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Biden’s Allies Struggle to Reach Consensus on Addressing Questions About His Age and Memory

Credits: The Hill

In the aftermath of the special counsel report released on Thursday, House Democrats initially cheered President Joe Biden during their annual retreat. However, as the president returned to the stage and murmurs circulated, concerns about renewed questions regarding Biden’s age and mental acuity surfaced among Democratic members.

The special counsel’s report, whether viewed as brutally honest or as a partisan attack by a Donald Trump appointee, directly targeted what Biden’s advisers have acknowledged as a consistent liability for the president: his age. At 81, Biden’s visible aging has become a focal point for critics, raising questions about his fitness for the job.

Upon learning of the report’s questions about Biden’s age and memory, some Democratic members responded with a mix of morbid laughter and sullen acknowledgment.

Biden Allies (Credits: Brookings Institution)

Anxiety spread as members sought to gauge others’ reactions, reflecting a growing concern about the amplifying volume of age-related questions that have persisted in Democratic focus groups for over two years.

Leading Democrats are now worried that undecided voters may perceive four more years of the far-right, anti-democratic agenda promised by Trump as a preferable alternative to four more years of Biden if concerns about his decline persist.

Within the White House and Biden’s reelection campaign staff, tension is palpable. While top aides argue for a strategic approach that avoids constant appearances to mitigate potential embarrassing moments, critics argue that this strategy inadvertently reinforces the perception that Biden is struggling through his days.

Observers note that Biden often appears “stilted” and “like a caricature,” raising concerns that the protective bubble around him contributes to anxiety and mistakes.

Some Democrats express worries that the public narrative surrounding Biden’s mental acuity could overshadow his policy command and capabilities.

Despite these concerns, Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster, who initially had reservations about Biden’s reelection, emphasizes that Biden is sharp and in command during private meetings. While allies defend the president, dozens of officials and aides who have spent time with Biden privately attest to his mental acuity.

White House aides point to instances where even political opponents, like former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, acknowledged Biden’s competence after meetings.

As Biden’s age becomes a recurring topic, the challenge for Democrats is to navigate public perception and ensure that voters see beyond age-related concerns to recognize the president’s ability to address the country’s issues effectively.

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