Speaking at an event in Urbande, IA on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden recalled, “Just like in my generation, when I got out of school that, when Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King had been assassinated, in the 70s, the late 70s, when I got engaged.” Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 followed by Bobby Kennedy on June 6, 1968.
If errors like this had happened once or twice, that would be one thing, but Biden’s slips of the tongue are now occurring with regularity. Nearly every time he speaks, he makes headlines, not for the content of his speeches, but for his latest gaffe.
And it is a big deal because it’s possible (though doubtful) that he might one day hold the highest office in the U.S.
When voters are asked which Democratic presidential hopeful has the best chance of defeating President Trump, Joe Biden consistently crushes the competition.
He is seen as the most electable of them all, not for any particular achievements or attributes, but essentially because he is the “least bad” candidate among the largely unimpressive field.
Even his wife was hard pressed to name a reason for voters to choose Joe other than electability. She said, “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”
The frequency of Biden’s gaffes is now starting to undermine the Democrat’s strongest argument for nominating him.
I consider his remark that “poor kids are just as bright as white kids” to be a gaffe. He would have said something like that ten years ago, even 30 years ago. However, Biden’s account of the Parkland survivors visit to the White House, an event which took place in February 2018, and his comments on Tuesday night about the assassinations of King and Kennedy, to be something else entirely.
The former vice president has always been known to be gaffe prone, but his recent blunders go well beyond gaffe territory and have left some voters wondering if he has become “too old” to serve.
We all age at different rates, and while many people retain their cognitive abilities well into their 90s, others begin to lose their sharpness earlier.
And Democrats need to give some serious thought to this. Biden will turn 77 in November. And should he win the presidency, he would take office at the age of 78. The decline in his mental acuity at that point will be even more discernible.
The New York Times reported that, “Recent interviews with more than 50 Democratic voters and party officials across four states, as well as with political strategists and some of Mr. Biden’s own donors, showed significant unease about Mr. Biden’s ability to be a reliably crisp and effective messenger against Mr. Trump.”
Until Biden announced his candidacy in April, he had been largely out of the public eye since he left office. The difference between then and now is striking. He looks old. He moves old. He acts old.
A recent headline appearing in The Wall Street Journal read, “The latest missteps by Democratic presidential front-runner give some party activists anxiety over whether he still has the stuff.”
Does Biden still have the stuff?