Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” in her iconic sultry voice this is not.
No, this is more like if far-left filmmaker Michael Moore coughed “Happy Birthday” into your face — while wearing Monroe’s skintight dress.
President Joe Biden was “enjoying” his 81st birthday on Monday, and while that would normally be a cause for celebration, the president’s second full year as an octogenarian is not getting off to the most rousing start, at least according to Politico.
The outlet called it a “not so happy birthday for Biden” at the outset of the article and would go on to paint a grim picture for a man who genuinely appears to be seeking re-election.
While Biden has a litany of issues with which he must grapple, ranging from his troubled son all the way to the decrepit state of the U.S. economy, these issues are all — in theory, at least — fixable.
(Yes, if history is any indication, Biden won’t magically become a good father or adopt fiscally responsible policies overnight, but they are at least in the realm of far-flung possibility.)
What is not nearly in the realm of possibility is reversing or mitigating the very cause for celebration Monday: Biden, already the oldest president in U.S. history, is now 81.
With an octogenarian president, these are, quite literally, uncharted waters for this country.
Now, if Biden were 81 but the economy was booming, crime was down, the borders were secured and the U.S. was thriving on a global stage?
Those concerns about Biden’s historically advanced age for his post would still be there, but they would be far more muted if the country were thriving. A thriving country merely needs a steward to maintain the status quo.
The United States, sadly, is not thriving and therefore needs an actual leader far more than a steward.
The polls reflect that American voters are beginning to come to this realization — and so too are those closest to Biden.
“Even those in Biden’s inner circle, including family members, worry about the optics of age,” Politico reported. “Those close allies believe that Biden is mentally up for the job, but some acknowledge that the president can at times appear frail, according to two people involved in the conversations but not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations.”
The issue for Team Biden is that “the optics of age” are hardly optics at all. The president’s falling on stairs and struggling to string together coherent sentences are not the optics of aging, but the actual results of it.
Take, for example, this “plan” that Biden’s handlers have for him, as called out by Politico.
“As noted on his recent physical, Biden’s gait has stiffened following foot fractures he suffered playing with his dog in late 2020,” the outlet reported. “People close to the president have discussed having him walk shorter distances while on camera.
“They’ve also advocated, at times, trading in formal shoes for more comfortable ones — both to make his stride seem less stiff, but also to reduce the risk of falls.”
Needing your team to handle you as if you were an invalid is quite the ignominious birthday present.
More so than that, however, these plans are the equivalent of using a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound — sure, they may hold things together just a smidgen longer, but they aren’t exactly addressing the root problem.
Walking shorter distances in more comfortable shoes does not change the fact that Biden will be 86 if he wins and finishes a second presidential term, which is nearly 10 years older than the second-oldest president to occupy the Oval Office (Ronald Reagan left office at 77).
The comfier, shorter walks also don’t magically fix the state of the economy or shore up the country’s porous borders.
Until all these issues are addressed, questions about Biden’s ability to lead, win re-election and govern will persist.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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