, she knows Biden isn’t what he used to be.
Voters are nevertheless concerned
Klobuchar’s assurances aside, voters are concerned with Biden’s mental and physical fitness.
At 80 years old, Joe Biden is already the oldest president ever. And yes, age is just a number. Fine. But the thing with Biden is that he looks and sounds old – especially with respect to his former self. You’ve got to remember that Biden has been in the public eye for half a century.
He has fifty years’ worth of documentation to be used as reference for his physical health, mental health, his mood, his policies. Everything. And the simple fact is that the modern Biden doesn’t stack up with vintage Biden in terms of mental acuity – at least in the terms that the commoner uses to assess another’s mental acuity, i.e. articulation, response time, coherence, etc.
Biden is observably less sharp relative to his former self. The current Biden occupying the White House is not the same Biden who debated Paul Ryan in 2012, or who championed the Crime Bill in 1994, or who ran for president in 1988.
Trump also old…but doesn’t seem it
Biden, and for Democrats, will no doubt lean into the fact that the likely GOP nominee is also quite old. Donald Trump is already 77, and a second term would bring him well into his 80s.
So, when Joe Biden inevitably faces criticism on the campaign trail about his age and fitness, he can turn around and cite Trump’s age and say ‘hey, we are functionally the same age.’ The problem, however, is that Trump is still vigorous.
Trump is revved up, running around daily, entertaining guests and playing golf, and probably hitting on women and hosting rallies.
Biden may want to be careful about drawing comparisons between himself and Trump, for Trump surely looks and seems younger.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.