This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 8, 2023:
Is Joe Biden too old for a second term as president? Many on the Left think so. The liberal and unrelentingly anti-Trump Vanity Fair thinks so: “The Question of Joe Biden's Age: It's a Legitimate Concern” headlines its article today. ABC News agrees, expressing “Broad Doubts About Biden's Age and Acuity Spell Republican Opportunity in 2024.”
In a surprisingly candid assessment of Joe Biden, Vanity Fair writer Chris Smith pulled no punches:
When Joe Biden was a child there were only 48 states. He joined the Senate in 1973; 7 of his 99 colleagues from that year are still alive. At 80, he is older than roughly 96 percent of his fellow Americans.
Smith notes that focus groups often voluntarily note that Biden's age is a primary concern. Democrats, according to Smith, suffer from “anxiety that he might not live to finish a second term … [but they] don't have any other obviously stronger candidate[s].”
This puts Democrats gearing up for Biden's second go at the White House in 2024 in a quandary: Should they ignore his age and continue to focus on “Orange Man Bad”? which is the strategy they claim led to the heavily contested 2020 election results. Or should they laugh it off?
Biden tried that approach at the recent White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. He reminded his champions in the media that he served in the Senate “for 270 years,” that he used to be three years older than his sister Valerie but now “has 20 years on her.” “I believe in the First Amendment [and] not just because my good friend Jimmy Madison wrote it,” brought laughter from the sycophants attending the dinner.
He rolled on:
Call me old. I call it being seasoned.
You say I am ancient. I say I'm wise.
You say I'm over the hill. Don Lemon [whose recent comments suggested that women over 40 might have seen their better days] would say, “That's a man in his prime.”
Florida's Republican Senator Rick Scott couldn't resist the opportunity to point out the obvious: “Joe Biden is unwell. He's unfit for office. He's incoherent, incapacitated, and confused. He doesn't know where he is half the time.”
YouTube hasn't erased all of the videos showing Biden's miscues and gaffes, with this one from Sky News Australia capturing more than a million and a half views.
Smith reminded his Vanity Fair readers that Democrats had to set up a basement studio in Biden's Wilmington home “to minimize opportunities to look physically vulnerable.” They won't have that option in 2024. Instead, they'll have the task of “demonstrat[ing] Biden's vitality without running the octogenarian candidate into the ground.”
Biden's close friend Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, told Smith that “he'd turn 86 in the fourth year of his second term [and that] every time I see him walk up the stairs to Air Force One, I shudder.”
It's not just his age. It's the enormous gap between him and the voters, many of them five or six decades younger than he is. How many of them, intones Smith, would “turn out [to vote for] a man older than many of their grandparents?”
Smith suggested that the only way Biden might win a second contest against Trump is to run as “the antidote to Trump,” which allegedly worked so well in 2020.
Strategies to ignore or humorously dismiss the “age” issue so far are failing. The latest poll from ABC News/washington Post released on Sunday reveal that two-thirds of Americans think Biden is too old to run again, while reporting that his approval rating has just hit an all-time low, now at 36 percent.
ABC didn't bother to hide the results of its poll:
Biden already is the nation's oldest president. As mentioned, 68% see him as too old for another term…
Nearly half of Democrats — 48% — say Biden is too old for another term….
Many more independents — 75% — say this about Biden, versus 51% for Trump….
Beyond age alone are questions of mental acuity and physical health. Just 32% overall think Biden has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president, down steeply from 51% when he was running for president three years ago.
More — 54% — think Trump has the required mental sharpness, in his case up 8 points from three years ago. The gap is even wider in terms of having the physical health to serve effectively — just 33% think Biden has it, versus 64% for Trump.
Biden's trouble appears across all demographic groups: Blacks, Hispanics, women, and moderates. In each group Biden's support is melting like an ice cube in Scottsdale: down between 10 and 30 points or more in just the last two years.
In polls matching Biden against Trump and DeSantis in 2024, Biden is losing by six full percentage points.
Physically, Biden is fading. In December 2019, his doctor, Kevin O'Connor, reminded readers that in 1988 Biden suffered from not one but two “cerebral aneurysms” — a bulging of an artery in the brain which, if it ruptures, “quickly becomes life-threatening,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
He added that while they were repairing one of them, the operation “was complicated by [the discovery of a] deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism.” These are known as DVTs and blood clots.
At the time they also removed his prostate.
In his latest examination of Biden last November, Dr. O'Connor didn't mention the incidents from 1988, but did point out what is obvious to even the most casual observer: Biden has a “stiffened gait” as “a result of degenerative (“wear and tear”) osteoarthritic changes of his spine.”
Biden is also suffering from “a mild peripheral neuropathy in both feet,” resulting from nerve damage that leads to pain during walking, and unsteadiness while standing.
Biden now takes two prescription drugs every day — Eliquis and Crestor — as well as Allegra and Pepcid. He uses a nasal spray as well for a sinus condition.
All in all, Biden's life expectancy is to live to age 87, barring other plans from the Creator.
There is another option. Smith from Vanity Fair says it would be “reasonable” for him to quit while he's ahead:
It would be entirely reasonable for Biden to decide he wants to go out on a high note and to announce that he's changed his mind and that instead of jousting with Marjorie Taylor Greene until 2028 he will be spending his remaining years hanging out with his seven grandchildren.
One can hope.