Joe Biden: Not too old – Biden is quick-witted and combative

Is Joe Biden running for a second term? Even many Democrats are frightened by this idea. But in the past two days, the US President has pleasantly surprised even his critics.

Joe Biden is not overly popular with the electorate. Depending on the survey, between 44 and 55 percent of people are dissatisfied with the way the US President is performing his duties. And even among those who are satisfied, not all want Biden to run again in next year’s presidential election. Not even a majority of Democrats want that. Many fear that the 80-year-old would have no chance in a direct duel against a Republican challenger. Also because they just think he’s too old.

Interviews with poll participants indicated that quite a few eligible voters consider Biden’s age a burden, reported the Associated Press news agency (AP) Earlier in the week. People focused on his cough, gait, slip-ups, and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job might be better suited to someone younger. “I honestly think he’s too old,” the AP quoted Sarah Overman, a 37-year-old Democrat who works in education in Raleigh, North Carolina. “We could use someone younger in office.”

“His age and possibly his mental acuity are not what I would want for the country’s leader,” 35-year-old Michigan attorney Ross Truckey told the news agency. “He seems like an old man at times who’s past his prime. Sometimes I feel a little sorry for the guy who pushes himself in front of the crowds.”

Biden is quick-witted and combative

Biden was able to refute this impression in the past two days with many a skeptic, especially with his State of the Union address. The Washington Post judged on Wednesday that Biden presented himself as an “elder statesman” who was able to work across party lines. At the same time he appeared as a “crafty politician with firm convictions”. After a “shaky start”, Biden’s speech gained momentum, wrote the “New York Times”. “In fact, he used the biggest stage of his presidency as an opportunity to sell his vision, his record and his agenda for the 2024 election.”

What is perhaps even more important for many than this vision: Biden made his age forgotten when he appeared in the US Congress. The President delivered a combative speech in which he was undeterred by troublemakers in the Republican ranks. On the contrary: the 80-year-old quickly countered the “liar”, “no” and boos that came from the ultra-conservative MP Marjorie Taylor Green, among others, when he suggested that some Republicans wanted to abolish social security and Medicare health insurance. “Guys, we all seem to agree that Social Security and Medicare are now off the cross-list, right? They’re not to be touched? All right. All right. We have unanimity!” Biden interpreted the heckling in his favor, as if a heated political disagreement had been settled on live television.

“Joe Biden spars with the crowd and I didn’t expect to win,” tweeted former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who left Congress earlier this year. “Biden showed he was ready for a fight and frankly has a few uppercuts left in him,” wrote the US news site “Politico”. And even David Axelrod, a former adviser to Barack Obama and better known as a Biden skeptic, observed: “The energy of the speech, especially the joyful confrontation with the Republican hecklers, was a powerful retaliation to those who questioned his intellectual acuity place.”

The “Politico” commentators put it even more clearly: “In his State of the Union address […] Biden did something largely unexpected,” they wrote. “He eased the mental anxieties of these secretly troubled, disreputable bedwetting Democrats — at least for a moment.”

On Wednesday, Biden gave the Grand Old Party more uppercuts. “My Republican friends seemed shocked when I brought up plans by some of their members and their faction to cut Social Security and Marjorie Taylor and others stood up and said, ‘Liar, liar,'” the president said at an event in DeForest, state Wisconsin. He then pointed to a plan put forward by Republican Senator Rick Scott last year: “I have his pamphlet here,” Biden called out as he held up the paper and then read from it, “All federal laws expire every five years. If a law is worth it is to be retained, Congress may re-enact it.” So would programs like Social Security and Medicare, the president said.

“They didn’t like that I asked them about it,” Biden added. “You see, a lot of Republicans dream of cutting Social Security and Medicare. Well, let me just say this. It’s their dream, but I’m going to veto it and turn it into a nightmare.”

“People constantly underestimate Joe Biden”

Biden is already the oldest president in US history. Already during the 2020 election campaign he had been confronted with concerns about his age and these did not diminish during his two years in the White House – especially with regard to a possible further candidacy. Should he run again and be elected, he would be 86 at the end of his second term. But after his State of the Union address, Biden received a compliment from even his biggest political opponent: “I don’t agree with him on most of his policies, but he put his feelings into words and he’s had a lot tonight He ended stronger than he started, and he has to be given credit for that,” ex-President Donald Trump wrote on his Truth Social network.

Candidate question 2024: Not too old: US President Biden is quick-witted and combative

“People underestimate Joe Biden all the time,” Politico quoted Kelly Dietrich, a former Democratic fundraiser and founder of the National Democratic Training Committee, which trains candidates across the country. “I know people are worried that he’s too old, but he’s just doing the job perfectly at the moment.”

And Democratic strategic adviser Eddie Vale recognized something in Biden’s performance that may have also reassured some skeptics: “The speech showed a president having fun and toying with his opponents,” Vale said. The President “looked like he was ready to throw himself into the 2024 campaign.”

Sources: “politico”, “The Hills”, NBC News, Associated Press,

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