Biden Birthday Causing Consternation Among Nervous Democrats
Biden Birthday Causing Consternation Among Nervous Democrats
Today is the big day! Joe Biden turns 81 years old today. And the White House and Democrats are hoping against hope that everyone will not make a big deal about it, because they don’t want to dwell on the fact that Biden is OLD.
However, the media, despite their desire for Biden over Trump, is having a hard time ignoring the 81st birthday. Is this a sign that the media is giving up on Biden, and hoping that a younger candidate (like Gavin Newsom) can jump in to save the situation? Here is what several media outlets are saying, as they note Biden’s birthday.
The Wall Street Journal op-ed page:
If President Biden’s birthday Monday is anything like his last one, he’ll eat a cake quietly with family and hope nobody else notices. When he turned the big 80 last fall, the White House arranged a marriage as a distraction for the press. Mr. Biden’s granddaughter was wed on the South Lawn. The timing “was not a coincidence,” two sources told CNN.
With no wedding as a distraction, the White House will likely focus on the passing of Rosalynn Carter instead, as a way to not talk about Joe’s birthday.
The New York Times:
For President Biden, who turns 81 on Monday, another birthday may bring more liability than revelry, offering one more reminder of his age to an already skeptical electorate. Unlike other presidents who have celebrated birthdays with lavish political events, Mr. Biden plans to observe his milestone privately with family in Nantucket later this week.
The best birthday gift the oldest president in American history could hope for would be a strategy for assuaging voters’ concerns, but that has been hard to come by. Mr. Biden and his team have taken the approach that his record of domestic legislation and international leadership should belie any worries about his capacity, even though polls have shown consistently that that line of argument has not been persuasive, at least not yet.
Nothing irritates White House officials more than discussion of Mr. Biden’s age, which they view as an obsession of the news media that does not correspond with the energetic and mentally sharp president they describe inside the Oval Office. While Mr. Biden shuffles when he walks, talks in a low tone that can be hard to hear and sometimes confuses names and details in public, they note that he maintains a crushing schedule that would tire a younger president.
In the past few weeks alone, he has devoted countless hours to managing the Israel war with Hamas while also hosting separate summit meetings with leaders from Asia, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. He made a one-day trip to Israel, flying across the world and back without stopping in a hotel room, and they said he has worked the phone endlessly to deal with high-stakes foreign crises.
Asked about his forthcoming birthday, the White House did not directly address the age issue on Sunday but chose to focus on the president’s accomplishments, making the point that his long experience in Washington has paid off.
The White House also doesn’t want to discuss the fact that Biden has spent an enormous amount of time on vacation during his presidency, which is a tacit acknowledgement that the “crushing schedule” might be so physically overtaxing that it requires down time away from the White House. They also don’t want to talk about the “accommodations,” like tennis shoes with good traction and shorter staircases, that have become part of Biden’s routine.
Interviews with more than a dozen Biden donors and fundraisers, Democratic strategists and party officials, many of whom were granted anonymity to discuss the issue candidly, revealed deep concerns that the campaign’s approach to his age isn’t enough to quell voters’ fears about it. Many donors are directly urging top campaign aides to go on offense, leaning even harder into Biden’s age as proof of his wisdom in turbulent times. They are pushing for more humor about “Grandpa Joe.”
“I think everyone knows it’s an issue, and we have to address it,” said Ron Klain, who served as Biden’s chief of staff for his first two years in the White House. He added that it’s important to “emphasize [that] it gives him more wisdom and experience, how he’s navigated this difficult problem in Ukraine.”
“He’ll keep on doing the job, campaigning with vigor and demonstrating to the American people his energy level, which is quite robust,” Klain said.
POLITICO’s Playbook followed up on the birthday story:
The White House and campaign “largely dismissed the concerns as unjustified agita, reminiscent of the criticism Biden’s campaign faced in 2020 and former president BARACK OBAMA’s reelection campaign underwent in the fall of 2011. They argue that the current polling does not capture the likely outcome of an election, which will only come into focus once voters engage next year with the possibility of another Trump term in the White House.”
We chatted with some Biden world folks this morning and got a similar response. Here’s what one said: “The campaign can either build a campaign that is knee-jerk responsive to the same Washington sources that were wrong in ’20 and ’22, or they can put in the historic time and money they are right now to mobilize their coalition to win a year from now. Personally, I think a strategy centered on voters — not Washington — is the right one.”
Yeah… about those voters…
NBC News poll:
Any Republican but Trump beats Biden by 11
Any Democrat but Biden beats Trump by 8 https://t.co/rqu8Jmxhg0
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) November 19, 2023
As of right now, the 2020 candidate rematch is not favoring Biden. Now, things could change for both sides – November 2024 is a long way away in political time. But the truth is that neither Biden or Trump will get any younger in that intervening year, and while Trump doesn’t have quite the same zing as he did in 2015-2016, Joe Biden has devolved into a cognitively-impaired senior citizen who can no longer read the script on teleprompter or on the page in front of him.
And not only that, Grandpa Joe continues to have no filter, and acts like a creepy old man. This was yesterday at the “Friendsgiving” event in Norfolk, Virginia.
And Jill Biden just stands there like a deer in headlights, watching this happen. This is not “cute,” this is deeply disturbing. Trust me, if Donald Trump was approaching first graders at rallies and asking if they were seventeen years old, the press would not be throwing up their hands and saying “oh well, what are you gonna do about Grandpa? He likes the little girls!”
Today’s birthday is just going to remind Democrats why they are so nervous about a potential Joe Manchin third-party candidacy. It will draw even more eyes to the November 30th debate between Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis, as both parties look at what future candidates have to offer (even if neither of them make it to the top of the ballot in 2024). It will remind everyone that Biden campaigned from his basement last time, and he won’t have the excuse to do so this time around.
Joe Biden is 81 years old today, and he should be sitting on the beach in Delaware with a pudding cup, instead of in the Oval Office trying to keep up with current events. It truly is elder abuse by the people around him that he is running for re-election, and no Democrat is willing or able to stand up and insist that this farce come to an end. Well, three cheers for the
Big Old Guy. Happy birthday, Joe. You’re the only thing standing between the Oval Office and Kamala Harris right now.
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click