Establishment Media Highlight Joe Biden’s Age While Jill Biden Calms Fears

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden listens to President Joe Biden speaks at a Lunar New Years celeb
Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The establishment media have continued to levy attacks on President Joe Biden’s viability leading up to his likely 2024 reelection launch, while first lady Jill Biden has constantly defended her husband in a series of high-profile media appearances.

Reportedly delaying his reelection launch from February to April, Joe Biden has yet to officially announce a reelection bid, though he has stated an “intention” to run. If Joe Biden wins reelection, he would be 86 years old by the end of his second term, the oldest president in U.S. history.

The media have been critical of Biden’s inability to definitively seek reelection, citing his age. On Sunday, Jill Biden was interviewed by CNN and asked if politicians over age 75 to take a mental competency test. “Ridiculous,” Jill Biden replied about her 80-year-old husband. “We would never even discuss something like that.”

It was not Jill Biden’s first time in recent weeks defending her husband. It appears Jill Biden has been charged with conducting a series of media interviews to calm concerns in recent months about the president’s delayed reelection launch.

“How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?” Jill Biden questioned Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville in February about Biden’s seeking reelection. “He says he’s not done. He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”

Jill Biden has also reassured the media she offers a “good balance” of insight on Joe Biden. “Certainly, I tell him stories, and I have things that I’ve seen and things that people want and where their challenges are,” she said on March 2. “So, it’s not that I’m like weighing in. It’s like, let me tell you what I saw or what I heard, or what people are saying to me.”

The first lady’s consistent defense has not dissipated the media’s attack on her husband. On Monday, one day after Jill Biden’s CNN interview, Associated Press reporter Steve Peoples wrote an article titled “Biden reelection bid faces resistance from some Democrats.” The article renewed attacks on Joe Biden’s 2024 viability by raising questions about his age and citing polling that showed only 37 percent of Democrats want Biden to launch a reelection campaign.

“Concerns about Biden run much deeper, in line with a majority of Democratic voters nationwide, who question the 80-year-old president’s plans to soon launch his reelection campaign,” Peoples wrote. “Just 37% of Democrats nationwide want the president to seek a second term… That was down from 52% in the weeks before last year’s midterm elections.”

“Many worry about Biden’s age,” the article continued. “And the party’s progressive wing has never been enthusiastic about Biden, who is perceived as a moderate, despite his lengthy list of achievements.”

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, en route to California. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Thursday, January 19, 2023, en route to California. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

Such media attacks against Joe Biden have been constant for months. Last week, the Atlantic’s Mark Leibovich wrote an article in which he contended a prominent Democrat should launch a 2024 primary challenge to Biden that “would anger a bunch of Democrats inside the various power terraria of D.C., starting with the biggest one of all, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

“Somebody should make a refreshing nuisance of themselves and involve the voters in this decision,” Leibovich argued, noting his age. “There would be immediate blowback from donors, the Democratic National Committee, and other party institutions. But do it anyway.”

Politico has highlighted Biden’s age and failure to launch a reelection campaign. “His indecision has resulted in an awkward deep-freeze across the party — in which some potential presidential aspirants and scores of major donors are strategizing and even developing a Plan B while trying to remain respectful and publicly supportive of the 80-year-old president,” Politico wrote.

The media’s attention on Biden’s 2024 viability or lack thereof has also been raised by Democrat lawmakers. Speaking with Politico Magazine’s Johnathan Martin, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) publicly stated lawmakers are worried about Biden’s ability to win reelection and lead the Democrat party to victory.

“Nobody wants to be the one to do something that would undermine the chances of a Democratic victory in 2024,” Phillips said. “Yet in quiet rooms the conversation is just the opposite — we could be at a higher risk if this path is cleared.”

Assuming Biden does seek reelection, media personalities have so far been unsuccessful in primarying Joe Biden. No legitimate candidates have entered the race.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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