Biden Faces Questions About His Age Again

President Biden’s age came to the forefront of the national conversation following an investigative report released by the Department of Justice in February about Biden’s alleged mismanagement of classified documents. In this report, special counsel Robert Hur stated that, in an interview, Biden could not remember numerous details relevant to the investigation, including when his son Beau died. He went on to call the president a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” a move that Democrats criticized for being unnecessary and politically motivated. Soon after, Biden’s campaign team rushed to dispute the allegations of the report in a press conference, attacking Mr. Hur and citing his list of accomplishments as president and arguing that achievement was more important than age when it came to the presidency. 

However, the damage was already done. Jon Stewart, a popular liberal figure who had recently returned to host The Daily Show, argued on late-night television shortly after the incident that Biden was not the right candidate to face former President Donald Trump in November due to age-related concerns. The episode, which has since reached 10 million views on YouTube, also poked fun at the president for confusing the presidents of Mexico and Egypt in the press conference that was intended to resolve concerns about his mental fitness.

Throughout his presidency, there have often been age-related concerns about Biden’s physical and mental aptitude. Numerous clips have gone viral on social media within the last four years showing the president keeling over while riding a bicycle, repeatedly tripping on stairs, and falling on stage, among other things. More viral clips from the Biden presidency show him appearing “lost” on stage after delivering a speech, misquoting his teleprompter, and using “cheat sheets” prepared by staff at press conferences that provide detailed sequential instructions on how to act. These gaffes have likely had an impact on his public perception: 86% of Americans agreed that the octogenarian president is simply too old to serve another term, in a February poll conducted by ABC News.

Throughout February, liberal media outlets balked at the idea that Biden would be the one to face off against Trump in November. New York Times journalist Ezra Klein produced a 25-minute audio essay arguing for an alternative to Biden, the aforementioned Jon Stewart expressed his lack of enthusiasm for Biden on The Daily Show, and liberal media outlets grew more and more unabashed in their critiques of Biden’s mental acuity. It seemed as if the Democratic party was just about ready to give up on Biden.

However, following Biden’s fiery State of the Union speech on March 7, which was described as “feisty” by many major media outlets, the left seems to have once again assembled behind the president for the indefinite future. Biden took advantage of the State of the Union, a major speech traditionally delivered to Congress by the president every year, to outline his positions on major issues and attack Trump on those same issues. After Biden delivered forceful takes on abortion, immigration, taxes, Ukraine and Israel, the economy, and much more, Democrats within the House chamber sensed the shift in energy and began repeatedly chanting “4 more years!” 

Jon Stewart acknowledged the reinvigorating nature of Biden’s remarks on The Daily Show, exclaiming “Biden’s back, baby!” Likewise, in an essay entitled “Fine, Call It a Comeback,” Ezra Klein withdrew his previous argument that Biden was too old to run for another term. Although polling data from Yahoo News has shown that there has been no improvement in voter perceptions of Biden as a result of the State of the Union, the Democratic establishment seems to have recognized that President Biden is their best shot to beat Trump, whether they like it or not.

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