Joe Biden

Biden's Age Matters, Even if Democrats Want To Ignore It

It's possible that the visibility of the way Biden is wrestling with his own aging could make him a more relatable and sympathetic figure. Or the Biden blunders could confirm that his moment has passed.

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How old, exactly, is Joe Biden?

At 76, he is older than Dan Quayle, whose term as vice president began more than 30 years ago.  He's older than George W. Bush, whose term as president ended more than a decade ago. He's older than Bill or Hillary Clinton, older than Al Gore or John Kerry.

He's so old that he's not even technically a baby boomer—he's from the prior generation. He was born in 1942, while World War II was under way, but before America tested the first atom bomb. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, before I was born—and I'm not that young.

All that accumulated wisdom and experience is valuable and is not to be discounted. But against it will be weighed the questions about Biden's vigor—physical, mental, and verbal.

The Democratic presidential candidate who is leading in the polls has a tendency to misspeak. On Friday night at a fundraiser in Delaware, according to a pool report, "Biden mentioned a speech he made last week about President Donald Trump and the rise of white nationalism in America. He first said the speech took place in Burlington, Vermont. He immediately corrected himself to say it was in Burlington, Iowa."

On August 4, at a fundraiser in California, according to a different pool report, "Biden almost immediately spoke of the two recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, at first referring to them as 'the tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before' but later correcting himself."

On August 8, Biden confused British Prime Minister Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher, the second time he's done that since May, a CNN reporter noticed.

Mike Allen of Axios has compiled a slew of other "Biden blunders." Biden erroneously claimed that he was vice president during or after the Parkland, Fla. school shooting: "Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president." The Parkland shooting happened in 2018, during the Trump administration.

Biden misspoke on the campaign trail when he confused race and income, saying, "Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids."

Campaigning in Iowa, he mystifyingly insisted, "We choose truth over facts!"

During the most recent debate, Biden appeared to confuse Cory Booker with Barack Obama, referring to Booker as "the president—that, excuse me, the future president here."

Biden is usually pretty good about catching himself and self-correcting, as he did in the Booker case and in many of the other instances. If it's just clumsy talking, voters are unlike to care much. But in politicians, clumsy talking often signals clumsy thinking. If Biden is now losing what mental acuity he had, imagine what he'll be like three years into the presidency. That these blunders keep happening speaks to a lack of discipline by his campaign. It's admirable in some sense that Biden is providing press access. Other campaigns, though, are running closed-door fundraisers, so at least some of their candidates' blunders are not captured and amplified by pool reporters. At public events, some other candidates are sticking more tightly and carefully to a prepared script.

I point out these problems not as a reflexive Biden-basher. I've been publicly urging Biden to run for president since August of 2015. I start out generally more sympathetic to his more centrist views than to the views of more ideologically extreme, farther left candidates such as Senators Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. President Trump, while younger than Biden, is also in his 70s.

Earlier this year, I saw Biden greet and take selfies with voters for hours at an outdoor event on a cold, rainy day in New Hampshire. It dispelled doubts I had about his endurance. When he spoke to the reporters who remained at the end of the event, he seemed as sharp as he did when I first encountered him on Capitol Hill about 25 years earlier.

It's possible that the visibility of the way Biden is wrestling with his own aging could make him a more relatable and sympathetic figure for the American electorate, or for that matter, for the country itself. Plenty of old people vote, and they deserve representation in Washington, too. Or it's possible that the Biden blunders will confirm the idea that he is a politician whose moment has passed. One big risk facing the Democrats now is that their primary electorate gives Biden a pass that he won't get in the general election.

NEXT: Survey: 59% of Republicans Now Think College Is Bad for America

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86 responses to “Biden's Age Matters, Even if Democrats Want To Ignore It

  1. Campaigning in Iowa, he mystifyingly insisted, “We choose truth over facts!”

    That was not a gaffe. That is exactly what Democrats think. After it was revealed that the infamous Bush National Guard documents were fake, the defense was “we got the narrative right but the facts were wrong”. AOC, the new hot thing in progressive politics, said exactly the same thing and was applauded for it.

