After a debate with Democrat Walter Mondale (who would go on to lose 49 states), Reagan was assailed for having “lost his stamina.” The New York Times derided “signs of deafness in Mr. Reagan’s right ear” (well, he had been shot a few years before at point-blank range with an exploding “devastator” bullet that ended up less than an inch from his heart, so….)
And he was just 73.
President Joe Biden is a whole ‘nother animal. The guy turns 80 next month, and — unlike Reagan at 73 — Biden has an endless string of verbal and mental gaffes that point to a man in the twilight of his life (some are mild, others are downright dangerous).
Still, making it to 80 is a milestone. Time for a big party, right?
Wrong. With the way things are going for Joe, the last thing the White House wants to do is make a scene over the oldest president ever elected.
“It will be a birthday like no other in White House history,” the liberal Politico wrote on Tuesday. “But those inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are not keen on having a blow-out celebration.”
“President Joe Biden will turn 80 years old next month, becoming the first commander-in-chief to become an octogenarian while in office. The Nov. 20 birthday will come two weeks after the midterms and will likely intensify scrutiny of Biden’s health and speculation as to whether he will seek another term,” the site said.
The story comes after a bizarre incident. Last Wednesday, Biden — a self-described “gaffe machine” — delivered a speech at the White House and, as he often does, gave a bunch of shout-outs, including one for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN).
The problem: Walorski is dead. She died, along with three others, in a head-on car crash on August 3.
In his shout-outs, Biden said: “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? She must not be here.”
It was quite clear that Biden had forgotten that Walorski had died. But that didn’t keep the White House from launching a nonsensical explanation for what Biden had said.
Politico said Biden is aware of criticism over his age. “His age has always been a sensitive topic among his closest allies and planning is underway as to how to best navigate the occasion,” the site said.
The Issues & Insights/TIPP survey of 1,376 adults released Monday showed 64% of Americans are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned,” a 5-point jump from its last poll in August.
But the percentage of Democrats now concerned about Biden’s mental lapses leaped 13 points in two months. “Virtually all of October’s gain came from Democrats, who went from just 39% expressing ‘concern’ over Biden’s mental health in August, a high number in itself, to 52% in the latest poll,” the pollsters wrote.
“Is Biden’s mental infirmity a danger to this country? Is it time for the president, who turns 80 next month, to be tested by competent medical experts and have the results openly released to allay public fears?” said the pollsters.
In the end, Politico predicted it would all be a low-key affair.
“Biden tends to celebrate his birthday with his family. A year ago, he spent the day, a Saturday, at his Wilmington, Del., home except when he ventured out to church. This year, it will come as much of his family will already be in Washington to celebrate the White House wedding of his granddaughter Naomi the day before.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.