Biden’s age becomes an ‘issue’ for the White House – NYT
The longest-serving US leader of all time is ‘testing the limits’ of the presidency, reports the New York Times, citing White House officials
President Joe Biden’s age is increasingly becoming an issue for the White House, The New York Times (NYT) reported on Saturday, citing a host of unnamed officials, who admitted the US leader « energy level » is no longer what it once was and they « pay attention quietly » for him.
The president’s age is already affecting his routine, the NYT admits, adding that he notably prompted the White House to change its foreign travel schedule. Biden, who is set to begin his four-day trip to the Middle East next week, was originally scheduled to do so right after his trip to Europe last month. Yet the effort would have been judged « mad » for the 79-year-old, as an unnamed official said in a conversation with the NYT.
A dozen current and former senior US officials pressed the president « remained intellectually engaged » throughout his presidency as he asked « smart questions in meetings », grill his collaborators on various discussion points and rewrite his speeches « until the last minute » wrote NYT Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker.
Yet officials also admitted they were « calmly » watch over him in case of any problems. The list of potentially concerning incidents included the president potentially tripping over a wire or tripping over words during public speeches. White House officials « hold their breath to see if he makes it to the end without a blunder, » NYT reported.
The Biden administration has also admitted to trying to « guardian » his weekends in Delaware « as much as possible, » adding that he is above all a « president five or five and a half days a week », even if it can be called « at any time » if the need arises. On the official level, however, the White House insists that Biden remains a seven-day commander-in-chief.
“President Biden works every day and because CEOs can perform their duties from anywhere in the world,” Andrew Bates, an assistant press secretary, said, commenting on the NYT article. Earlier, Biden has repeatedly said he intends to run for a second term in two years. In June, the White House confirmed that Biden plans « to race in 2024. »
Such a prospect has prompted some former US officials and aging scholars to voice their concerns. David Gergen, a top adviser to four presidents – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton – who himself recently turned 80, called such plans « inappropriate. »
S. Jay Olshansky, a longevity expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago, argued that while Biden’s own age shouldn’t be a problem for anyone, the right question would be whether he could maintain it at 86. “Things go wrong as we get older and the risks increase as we get older,” he told NYT.
Biden, 79, has become the oldest president in the United States as he is already a year older than Roland Reagan at the end of his second term.
According to the NYT, this would effectively mean that Biden would ask Americans in 2024 to elect a man, who would be 86 when his term ends. A survey in late June by the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll showed that around 64% of voters believe he is already too old to be president and more than 70% would oppose him running for a second. mandate.