    1. Fake but accurate.

    2. Yes the “truth” as one believes it will not be change by mere facts. Biden delivers pabulum for the uninformed, delivered with his back slapping, hand shake and a smile so you they feel good about it.

  2. not one molecule of Joe Biden ever was or will be presidential material.

    1. It’s going to be Liz, and she’s going to turn off every moderate with the cost of her “free” stuff and Trump is going to win.

      And the Ds will have another reason to accuse the electorate of being anti-woman, even though they put up two awful candidates that happened to be women.

      1. >>>Trump is going to win.

        only question is 49 states or 50.

        1. 57 or 58?

        2. Just not enough half-educated, vestigial bigots left in America to get that done, clingers.

          1. What qualifies as half-educated? Is a Bachelor’s degree considered fully educated and thus having an Associate’s degree would make one half-educated?

            If so, then all the people who can’t afford to go a four-year university, or even community college are half educated (or less) and therefore unqualified to exercise the constitutional right to vote.

            Thanks for the lesson in bigotry.

          2. Arty, you didn’t even finish high school, so are you 1/8 educated?

          3. We know – which is why Trump is going to win.

            Or do you think the President that thought there were 52 states is the educated one?

          4. I think you’re on to something there my man. It would explain President Trump’s sudden interest in buying Greenland.

      2. Hillary being an uninspiring, same-old-shit moderate is one of the (many) reasons she lost in 2016. Biden is just like that. Moderate enough to depress turnout, but not moderate enough to turn large numbers of Trump voters. The only hope the left has is to run someone who is exciting enough to really increase turnout. Sanders could win, Warren.. maybe. Harris definitely not; lots of people still won’t vote for a black woman and her disgraceful lies about being a civil rights nightmare as a prosecutor alienates everyone on the far left that would vote for her besides those that would even if her platform was kitten and puppy genocide, just because of her Oppression Score.

        1. I still think that could position Klobuchar as a practical Midwesterner, not too far off the farm, law and order type, and she could take a lot of swing votes

      3. I think Liz is even left of the admitted socialist Bernie. Is there any bit of business or finance she has not promised to have run by government?

    2. I disagree. I’ve seen a lot of Presidents and he fits right in to the spectrum.

  3. Biden has experience in the form of time served, it is debatable whether that time translates to wisdom, it is not automatic. It is even more debatable if the brain housing that experience is disintegrating.

    1. He has the Hillary problem.

      Lots of experience. Very, very few accomplishments.

      1. Didn’t even get his anti busing constitutional amendment passed. He was very much against black kids going to school with white kids.

  4. “Plenty of old people vote, and they deserve representation in Washington, too.”

    Great political quote similar to that:

    “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”

    1. Roman Hruska regarding the Carswell nomination to the Supreme Court.

      Joke’s on us, though – they ended up with Blackmun for that seat.

  5. Reagan was 73 when he was elected, and the Democrats called him a senile old fool, just because of his age.

    But if you say something like that about Biden, who is older, then you’re an intolerant, bigoted, hateful ageist.

    Principles and consistency are for simple minds.

    1. Biden would be older when he takes office than Reagan was when he left it. That is pretty remarkable.

      Fun aging fact; Tom Cruise was older when he made the last Mission Impossible movie than Wilford Brimley was when he played one of the old people in Cocoon. No kidding.

      1. Really, John?

        That legitimately blows my damned mind.

        Was Wilford BORN looking old?

    2. What is you are Kamala Harris and you call him racist?

    3. Reagan was 69 when he was inaugurated, not 73. He was born February 11, 1911. So he was just shy of his 70th birthday at his 1981 inauguration.

      1. Now do his 1984 inauguration.

  6. Look, Biden isn’t my first choice. But if he gets the nomination, all principled libertarians must vote for him. On the immigration issue alone, he’d be vastly superior to Orange Hitler. After all, no Democrat would ever put children in cages or build literal concentration camps.

    1. You mean besides Roosevelt, right? Riiiiiiight?

      1. You mean besides Biden himself – when he was Vice-President. OBL is a troll poster and is making fun of the Democrats.

    2. Not only would they, they already have.
      FDR. By executive order.
      Concentration camps not for illegal immigrants, either, but for legal immigrants and US citizens of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry.

