The New StatesmanThe New Statesman

Joe Biden is too old to run again – but he’s still the Democrats’ best hope

By Sarah Baxter

02 Jun 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Joe Biden has been met with resistance from voters when asked if he should run for a second term as U.S. President, with 70% of respondents in an NBC poll saying he should not run again.

Joe Biden has a ready answer to the question of whether he is too old to run for a second term as US president. “The only thing I can say is, ‘Watch me’,” he told ABC News in February. Well, Joe, voters have been peering at 80-year-old you closely, and they think you are past it. In an NBC poll on the eve of Biden’s campaign announcement on 25 April, 70 per cent of respondents said he should not run again. Nearly half of those, 48 per cent, cited age as a major factor; 21 per cent thought it was a minor factor, and 29 per cent were unfazed. I have not met too many of those.

Biden’s launch video for his 2024 campaign was a clever mash-up designed for the TikTok age, which began with images of the 6 January assault on the Capitol and segued from the threat posed to American democracy by extreme MAGA Republicans to the idea that the same bunch of nutters will be coming for people's reproductive rights, choice of partner, and health and social security benefits. Not a bad message. There was a duff note, though, when Biden was shown sprinting for a couple of seconds (where, we do not know). Whenever I see Biden running my brain is conditioned to see him stumble, just as whenever he speaks in public his aides involuntarily cringe.

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