Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Displaying a keen grasp of the obvious, someone at Team Biden realized that this was a bad story for the candidate:
Joe Biden's campaign denied Wednesday that the 77-year-old Democrat is considering a pledge to serve only one term if elected president, rejecting a published report that it remained a consideration.

"Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted.
A Politico story by Ryan Lizza said that "it is virtually inconceivable that [Biden] will run for reelection in 2024, when he would be the first octogenarian president," citing "four people who regularly talk to Biden, all of whom asked for anonymity to discuss internal campaign matters."

Someone clearly thought going public with this idea was a good thing:
... a prominent adviser to the campaign ... argued that public acknowledgment of that reality could help Biden mollify younger voters, especially on the left, who are unexcited by his candidacy and fear that his nomination would serve as an eight-year roadblock to the next generation of Democrats.
Oh, right -- if Biden is only a four-year roadblock to the next generation of Democrats, I'm sure young voters will instantly abandon their preferred candidates and flock to him.

Meanwhile, this just draws attention to Biden's age and lack of sharpness on the trail. The president will undoubtedly pounce on the story, walkback notwithstanding.

Trump won't wait for the debate. This will show up in his Twitter feed and in his stump speeches. We'll hear that "Sleepy Joe" is too old and tired to serve for eight years -- whereas Trump is talking about serving until he's past 100.

If Trump were to confront Biden with this in a debate, Trump's "jokes" about serving multiple terms should be the basis of Biden's response.

But can you imagine Biden nailing this answer?

Maybe Biden's voters, who skew old themselves, don't care. Maybe they still think he's the strongest candidate. Maybe the fact that older people vote at a much higher rate than younger people makes this irrelevant. Nevertheless, I'm not looking forward to the Trump taunts on this subject.

And yes, Trump is aging and weakening -- but watch his rallies and he still looks vigorous. He still lands most of the jokes. He only slurs a small percentage of the words. I'd rather have a candidate with a similar level of energy, even if it's old, cardiovascularly challenged Bernie.

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