    3. Let’s not forget Jimmy Carter and all those Cuban refugees he caged under the Miami highways.

  7. He was never much of a thinker to begin with

    Except maybe when he called for portioning Iraq

    1. Partitioning, my iPad has its own agenda

      1. Iraq, Ipad, who can keep track of all these countries, amirite?

    2. It was the one smart thing he ever said.

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  9. Who cares? He’d be a marked improvement over the dementia riddled current occupant of the White House, for a multitude of reasons. That’s all it really comes down to.

    1. Obama hasn’t been in the White House in over two years and he wasn’t bright but it is not fair to say he had dementia. That is racist dude.

      1. a special Monday when you’re also funny. lol

    2. dementia riddled current occupant of the White House

      Wearingit, we keep telling you it’s the number of electoral votes that count. Hillary lost.

      1. To a dementia riddled tyrant, apparently. That’s pretty embarrassing…

    3. So we’re going to trade one dementia-riddled tyrant for another? I would hope that at least our next tyrant doesn’t have dementia.

  10. “One big risk facing the Democrats now is that their primary electorate gives Biden a pass that he won’t get in the general election.”

    Although I’m sure it wouldn’t really stop Trump, I’m not sure it’s really in his best interest to go after Biden’s age, even if he is a few years younger.

    1. Trump was hogging the headlines in the 1980s, how young can he be?

  11. Creepy Joe Biden (and Hitlery) are getting up in years and starting to act senile.
    I don’t think America can put up with these two as it is much less with their losing track of reality if they were in the White House.

  12. I’d rather have a Democrat who’s a senile idiot than a socialistic Democrat.

    If Biden gets in and starts drooling on the carpet, they can use the 25th Amendment to sideline him.

    1. and who gets to be president then? They’ll probably have a Socialist as the VP to placate the rabid left, just like Trump did with Pence to placate the religious right.

      1. Good point, maybe they’ll dig up Henry Wallace to give him the chance he was unfairly denied in 1944.

  13. It’s less his age that’s a liability than it’s the fact that he’s spent eleventy thousand years as an inside-the-beltway political swamp creature and both the left and the right have had about enough of that noise.

  14. Biden misspoke on the campaign trail when he confused race and income, saying, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

    This was probably the only statement he made where he wasn’t confused.

  15. If Biden gets the nomination, he should choose Hillary Clinton as his running-mate, then resign one year into his presidency over “health concerns”.

    And then right before stepping down, he should officially make Epstein’s 727 Airforce One.

    1. If he made her heinous his running mate he wouldn’t make it to the inauguration.

  16. On August 4, at a fundraiser in California, according to a different pool report, “Biden almost immediately spoke of the two recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, at first referring to them as ‘the tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before’ but later correcting himself.”

    Now imagine if the President had mistaken one of those cities…wow the media would be all over him for….oh wait…

  17. Does he need help from the Secret Service to get up a flight of steps?
    Does he slur his speech and have uncontrollable coughing fits?
    Does he pass out from “heat exhaustion” on a 75 degree day?

    He’s a step up from Hill.

    1. Is Trump still using a golf cart to go 50 yards? Is he still asking doctors to lie about his health and weight? Is he still following the diet of a high school graduate from Alabama or Kentucky?

      1. Only a healthy person could subsist on that high school kid’s diet. So Trump thanks you for the endorsement, even if you are insane.

      2. Golf cart comment really betrays your poor upbringing.

      3. Trump can do three rallies a day even now, three years after the election. Hillary is probably in an iron lung. So fuck you Arty, you lose again.

  18. President Trump is only three years younger then Biden.

    You really expect folks to think those three years make a difference?

    1. No, but Trump is vigorous and assertive, qualities that make him seem younger. And check the hair! (haha) Orange looks younger than grey.

    2. Three years younger and a hundred times the man.

      1. I’d say 2.5 times the man, tops. If we’re talking about asses, Trump has a good 6 times the ass that Biden has. It’s really a big fat goddamn ass.

  19. Maybe Biden will get lucky and have the Republicans run an obese, sedentary, vulgar, vainglorious, lying, reckless, silver-spooned bigot?

