America now has its first octogenarian serving in the executive office. On November 2oth, President Joe Biden turned 80 years old.
On Sunday, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will be joined by members of their family to celebrate the commander-in-chief’s birthday. The White House has been turned into an event space over the weekend as the president’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden, had her wedding on the South Lawn on Saturday, and the president’s modest birthday festivities will be held behind the closed doors of the residence the day after.
Congratulations Naomi and Peter! We love you. pic.twitter.com/aIEatnDQhm
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) November 19, 2022
Celebrations of his 80th birthday are not without speculation, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, announced that after 19 years of holding office, she will not be seeking reelection – for the speakership, that is – and will be stepping down from Democratic party leadership inside the House of Representatives. Pelosi said on Thursday that she would be making way for a “new generation”, but fully intends on retaining her membership status in the House.
“My friends, no matter what title you all, my colleagues, have bestowed upon me, speaker, leader, whip, there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco,” she said on the House floor.
“This I will continue to do as a member of the House, speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California, and defending our constitution. And with great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
The electorate and 2024 presidential hopefuls will be watching with interest to see if President Biden follows her lead. In an interview last month with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Biden said that it was “totally legitimate” for voters to have concerns about his advancing age.
“I think it’s a legitimate thing to be concerned about anyone’s age, including mine. That’s totally legitimate. But I think the best way to make the judgment is to, you know, watch me. Am I slowing up? Am I — don’t have the same pace?” Biden said.
Biden said that he intended to run for re-election in 2024 pending any unforeseen circumstances. “I am a great respect of fate. I could get a disease tomorrow, drop dead tomorrow. In terms of my energy level, in terms of how much I am able to do, I think people should look and see, does he still have the same passion for what he is doing? If they think I do, then it is fine. If not, they should vote against me,” he said. It should be noted that passion for a vocation does not constitute competency, however.
"Today is Joe Biden's 80th birthday. Do you think he should run for re-election?"
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff: "I think he should. I think he's extremely capable." pic.twitter.com/EXZBgRKIfJ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2022
If Biden is successful in seeking a second term, he would be 82-years-old at the start of his second stint in office. Former President Donald Trump, 76, was previously the oldest to serve in the office when he was elected at age 70. Now, six years later, Trump has announced his intention to run for the presidency in 2024. If his bid is successful, Trump’s age would mirror that of Biden’s in his first term.
A recent YouGov poll showed that as Congress on average is older than its been in over two decades, and presidential candidates are trending older, a majority of Americans support the idea of an age limit for those seeking the highest elected position in American politics. According to the poll, 58% of Americans are in favor of imposing a maximum age limit for the office of president.
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