Vitaly Ryumshin How Biden’s bad memory became a national problem in the United States 21.02.2024, 08:07

The age of US presidential candidates is becoming an increasingly important factor in the election race. For the last few weeks, the American media has been discussing whether Joe Biden can continue his presidential campaign at the age of 81.

It would seem, what is the feeling? 78-year-old Biden became the oldest person to assume the US presidency in 2021. The age of America’s president has been ironic since the first day he took over the Oval Office. Discussions have been ongoing for about the same time about what the potential second term of Biden, who will be 82 years old when it begins, will look like. But in all these years, his age has not become a national issue. And it happened today.

The problem is this. In early 2023, Biden was accused of improperly concealing classified documents belonging to his vice presidency. The investigation lasted nearly a year, and on February 8, special prosecutor Robert Hur filed an opinion on the case. The US President was acquitted, but the reasoning horrified his supporters.

The special prosecutor told the whole country that the president had memory loss. During his testimony, the politician could not remember when he became vice president and forgot the year of his eldest son Beau’s death. Hur eventually concluded that Biden did not intentionally leave the documents in an inappropriate location. He’s just “a charitable old man with a bad memory.”

The White House immediately launched an anti-crisis program (though it would have been better not to). Biden decided to personally show America that there is nothing wrong with his mind. The US President proved to journalists for 12 minutes at a press conference that he has no memory problems and that he is generally the most competent American president of recent years. True, in the heat of the fight, Biden confused the presidents of Mexico and Egypt, and then forgot the primary color of his party and called the “blue” states controlled by Democrats “green”.

And everything was going to be fine, but that same week Biden made two more public mistakes. In one speech, he confused Emmanuel Macron with French President François Mitterrand, who died in 1996 and whom he also called Chancellor of Germany. In another, the US president confused Angela Merkel with Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died in 2017. And this is despite the fact that in both cases we are talking about the same conversation taking place in 2021.

The result was logical: Americans who had previously joked about Biden’s “uncontrollable error machine” began to seriously worry that their president might actually be incompetent. Public opinion polls revealed striking results. ABC News found that 86 percent of US residents think Biden is too old for another presidential term. According to Reuters, 53 percent of Americans agree with the statement that he receives “special treatment” on classified documents because of his position.

The Republican Party, which opposes the White House, flocked to the scandal. They immediately realized that the age issue was very toxic for Biden and, as the media wrote, they had already prepared a whole plan to force Americans to talk about this issue for as long as possible.

The Democratic Party, on the contrary, began to interrupt the negativity – its members went to the media to personally testify to the sharp intelligence of the US President. But some of Biden’s party members share the public’s concerns and are trying behind the scenes to dissuade him from seeking a second term before it’s too late.

Against this background, even Vice President Kamala Harris has become more active; During the first year of Biden’s administration he was called a “sleeper president”, but after a series of political failures he was ousted from office. She is now trying to present herself as a worthy alternative to the Democrats.

But Biden has almost nowhere to retreat. There is little time left to withdraw the candidacy – on March 5, America will host “Super Tuesday”, when voting in the primaries will take place simultaneously in 15 states. And primaries will be held in more than half of the states by March 12. After this date, many questions will arise regarding the legitimacy of Biden’s successor. And it will be too late to promote a new candidate.

In such cases, the team of the US President has only one thing left to do: to prove that he is healthy and can perform the duties of head of state for a moment no worse than Donald Trump, who has already entered his 78th year. Your life. However, achieving this will not be easy at all.

The White House’s previous strategy was to cover up the problem and try to portray it as a conspiracy theory. Now the talk about Biden’s health has become mainstream and it won’t work. Therefore, you will have to look for new recipes.

Biden can dispel doubts in two ways: take a cognitive test or prove his case by increasing public activity. True, in both cases there is a risk that the US President will screw things up again instead of successfully dealing with the crisis. In a tense campaign environment, Biden’s opponents will scrutinize his every action. This means the President of the United States cannot lift another clause.

So will the threat of losing the election stop his “gaffe machine”? I doubt.

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors.

What are you thinking?

Source: Gazeta


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