WASHINGTON – People in their 80s can lead countries, create magnificent art and perform feats of endurance. One person reached the summit of Mount Everest.
It’s time to get busy Joe Biden, 80 on Sunday, to decide whether he has one more mountain to climb — the one to a second term as president.
Now, there are many questions, both within his party and throughout the country, about whether or not he is ready to take on the challenge of the summit.
The oldest US president Biden He celebrates his milestone birthday at He is at a crossroads in his life as he and the rest of his family must decide whether to announce for reelection.
He would have been 86 at The end of Potentially, a second term.
Biden aides and allies all say he intends to run — and his team has begun quiet preparations for a campaign — but it has often been the president himself who has sounded the most equivocal.
“My intention is that I run again,” He said at A news conference was held this month. ”But I’m a great respecter of fate.”
“We’re going to have discussions about it,” he said.
Aides expect those conversations to pick up in earnest over Thanksgiving and Christmas, with a decision not until well after New Year’s.
Biden planned to celebrate his birthday at a family brunch in the White House on Sunday.
To observe Biden at work is to see a leader tap a storehouse of knowledge built up over a half century in public office as he draws on deep personal relationships at home and abroad, his mastery of policy and his familiarity with how Washington works or doesn’t.
In short, the wisdom of the aged.
“There is something to be said for experience,” said Dartmouth College historian Matt Delmont as he noted the dozens of global leaders in their 80s.
But to observe Biden is also to see him walk now often with a halting gait, in contrast to his trotting on stage on election night 2020.
It is to see him take a pass on a formal dinner with other world leaders without a real explanation, as happened on his trip abroad this past week, when he twice spoke of visiting Colombia when he meant Cambodia.
Some supporters wince when he speaks, hoping he gets through his remarks OK.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s decision, at age 82, to pull back from leadership and let a new generation rise may spill over into Biden’s thinking and that of his party as Democrats weigh whether they want to go with a proven winner or turn to the energy of youth.
Among the questions Pelosi’s move raises, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an authority on political communications at the University of Pennsylvania: “What is the point of being highly successful and competent? at Which one should be allowed to step aside in order to allow others to take the lead, just like others did to make it possible?
“Pelosi’s decision makes such questions more salient in the context of Biden’s 2020 statement that he was the bridge to a new generation of leaders.”
BidenThese were the stuff. of Legend throughout his five-decade-long political career. So determining the impact of Age on his acuity can be guessed. “armchair gerontologists,” As Dr. S. Jay Olshansky (an expert on aging) puts it,
In the distorted reflections of Every slip of social media commentary is magnified to make it seem like proof of senility.
A Moment of Stillness through silent reflection Biden In a meeting, the president nods off.
All of That was the result. Donald Trump‘s quiver of He was telling lies when he said Tuesday that he would run for the presidency again.
Some allies see BidenEyes becoming more vulnerable due to blunders of As he gets older, voters.
An AP VoteCast poll of The electorate in this month’s election, 58% of Voters said that he lacks the mental ability to serve as president.
This was a very grim picture. of He is standing right now and not just looking forward to the next term. Only 34% of respondents said he is a strong leader.
These results are in addition to Trump’s low approval ratings at This point of They are their presidencies.
Olshansky died two months prior to the 2020 election. at The University of Chicago, Illinois, published a paper that predicted both Biden Trump and Trump would be able to continue their good health well into the future of This presidential term.
Based on the evaluation of a scientific team of The paper concluded that both men were likely to have access to medical records, family history, and other information. “super-agers,” A subgroup of People who have a good mental and physical health tend to live longer than average people their age.
Olshansky has not changed his mind about Olshansky. of them.
“While President Biden may chronologically be 80 years old, biologically he probably isn’t,” He said. “And biological age is far more important than chronological age.” He calls Biden a “classic example of everything that’s good about aging … and so his age, I think, should be almost completely irrelevant.”
Biden is already in the club of high achievers for people his age. Unlike 92% of people 75 and over in the U.S., he still has a job, not to mention a mightily demanding one.
And he’s been on a roll. The November elections produced the best result for a Democratic president’s party in midterms in decades — despite the poison pill of high inflation — as Democrats kept control of the Senate, narrowly lost the House in defiance of expectations of a rout, and won several competitive governors’ races in key states.
The president also sealed a string of consequential legislative victories in recent months, on climate, infrastructure, health care expansion, military aid to Ukraine and more.
Biden says he begins most days with an 8 a.m. workout, when he is usually joined by his personal trainer and physical therapist, Drew Contreras, if he doesn’t ride his Peloton bike.
“If I let it go for a week, I feel it,” He spoke to the “Smartless” Recently, podcast “I used to be able to go for a week and nothing would change.”
White House Aides Say Biden Reads his briefing books late at night, meets with advisers in the evenings, and has never once balked at Their scheduling requests may require him to be up late but he is rarely up before the deadline.
But his aides remain deeply protective of Particularly with his lighter public schedule, the president has a lot to do. of Barack Obama and George W. Bush are both much younger than their respective years in office. They have kept him away from press conferences and formal interviews, as well as prevented him from speaking out about his past.
To all his doubters, he said: “Watch me.”
Biden He was diagnosed with several common conditions that are age-related, but none of them were causing him any serious health problems.
His November 2021 summary of BidenDr. Kevin O’Connor commented on the president’s health following his first full physical in office BidenThe gait was becoming stiffer in the patient, which doctors look for in older patients because it could indicate a fall risk.
However, after extensive testing, the doctor determined that it was most likely due to ongoing “wear and tear” arthritis of The spine and compensation for a broken ankle sustained a year before. of “mild peripheral neuropathy” or subtle damage of some sensory nerves in feet.
Experts disagree with the notion that age is a sign of destiny. What matters is your health, fitness, and functioning.
Yuichiro Mura, a Japanese climber had enough of These attributes will help you rise to the top of Mount Everest 2013 at Age 80. A record set by an 85-year old Nepali man who attempted to break it in 2017
Growing old is inexorable — at It comes at whatever speed it takes.