Joe Biden, the president, was left exposed, with questions being raised about his mental health, in front of a group of journalists. This is a critical time for his presidency and could affect his chances for re-election in November.
Last Thursday was a particularly difficult day for Democrats. Despite being cleared of mishandling classified documents by the Department of Justice’s special prosecutor, Robert Hur, the president’s mental health became a topic of discussion.
Hur’s report described Biden as a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory, even forgetting when his son Beau passed away.
This report highlighted concerns about Biden’s mental health, given his age. At 81, Biden is the oldest serving president and if he wins re-election, he would be 86 at the end of his term.
Republicans seized on the report to question Biden’s capabilities. Some critics have even suggested invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of a president who is deemed mentally unfit.
In response to the report, Biden held an impromptu press conference to assure Americans that his memory is fine. However, he appeared confused during the conference, fueling further doubts about his cognitive abilities.
Christopher Arterton, Professor Emeritus of Political Management at George Washington University, suggests that Biden’s mental and physical capabilities could pose a serious threat to his re-election.
Coup in the middle of the campaign
Despite a strong economy, there is growing concern among the American public about Biden’s ability to govern for another four years due to his age.
An NBC poll last month found that 75% of Americans are concerned about the president’s age. This includes 81 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats.
The New York Times described the situation as one of the darkest moments of Biden’s presidency.
The White House and Biden’s allies have tried to defend the president, praising his work ethic, international relationships, and government achievements.
Waiting in the wings is Donald Trump, who could potentially be Biden’s rival in the upcoming election. Trump has previously avoided attacking Biden on the issue of age, but has now referred to Biden’s “hazy memory” in a post on the Truth Social network.
Alexander George Theodoridis, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, suggests that the depiction of Biden in the Hur report could dampen enthusiasm among his supporters.
The impact of this week’s events on Biden’s poll numbers is yet to be determined. However, quick action is required from the Democratic campaign to address these concerns.