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Biden’s Age and Performance Raise Questions About Re-Election Bid Amidst Concerns Following Debate

President Joe Biden’s conduct in various settings, such as the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and in international meetings, is often described by those who frequently observe him as having a dual nature.

At times, he is sharp and focused. However, he also experiences moments, especially later in the evening, when his thoughts seem jumbled, he trails off mid-sentence, or appears confused. Occasionally, he struggles with policy details, forgets people’s names, stares blankly, and moves slowly.

These occasional lapses may not be unusual for someone his age. Yet, at 81 years old and seeking another four-year term, these instances have taken on new significance following his poor debate performance against Republican Donald Trump. During the debate, Biden appeared pale, gave confusing answers, stared blankly, and lost his train of thought.

The debate alarmed Democrats and financial backers, partly because Biden seemed worse than in routine moments when he’s less sharp. This has led to questions about his ability to endure a grueling campaign and govern effectively for another term if he wins.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged the concerns but emphasized that Biden remains committed to running. “The president is clear-eyed and he is staying in the race,” she said.

The June 27 debate was a critical moment in the presidential rematch between Biden and Trump. Observers agreed that Biden had a bad night.

Despite the growing pressure within his party to withdraw, Biden is determined to continue his campaign. “No one is pushing me out,” he stated. Vice President Kamala Harris, meanwhile, is supporting Biden, acknowledging his poor debate performance while stressing the importance of the election to rally Democrats.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has maintained a low profile, enjoying legal and political victories as he heads into the Republican National Convention.

Biden attributed his poor debate performance to factors like a cold, excessive preparation, feeling unwell, and jet lag. However, other signs of decline have emerged, such as his limited schedule during a recent visit to France and his subdued demeanor at a high-profile Hollywood fundraiser.

This account is based on interviews with two dozen people who have spent time with the president privately, some of whom spoke anonymously about non-public interactions.

Biden’s private conduct often mirrors his public demeanor. He can be commanding one day and hesitant the next.

Following the debate, Biden appeared forceful and confident at a North Carolina rally, drawing cheers from the crowd. “I give you my word as a Biden. I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job,” he told supporters. “Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.”

At times, however, Biden speaks so softly that it’s hard to hear him even with a microphone, and he may stop mid-sentence and trail off. Other times, he commands the room, engaging with the audience, joking, and shaking hands with supporters. His gait is often stiff, but he occasionally jogs.

His State of the Union speech earlier this year was widely viewed as confident and fiery, suggesting he was ready to take on Trump.

Despite these moments, public concern about Biden’s fitness for another term persists. An August 2023 poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 77% of U.S. adults believe Biden is too old to be effective for another four years, including 89% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats.

One regular observer noted visible signs of Biden’s aging over the past year that his team hasn’t fully addressed. The debate performance heightened concerns about a slow-moving problem, despite Biden’s assurances of his capability.

Biden’s advisers have long dismissed questions about his age, but they now acknowledge that his slowdown is evident. The debate forced Biden to confront the limitations of his age more directly. In response, his team has made largely cosmetic adjustments, such as using a shorter staircase to board Air Force One and ensuring aides accompany him to make his stiff gait less noticeable. While his schedule remains busy, it includes recovery periods with long weekends or extended stays at his homes in Delaware or at Camp David.

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Charles Wright
Charles Wrighthttps://devstory.org.za
Charles Wright embarked on his journalism career two decades ago, quickly making a name for himself with his insightful reporting and keen eye for detail. His dedication to uncovering the truth and presenting well-researched stories has earned him a reputation as a reliable and respected journalist. Over the years, Charles has covered a wide range of topics, from local news and politics to international affairs and in-depth investigative pieces. Throughout his career, Charles has demonstrated exceptional skills in investigative journalism, political reporting, and feature writing. His ability to dissect complex issues and present them in a clear, engaging manner has won him numerous accolades and the trust of his readers. Charles is known for his commitment to unbiased reporting and his relentless pursuit of the facts, which has made him a cornerstone of the journalistic community.