Democrats are growing increasingly concerned with Biden’s age ahead of 2024


There was a new round of scrutiny about President Joe Biden‘s age at the start of the week after the New York Times quoted a mix of rank-and-file Democrats and senior figures raising concerns about the issue as the mid-term elections approach.

The paper’s Sunday front page treatment of the subject that dogged Biden, 79, throughout his most recent presidential campaign, comes amid low approval ratings and fears among some Democrats that he remains vulnerable to a restoration effort by former President Donald Trump.

‘I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person,’ Maryland data analyst Alex Wyshyvanuk, 33, told the paper. ‘Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024,’ he said.

A new report featured concerns about President Joe Biden's age, as his party faces serious headwinds heading into the midterms. The president is seen on Saturday in Santa Fe, New Mexico

A new report featured concerns about President Joe Biden’s age, as his party faces serious headwinds heading into the midterms

DeSantis, 43, is the Florida governor who’s ability to grab headlines and rise in the polls has caught the attention of Trump’s circle. 

The paper also quoted a Democratic National Committee member from Florida, Steve Simionidis, saying Biden ‘should announce his intent not to seek re-election in ’24 right after the midterms.’

But the publication cited ‘deep concern’ about Biden’s political viability among dozens of officials who would not provide on-record comments. Biden would be 82 at the time of the next Inauguration Day. The airing of concerns comes at a time when the House Jan. 6 committee was busy laying out evidence gleaned from hundreds of interviews about Trump’s election overturn effort.

‘The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,’ said David Axelrod, 67, who helped propel Barack Obama’s ascent with a campaign that featured youghful energy and a ‘hope’ slogan. Obama was 47 when he took office, after failing to complete his first term in the Senate. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been hammering political enemies and drawing attention as a possible GOP presidential candidate or challenger to Trump

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been hammering political enemies and drawing attention as a possible GOP presidential candidate or challenger to Trump

Donald Trump, 76, has repeatedly raised questions about Biden's mental capacity

President Donald Trump has repeatedly raised questions about Biden’s mental capacity, although former AG testified about Trump’s belief in voter fraud claims: ‘He’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff’

Biden, seen on Saturday in Los Angeles, before heading to New Mexico, would be 86 at the end of a second term

Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term

The story set off a new round of speculation about Biden’s age, amid fretting that his age, amid record inflation, a war in Ukraine, and a now tumbling stock market  could imperil an effort to beat back Trump.

Axios chimed in with a story on the American gerontocracy, noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 82 and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is 71.  

Even longtime commentator David Gergen, 80, told PBS NewsHour: ‘I think people like Biden and Trump ought to both step back and leave open the door to younger people.’

The Times has run similar pieces before, including one in 2019 where Democrats were fretting that the candidate, then 76, was ‘slow off the mark, uncertain about how to counterpunch,’ according to the paper, in a debate that featured then Sen. Kamala Harris. He went on to capture the nomination and win the presidency.

Biden has the powers of incumbency on his side, along with similar poll troubles for Vice President Kamala Harris, his 57 year old partner in office.



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