In the days following the Hur report, it’s hard to see how the president will get out of this mess and convince the public that he is at his full capacity. Biden confused the president of Egypt with that of Mexico and insists his memory is “fine.” These errors will be exploited by Republicans and right-wing media, reinforcing the concern that 75% of voters have about the president’s abilities, according to a recent NBC News poll.
The problem for voters is that the most likely alternative candidate for the presidential election is not far away. A survey indicates that 48% are concerned about the age and health of Donald Trump, who, at 77, is the apparent safe candidate for the Republicans. Biden and Trump face the possibility of a rematch for the White House in the 2024 elections. The age of both candidates, 81 and 77, has become a central topic of discussion.
An AP poll indicates that the majority of voters would prefer other options to Biden and Trump, even if they will ultimately vote for one of the two candidates. The first party to withdraw their 80-year-old candidate will be the party that wins this election. Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley proposed that every presidential candidate over the age of 75 undergo an exam to analyze their abilities. She is still competing for the nomination but has not managed to make a dent in the former president’s leadership.
After the success of his re-election in Florida in 2020, DeSantis was expected to be the young conservative figure who would contest Trump for the nomination. The governor started tied in the polls with the former president, but a year later, he withdrew from the race after his failure in the Iowa caucus. The idea of a “Trump without drama” was not attractive to many, who prefer the ‘original’. Biden’s re-election is expected, despite the issue of age. The unspoken rule that the president in office will seek the nomination to continue another four years in the White House explains Biden’s case. When it became known that Biden would seek re-election, a Democratic representative said that a “new generation” and “new blood” is needed in power.
In 2024, only minor figures have challenged Biden. The problem of the lack of generational renewal in American politics is clear in the makeup of Congress, which is “the oldest in history.” The number of senators and representatives over 70 years went from 5% at the beginning of the 80s to 23% in this legislature. In 1986, Congress voted unanimously to end the establishment of forced retirement based on age. But the Constitution does not set a maximum age to remain in an elected position.
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