President Biden’s dramatic fall at the Air Force Academy commencement underlined a dangerous theme for Democrats: Joe Biden is too old to serve another full term, until he’s 86. He’s already struggling at 80.
Three years ago, The New York Times rushed into raising “health questions” for President Trump when he “hesitantly descended” a ramp at the West Point commencement. On Sunday, The Times tippy-toed into the Biden problem in a front-page article titled “Spry Diplomat with Stiff Gait: Aging Leader’s Complex Reality.”
They needed four reporters – Peter Baker, Michael Shear, Katie Rogers, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs – on this “complex” issue. Biden’s fall demands “more attention to an issue that polls show troubles most Americans and is the source of enormous anxiety among party leaders.”
The Times cited a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent said Biden “is too old to be in office” – now.
On the front page, they noted Biden was confused at how many grandchildren he has. But the pro-Biden press also avoid Hunter Biden’s last addition to the grandchildren (out of wedlock, out of mind). But the “tripped over a sandbag” part was conveniently placed on page 18.
Conservatives pounced on the Times quartet blowing smoke about how Biden “is trim and fit, exercises five days a week and does not drink. He has at times exhibited striking stamina,” like on a trip to Kyiv. Anonymous sources are used in Biden’s defense: “People who deal with him regularly, including some of his adversaries, say he remains sharp and commanding in private meetings.”
On the other hand, some anonymous sources underlined that “enormous anxiety” among Democrats. “One prominent Wall Street Democrat, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending the White House, noted that among party donors it was all anyone was talking about. At a small dinner earlier this year of former Democratic senators and governors, all of them in Mr. Biden’s generation, everyone at the table agreed he was too old to run again.”
They also acknowledged “White House officials have not made Mr. Biden’s doctor available for questioning, as previous presidents have.” The liberal media considered it a grave scandal that Trump would not release his tax returns, and made fun of his doctor boasting of his physical rigor. But notice how none of them can muster a tablespoon of outrage that Biden’s doctor is off limits to the press.
The media also don’t outwardly care that the president is largely off limits, at least in formal press conferences and interviews. (The Times noted they haven’t had an interview with this president.) The age issue could come up in a Democrat primary debate, but the media-Democrat complex is showing no desire for those.
Like a loyal Democrat rag, The Times is prone to Biden-boosting. On June 1, Peter Baker provided a “news analysis” with the online headline “The Calm Man in the Capital: Biden Lets Others Spike the Ball but Notches a Win.” Baker touted Biden’s dealmaking: “When someone has been around the track as long as Mr. Biden has, resisting the temptation to spike the ball and claim victory can be critical to actually securing the victory in the first place.”
At this early stage of the campaign, the Democrats can’t believe that Trump is so far ahead despite all of his baggage and election-denial, and the Republicans can’t believe that Biden is largely unchallenged – by serious challengers or reporters – despite his declining abilities. Bold “truth-telling” about the president is out. Unlike the voters, the media elite seem to itch for a repeat of 2020.