by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Did you notice that discussing Joe Biden’s age, memory, and mental state — denounced as the “gross, lowest-commion-denominator politics that drive people away from public life” by CNN’s Chris Cillizza when I wrote about this issue last August — became an acceptable subject for quiet and subdued expressions of public concern in the past week or so?
This isn’t about Biden falling off his bicycle. Last week, Mark Leibovich wrote in the Atlantic that Biden shouldn’t run for another term because, in his view, though Biden’s mental sharpness and physical health are just fine right now, they might not be in a few years:
“They say, for the most part, that Biden is coping fine. You know, despite the 8.6 percent inflation, his depressed approval numbers, his vice president’s worse approval numbers, the looming wipeout in the midterms, and all the other delights attending to Biden as he awaits the big, round-numbered birthday he has coming up in a few months. But here’s another recurring theme I keep hearing, notably from people predisposed to liking the president. ‘He just seems old,’ one senior administration official told me at a social function a few weeks ago.”
He seems old, you say? Hmm. Has anyone else noticed this?
Last week the New York Times quoted many Democratic officials as worrying that Biden was too old to run for reelection. Brian Stelter and John Harwood talked about the issue and the Atlantic article on CNN. The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal chuckles, “Democrats and the media suddenly discover the President is old.” …
… Joe Biden is 79 years and seven months old. The presidency is one of the toughest jobs in the world. It is partially an issue of mental and verbal discipline, which were never Biden’s strengths to begin with. But now he’s overwhelmed by the problems of the job and coping through denial.