    1. One of the Clintons again?

    2. … who will beat him handily, and utterly humiliate him in the process.

  20. Most presidents serve two terms, so the real age to think about is the age he’ll be on January 20, 2029:

    86

  21. Joe is in the grip of dementia. Even if he was sharp as a tack he would not be fit for the presidency.

    His billion dollar deals with China and his race baiting disqualify him from honest society.

    Fortunately for him, he has found a home in the Democratic party.

  22. Or the Biden blunders could confirm that his moment has passed.

    No, he never had a moment. He was always blunderful.

    1. He’s a bad idea whose time has come.

  23. I don’t think VP Biden has a ‘gaffe’ problem. I really don’t. Sadly, I believe the aneurysm surgery had more of an impact thatn people think. Think I am nuts?

    Tell you what. Look at videos from the 80’s and 90’s from then Senator Biden. Then look at video’s of VP Biden post-surgery. That ain’t the same man. The laughing at completely inappropriate moments, mental fades, garbled sentences that are grammatically meaningless, fatigue, not being fast on his feet….all of these things point to real cognitive decline. And this is the guy who would take the helm? Bad, bad idea.

    For his own sake, I hope he drops out. Because I think a campaign would probably kill him (stroke).

    1. Ok, so let him die. It’s his own choice, and he’s done so much damage to this country.

  24. The 2020 election will likely be a battle of septuagenarian. While Joe Biden tops the list, the next two candidates are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, also in there seventies. President Trump is in his seventies. President Trump is the only one acting his age. Watching a lot of Fox news, playing golf and generally taking it easy. While I appreciate Joe, Bernie, and Liz’s enthusiasm and work ethic, I like a slightly younger candidate.

    1. You mean, WHITE septuagenarians. Very important to get that race thing in there. Because the Progtards will lose their minds if you are insufficiently ‘woke’ Moderation…

      Not that it matters, but Tulsi Gabbard seems to me to be the best of that sorry lot. My personal favorite is Marianne Williamson. 🙂

      1. I have hard time imaging a Marianne Williamson presidency? What if she came on the TV preaching love to us all. Or sitting down with Mitch McConnell and Chuck Shummer telling them that they need to put their differences aside and to work together out of love. That we all need to stop putting chemicals in our bodies and get back to nature. Closest I can come is imaging the Presidency through an acid trip.

  25. Did he ask about allepo

  26. “All that accumulated wisdom and experience is valuable and is not to be discounted. ”
    “If Biden is now losing what mental acuity he had…”

    You can’t possibly have typed these two sentences with a straight face.

  27. Only in government does 40 plus years of FAILURE qualify you for a promotion. Truly the one least likely to fix anything is the one responsible for all the breakage to begin with!

    1. Not to mention 40 plus years of private sector failure and 0 plus years of experience in government.

      1. Yeah, failure. He’s a multi billionaire you stupid faggot.

        1. On the contrary, counting debt vs. assets, Trump is estimated to be the poorest human being who ever lived.

          Can you believe that shit? Can you believe how fucking stupid you are?

  28. I’ve got another explanation for the ‘Biden Blunders’ – he’s been lying through his teeth, saying whatever he thinks the people in front of him want to hear, for so long that he can’t stop it anymore.

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  30. Biden’s age is all that matters. If he were 20 years younger, he might be electable, but even then he’d have that unfortunate “talks like a confused asshole” problem.

    His polling lead comes from black voters. The narrative is that they are the most pragmatic of the Dem primary constituents. You want to see Biden go away, and I very much do, just keep putting him on TV.

  31. Reagan’s age..and Trump’s age… were HUGE issues for the Democrats. Biden is older than either of these men when they were first elected and Democrats pretend it isn’t an issue. I’m not sure I have as much an issue with Biden’s age as I have with his off-the-charts lack of accomplishments and his inability to articulate.. well.. anything. We already have one one aging white guy who says stupid stuff in the White House. Do we really need to replace him with another one?

  32. Because he could say it so well I will just post the 40 second link. Reagan could deliver a line like nobody else.

    On the issue of age at 74 the oldest president yet, in the Mondale debate. The gipper nails it.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LoPu1UIBkBc

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