Despite achieving the regrettable milestone of becoming the oldest person to ever serve in the capacity as President of the United States last month, few big stories circulated of Joe Biden having surpassed Ronald Reagan when he turned 80 in late November.
No doubt, the White House is keenly aware of Joe Biden’s problematic gaffes. Highlighting his status as an octogenarian would not help alleviate concerns among the electorate.
Still, for as little attention as was given for the milestone birthday, Biden has still found reason to be upset at the portrayal of his advanced aging. Fox News wrote that Biden is “upset” the way his age is covered at all and rightly has concerns about his ability to win over skeptical voters in a potential rematch against Donald Trump in 2024. Fox said:
President Biden is reportedly upset about the media’s constant coverage of his age, which will likely remain a thorn on his side as he inches closer towards a 2024 run.
Biden, who just turned 80 last month, is the oldest-serving president in U.S. history. And questions over his fitness to lead has been a cause of concern for both his detractors and supporters alike.
On Tuesday, Politico published a story about how “eerily quiet” the 2024 race is. Republicans are largely mum about former President Trump’s already-declared candidacy as his polls continue to wane and legal troubles carry on. Meanwhile, Biden has been reluctant to officially announce his re-election bid though he has repeatedly said he “intends” to run.
Within the cited Politico story, author Jonathan Martin wrote:
“The president has vented to allies about how often his age is mentioned in the press — ‘You think I don’t know how f—ing old I am?’ he said to one earlier this year. But who knows what the fates have in store for someone who just turned 80 a few weeks ago (Sorry, Mr. President!).”
Fox added that an earlier Politico story again focused on both Biden’s age and the public’s awareness of it.
In October, Politico reported on the White House feeling “trepidation” over Biden’s 80th birthday and hoping to “downplay” the celebration. The article noted, “His age has always been a sensitive topic among his closest allies and planning is underway as to how to best navigate the occasion.”
Of course, all Americans should give pause when considering Biden’s fitness. He hardly seemed fit to run in 2020, let alone try it again in 2024. And it’s not so much his age per se as it is his veritable problems with speaking coherently or walking normally.
Still, it’s worth pointing out that the media is happy to provide cover for Biden. When John McCain ran in 2008 at the age of 71, the corporate media pounced on that number and all-but-declared he was too old. Countless articles asked the question if he was too old to run and serve as president. Donald Trump, not particularly youthful either, also received similar lines of questioning.
A recent poll conducted earlier this year shows that support for an age limit for elected office has strong bipartisan support among voters. Fully two-thirds of sampled people supported a maximum age limit to go along with the Constitution’s minimum age limit of 35.
In 2020, when every major presidential candidate seemed grandfatherly, Time reported that 40% of Americans even felt 70 was too old.
Among the many reasons why Americans likely support age limits is that the office is demanding on people. From a functional standpoint, few older people are readily able to handle the workload, burdens, and stressors of the job.
There are also valid electoral concerns, considering that an older president whom the voters elect might not be able to finish out the term.
Fox News quoted Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute, who said as much.
I’m concerned about age-related dementia, which the job can accelerate given the pressure of the office,” Schmitt said. “But I’m also concerned about the higher percentage of the chance of death while in office, meaning [the American people] will be voting for one candidate but getting someone else who we have not vetted as seriously.”
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