Breaking the taboos of the Biden era

One amusement around our desk in early 2021 was guessing when Democrats would start pointing out that President Biden was too old for the job and should pack it up. The consensus was after losing in the midterm elections, but congratulations to the fellow (and he knows who he is) who stood out sometime early this year. He wins the office suite because the drive to get the boss out the door has already begun.

The New York Times started its kick with a story that quoted various progressive sages who suddenly confessed to what everyone has known all along: Mr. Biden is the oldest president of the United States at 79 years old, and he will be 82 when he finishes his term. He looks and sounds every part of his life. The announcement of the now-obvious has moved along the chorus of progressive media to the Atlantic, with an article emphasizing “Let me put this frankly: Joe Biden should not run for re-election in 2024. He’s too old.”

These stories treat this as a revelation, as if it were Mr. Biden suddenly showed some dramatic retreat. The truth is, the president showed that he lost a verbal, and perhaps mental, stride in the 2019 Democratic nominee’s top debate. He hasn’t improved. Democrats secretly admitted it at the time, but rallied with him during the South Carolina primary when he appeared to be the only Democrat who could delay the nomination of Bernie Sanders and defeat Donald Trump.

The rest of the campaign was a long apology to Mr. Biden’s strategy to reduce his public visibility is by organizing his campaign in a Delaware basement. Covid-19 was the perfect excuse, and woe to any journalist who dared ask if Mr. Biden was not the same man we knew as Vice President. The topic was taboo.

This was one of the greatest free campaign passes in history. Ronald Reagan’s age was the subject of media concern when Heran was in office at 69 in 1980. He was roasted after he faltered in the first debate against Walter Mondale in 1984, and had to defuse the media and cynically public skepticism about Mondel’s “youth and lack of it.” experience” in the next competition.

Geber was three weeks shy of 78 when he left office, which was younger than Mr. It was Biden when he entered the Oval. If the president served and served a second term, he would have turned 86 on his last day in office. but mr. Biden was needed to defeat Mr. Trump, and so all this old business had to be discarded in 2020.

Why is the Democrat turning now? One obvious answer is that the president has fallen in the polls, and his drop in popularity could cause the Democrats to lose control of Congress in November. The problem cannot be in the party’s ideas, or mr. Biden embraced Sanders’ agenda after campaigning as a moderate. The problem must be mr. Biden. He has suddenly become unable to bear the burdens of the Oval Office that even younger men have grown up to. He cannot defend his ideas. Crises overwhelmed him.

You almost have to feel sorry for mr. Biden, who saved his party from Mr. Trump but now he’s consumed because it’s a political responsibility. you can almost hear mr. Biden shouts at his staff: Where is the gratitude? Do you think Bernie or Major Pete would have defeated Trump? I am the man who saved democracy.

the master. Biden can be stubborn, and as anyone with older parents knows, having their car keys confiscated can be a tough conversation. The president may not want to leave town as easily as some Democrats do.

Moreover, since there are no clear democratic alternatives to Mr. Biden in 2024. Vice President Kamala Harris was going to run in a split second, but nothing she’s done or said since her appearance on the national stage suggests she’s returning to the presidency.

Democrats know this, and you can tell it through all the stories from earlier this year about her political struggles. This is the internal way at the Beltway to prepare the playing field for other candidates to consider running. Not that Pete Buttigieg would need any persuasion.

This is the price of the nomination of mr. Biden with little scrutiny about his ability to the presidency. Maybe the Democrats will avoid losing in the midterms, or he will rally after the election using a Republican Congress as a foil. But Democrats may want to start looking for candidates away from Washington if they want to keep the White House in 2024.

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