Like it or not, the old adage “You’re only as young as you feel” is usually used by people who aren’t very young, and it shows.
No matter how spry Grandpa claims to feel as he slithers down the slip ‘n slide, his bald head and sagging swim trunks are a sight that can’t be unseen.
President Joe Biden may think he possesses the energy of a spring chicken, but according to Axios, it is “causing some tension on his team” and his staff has been rolling their eyes about his youthful declarations, probably as they cross their fingers behind their backs every time he climbs up the steps of Air Force One.
Name how many times Joe Biden has stumbled on the plane stairs!
I’ve lost track already! pic.twitter.com/Rfvl4iEnMD
— TickedOffOfLibs (@TickedOffOfLibs) February 22, 2023
According to Axios, the president frequently tells friends and aides some rendition of: “I feel so much younger than my age.”
But senior White House officials and the first lady herself are reportedly concerned that Biden may be overexerting himself.
According to Biden’s inner circle, Jill Biden keeps close tabs on the president’s schedule to guard against overexertion. She pushes for extra rest and intervenes with staff to carve out more downtime and consistent sleep for the president.
“He is his own worst enemy when it comes to his schedule,” one former Biden aide said.
NOW – Jill to Joe Biden: “You go down this way.”pic.twitter.com/oOlys2oLW4
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 28, 2022
Some argue Biden is in denial about his physical limitations. Insisting “I feel so much younger” or being unable to even state one’s age points to defensiveness around the issue.
While Biden has belatedly accepted accommodations like added rest, orthopedic shoes, and shorter stairs and has started making some self-deprecating jokes about his age, he continues to show “frustration” at the perception that he is too old to be president.
“With regard to age, I can’t even say, I guess, how old I am, I can’t even say the number. It doesn’t register with me,” he said earlier this year.
He reacts impatiently when questioned on the subject as if this fundamental campaign issue can be waved away.
But polls and voter perception suggest otherwise.
An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted in August revealed broad public concern over President Biden’s age heading into a potential 2024 re-election bid.
At 81 years old currently (and 80 at the time of the poll), 77 percent of Americans believe Biden is simply too old to serve a second term effectively.
The perception crosses party lines, with 69 percent of Democrats and an overwhelming 89 percent of Republicans saying the president is too old.
The Axios piece downplayed the concerns about Biden’s age, comparing it to former president Donald Trump’s, who is only four years younger.
However, the AP poll showed a clear difference between the way people view Biden and Trump when it comes to age.
According to a “word association” test, the pollers did –when respondents heard Biden’s name, age was top of mind. Twenty-six percent explicitly mentioned terms like “old,” while another 15 percent volunteered words like “slow” or “confused,” pointing to perceptions of decline. With Trump, only 1 percent used age-related vocabulary, with just 3 percent marking him as confused.
Even Democrats displayed the concern. Twenty-eight percent of respondents cited Biden’s age rather than calling him “strong” or “capable” in their reflexive associations. One Democrat who approved of Biden still tagged him as “senile.” Another said Biden’s “symptoms” reminded him of his 94-year-old grandpa.
In contrast, few Republicans betrayed concern over Trump’s age or vitality.
The divergence suggests Biden’s visible aging accentuates worries over his fitness for office as Americans witness their president fading in real-time.
As one former advisor put it, “yelling ‘Nuh-uh’ isn’t cutting it,” Axios reported.
When it comes to being president, how you feel about your age isn’t nearly as important as how the voters feel about it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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