And to hear the recent political chatter, you might consider these two facts to be directly related. Opponents called Biden too weak for Oval Office demands; his allies began pushing him into retirement.
Consider the problems, which began to multiply a year ago, when most Americans still approved of his professional performance.
Since Biden launched his third bid for the White House, progressive Democrats have worried about the septuagenarian’s prospects as well as his physical stamina. Specifically, they feared he had outdated views about the value of negotiating with congressional Republicans.
But neither that initial error, nor later errant assessments that inflation would be “transient,” were unique to the elderly chief executive. Like Biden with his fiscal largesse, Federal Reserve Chairman (10 years younger) Jerome Powell had until recently maintained expansionary monetary policies in hopes of avoiding a lukewarm post-pandemic recovery.
But that’s just frustration talking. Presidents can no more want to overrule Supreme Court decisions than they can fight with guns to drive down gas prices.
Biden’s age is clouding his 2024 re-election prospects in any case. He looks like the oldest president, walking stiffer and speaking more hesitantly than just a few years ago.
And voters have good reason to care. With each passing year, even healthy octogenarians face high risks of medical setbacks and mental decline.
But a cursory glance at political conditions in other countries makes it clear that, at least for now, Biden’s physical condition does not explain his political condition.