Monday, April 15, 2024

Biden has put aside the topic of age – at least for the time being

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Even presidents can’t turn back time, so there’s only so much Joe Biden can do to address one of his main election concerns – his age.

But Biden, at 81, seems to be in better shape on this issue than he was a week ago. His energetic State of the Union address has changed the political conversation and is still paying off. The televised image of Biden confidently dominating the stage presented a strong counter to the perception of a confused statesman in previous instances.

During an interview, Biden had a moment of frustration, but the released transcript shows occasional confusion about dates rather than a significant cognitive decline. The interview, however, doesn’t support claims of advanced cognitive decline or extreme partisanship on the interviewer’s part.

The interview provides valuable insights for Biden observers and future historians. Despite some diversions, there’s little evidence in the transcript that questions Biden’s fitness for the Oval Office, a central point in Trump’s previous election campaign.

While some Republicans focused on Biden’s age during a House hearing, they failed to draw out age-related issues. Instead, they concentrated on differences between Biden and Trump regarding classified documents. After Biden’s successful State of the Union address, Republicans shifted their criticism from Biden appearing old to being too energetic.

Though Trump continues to emphasize Biden’s age, one good week doesn’t change the reality that concerns about Biden’s age persist among voters. Biden’s campaign, however, sees this as a “turn the page” moment, considering the transcript release and the completion of the hearing. Yet, Biden must maintain his strong performance over the next eight months, facing a formidable opponent still in his 70s.

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