You’re Only As Old As You Feel, Or Something
When the great Ronald Reagan was first sworn in as president on January 20th, 1981, he was sixty-nine years old, making him the oldest to ever assume the office at the time.
When Reagan was running for reelection in 1984 he was 73, and his age was the talk of the campaign, at least among his political opponents. In fact, it was their main opposition talking point, one that the media was more than happy to keep repeating.
Joseph Robinette Biden is currently 77. Should he be elected in November, he will turn 78 two and a half weeks after the election. Biden’s age is rarely discussed in the mainstream media, however, at least not in a negative way. In the early days of the primary debates last year, it was mentioned more as part of a broader discussion of the diversity of the Democratic field. For a little perspective, on Election Day Biden will be just one day younger than Reagan was when he left office.
If Reagan’s younger age was a valid topic of conversation regarding fitness for the job back in the day, Biden’s should certainly be now. True, some quality-of-life advancements have been made in the past thirty-plus years but it’s not like we’re all living to 150 now.
My personal goal is 120, by the way, and I want it to be a quality 120 years. Get moving on that, science.
I am writing this just hours before Biden’s acceptance speech at the DNC, which will be his first real test at stringing together coherent sentences since the final Democratic primary debate on March 15th. He has no doubt been drilled on this speech ad nauseam so he may actually be able to pull it off. As we have seen throughout Biden’s COVID-related basement time, however, even short forays with the teleprompter can be disastrous.
I mention this because there has been much discussion in conservative media about what appears to be Biden’s obvious mental decline. For quite some time I was not entirely convinced that was true, as I have long maintained that he’s just kind of a spaz who has no filter or control over his mouth. He’s actually always been a worse version of what the Left likes to accuse Trump of being.
Lately, however, I think it’s obvious. And it’s sad.
What we can all plainly see in Biden’s short, on-camera appearances these days should make a public discussion about his age all the more valid.
The most recent Politico Magazine article wanders in where other media have been skittish about treading with a long article titled “Joe Biden: An Old Man Trying to Lead a Young Country.”
It’s a fascinating read that is chock-full of historical factoids that put Biden’s age in perspective. It begins with a whopper:
Joseph R. Biden Jr., at the age of 77 years, nine months, and 10 days has been alive for just a shade under one-third of the entire history of the United States as an independent nation.
Ouch. Before they even get around to comparing his age to the ages of various historical figures they compare him to the age of the country.
Here is one of the snippets that I think provides the perfect jumping-off point for a purely political anti-Biden argument:
When Biden arrived in the U.S. Senate at age 30 on Jan. 3, 1973, he joined six senators who were born in the late 1800s. Of those 100 people — all of them men, and only one not white — he is one of just 13 who are still alive today.
A frequent refrain of Biden’s throughout this campaign has been to blame all of the ills of the country on President Trump. Many of them, like “systemic racism,” didn’t happen overnight.
Few people have been in such exalted positions of power — the Senate and the vice-presidency — for as long as Joe Biden has in American history. He doesn’t get to take a three-and-a-half-year vacation after forty-four years in the upper echelon of American political power then come back and start bitching about systemic problems in the country. He’s not the answer to the problem, he is the problem.
This argument alone is a strong one for the Trump campaign and, to their credit, they have hit upon it on occasion.
Trump may not be much younger than Biden, be he is visibly more robust and his mental acuity isn’t in decline. Hitting Biden on age is more than valid. It’s an opportunity for the Trump campaign to bring up the fact that Joe Biden is just a vehicle to usher Kamala Harris into office, which would open her up to more scrutiny and criticism than a typical vice-presidential candidate receives.
Politico can be hit or miss, I know. This is one of their hits and I highly recommend reading it.
And I feel positively youthful after all of those facts about Biden’s age.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.