Happy 80th! From all of us at the Spritzler Report.
Think of a world without age discrimination, where our elderly are revered with dignity and respect. Where the Commander and Chief doesn't know what day of the week it is.
You show em, Joe. God bless you brother!
Biden Turns 80, Eyeing Six More Years
What’s the presidential age limit for tussling with Xi Jinping? Democrats owe the country a 2024 debate.
By The Editorial Board, WSJ
Nov. 18, 2022 6:19 pm ET
As he turns 80 years old on Sunday, President Biden the man of Catholic faith might be reflecting on a few lines from the Psalmist. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten,” as the King James puts it, unless “by reason of strength they be fourscore years.” Fellow partakers of human frailty should give thanks for modern medicine, as well as Mr. Biden’s continued health.
Yet what Mr. Biden needs to ask himself, and preferably soon, is whether two years from today he will really want “four more years,” as the crowds would chant in 2024. Not to be rude, but the job of President of the United States is not exactly an early bird special at Denny’s. On his first day in the Oval Office, Mr. Biden set the record for the oldest President in history. He’ll be 82 before the next inauguration. He’d be 86 at the end of a second term.
During the 2020 campaign, questioning Mr. Biden’s age was treated as terrible media manners. This omerta has begun to break, however, and one new point of contrast is the end of gerontocracy in Democratic House leadership. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, says she’ll step down, as will her No. 2, Steny Hoyer, 83. The next Democratic leader is likely to be 52-year-old Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who doesn’t remember Sputnik like it was yesterday.
So far the White House has ignored Mr. Biden’s age and pretended that 80 is the new 40. “I can’t even keep up with him!” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre chirped this summer, as if enthusiasm could substitute for credibility. There are leaks, though, about aides who protect Mr. Biden’s weekends and worry his shuffling walk might cause him to trip. A doctor’s note last year explained, as only a doctor’s note could: “The President’s ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago.”
Audiences hold their breath whenever Mr. Biden speaks. “I want to thank the prime minister for Colombia’s leadership,” he said last week in Cambodia. Days earlier he mentioned Russian forces “pulling back from Fallujah,” which was a flashback to the Iraq war. Last month he said Democrats campaigning during 2018 “went to 54 states”—which is two more states than even progressives want to create.
Modern politicians practically live on TV, and they all goof, but that defense only goes so far. Barack Obama said in 2008 he’d campaigned “in 57 states.” George W. Bush’s verbal slips are easy to misunderestimate. But Mr. Biden is obviously showing his age, and anyone who doubts it should watch 10 minutes of his aggressive 2012 vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan.
During the 2020 campaign, Mr. Biden was protected by the media. Now he’s being protected by the White House. But there is no way to shield a President when he sits down, one on one, with China’s Xi Jinping or Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The world is entering a dangerous period, with rogues on the march. “If I were just 80 years old,” Jimmy Carter said at age 94, “I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was President.”
Mr. Biden might think he has no choice but to run in 2024, because Donald Trump is doing it, and Democrats have no obvious popular successor. In part that’s Mr. Biden’s fault. He picked his Vice President for the wrong reasons, based on identity politics. Kamala Harris’s approval rating is 40%, worse than Mr. Biden’s or Mr. Trump’s. If Mr. Biden opts to retire, the Democratic primary will probably be a free for all, with Ms. Harris merely one contender.
But that would be politically healthy. The GOP appears set in 2024 for a vigorous argument about whether Mr. Trump, who’s now 76, should get another shot at the White House. Democrats need a similar debate about Mr. Biden.
The 1960 election was a generational shift, when John F. Kennedy became the first President born in the 20th century. Ditto for 1992, when the Boomers shoved aside their elders who’d lived through World War II and the Great Depression. Maybe 2024 will be Gen X’s turn. Gavin Newsom is 55. Ron DeSantis is 44.
For all that has changed since the Psalmist, 80 is still old. Konrad Adenauer was West German chancellor until 87, but in unique circumstances, 1949-63. Two years from 2024, voters already are thinking about it. In a recent poll, 68% percent say Mr. Biden might not be up to another term, and 86% think the presidential cutoff should be 75 or younger. Mr. Biden is asking for political trouble if he ignores such numbers, and Democrats owe the country better than to try to coast with him into the sunset.