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Biden and the recurring debate about his age ahead of a possible second term

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The Democratic Party has options for a “Plan B,” but allies defend it’s still capable of doing its job


The accident suffered by United States President Joe Biden last week, falling off his bicycle in front of the cameras, has reignited debate over the age of a leader who, for the time being, is clinging to his desire to seek a second term. White House, although by then he would be 81 years old.

Biden became the oldest person to take power in the United States back in 2020, an argument usually on the lips of the Republican Party to question his ability to run the country. Former President Donald Trump used it during the campaign leading up to the last election, although there are only four years between them.

Biden has already told his closest entourage, including former President Barack Obama, that he will seek re-election, and White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said this month that the current president is “a candidate for the year 2024 plans. “

The president’s advisers are even considering when and how to announce that second candidacy, with a view to spring 2023, according to sources quoted by The Washington Post. If confirmed, it would repeat the times of Obama.

However, some voices in the Democratic Party have spoken out that are critical or at least suspicious of Biden’s new four-year term in the White House. Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent figures of the new progressive wave, has declined to comment, and businessman Andrew Yang, who ran against Biden in the Democratic primary, has indicated in statements to The Hill that Biden’s age will be “a legitimate concern for many voters” in the coming election cycle.

One of the key advisers to the two Obama campaigns, David Axelrod, has also indicated that age “will be one of the main issues” in the event of a new Biden campaign. “The presidency is an enormously demanding job and the reality is that the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of his second term,” he told the New York Times.

This debate is also ongoing among the conservative ‘establishment’ and The Wall Street Journal newspaper recently published an editorial arguing for “breaking the taboo of Biden’s age”, ironically with the fact that the Democrats and associated media “Suddenly discovered “approaching 80 years.

The debate is also shifting to the street level. For 62 percent of Americans, Biden is “too old to be president,” according to the Harvard-Harris poll released this month, which adds the age factor to the list of cons of a president who has fallen in popularity since last summer.

Meanwhile, the media continue to emphasize the attention the US President receives to keep abreast of events, as happened last Friday, going no further when the President mistakenly showed photographers a list of instructions that he received during a meeting with businessmen.

The paper consisted of short, simple sentences with instructions to the chairperson during the meeting, which were: “You are seated”, “You make brief comments” and “You leave”. The President was also instructed to speak to specific attendees, ask them questions and thank them before leaving.

Biden’s popularity fell below 50 percent before he had been in the Oval Office 200 days and is currently around 40 percent, according to polling firm Gallup. New challenges such as inflation threaten to further tarnish the President’s image.


Tradition has it that everyone who sits in the Oval Office does, or at least aspires to, eight years, so the fact that Biden resigned motu proprio for re-election would be a landmark in U.S. politics and could, in a sense, mark the way alternative democratic hope.

The party has several younger options in the pipeline, starting with Vice President Kamala Harris, 57, but right now it’s not clear they would do better than Biden. It also remains to be seen whether Trump will keep his promise and attempt to return to the White House in the 2024 election.

“Look, it’s a problem,” a Democratic strategist told The Hill, on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. “He’s very old and everyone knows it, but nobody wants to talk about it for fear of offending him or anyone around him,” he says.

Another Biden ally also acknowledges that the president “is older and appears to be older and that doesn’t give the White House a good image,” but “it’s all more a matter of health than age, and I always think so.” nor that he can do his job. but come back to ask me that question in two years time.

Be that as it may, all indications are that Biden will seek to show that he is still fully physically and mentally fit to remain president, a strategy that frames his failed bike ride or race participation in various scenarios would.

Source europapress.es

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