186 Comments

I have two grandparents with akzheimers and neither Biden nor Trump seem like they have it. Are they less sharp than they were when they were younger? Yes, yes they are and that concerns me. Neither was the most brilliant man in their youth. Which is not to say either is dumb, but that I do not think either rose to the level of brilliance that George HW Bush did, Barack Obama did (and does), or heck that even Bill Clinton did. But both are effective politicians.

Biden is superb at relationships, coalition building and negotiation. Biden has accomplished more in his one term in a tight Congress than basically any reasonable parallel. No he isn’t FDR or LBJ, but he has done almost as much as Obama and had more FO success.

Trump is good at demagoguery and superb and rallying his base, and painting his enemies as buffoons and villains. He is not great at the job, but has some useful skills to get there.

Biden, at 80, is still doing a good job. Trump, at 74, was incompetent and also nearly traitorous.

The choice is clear.

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Most people have eyes. Biden can’t speak coherently without a teleprompter, notes, or a planted question from the bootlicking media. Inflation is up 30% since he took office for staples like energy and eggs, but he has taken more vacation than any president.

$100 billion for Ukraine while our cities deteriorate and the border is swamped by “migrants” seeking handouts. Remember when Biden said if you get the jab you won’t get covid? Eisenhower warned us about the MIC and scientific technical elite who run the Biden regime: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-deliver-a-farewell-address-eisenhower

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I wonder how much of the concern about Biden would be alleviated if he had a different Vice President. I understand that, for political reasons, he cannot replace Harris. And of course his age would be an issue no matter what. But if she had better favorables, it might be easier for skeptical Dems and hesitant independents to assuage their worries by saying to themselves, "well, if Biden dies, we are in good or possibly even better hands." Unfortunately, I don't think many people beyond the fervent Dem base feels that way about the ticket. It also makes me wonder if/when we've ever had a VP who was notably more popular than their President.

On a related note, I'm pretty meh about Biden running but am relieved not to have to suffer through the identity politics fights that would ensue in a Dem primary with Harris as an obvious frontrunner. That would be yet another exhausting line of discourse.

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I wish that Biden were eight years younger. I also wish that I (38) were eight years younger.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A typical Silver "if you disagree with something in this article, you need to reconsider your partisan bias" piece, which I mean as a complement.

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Adding “aging expert” really gives away the game here when it comes to the journalist engaging in the time-honored tradition of smuggling in one’s own opinion via public-health professor quotes.

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“This election is probably going to be close, and Trump winning might be only one Biden-has-a-McConnell-moment away.”

I find it interesting that you don’t seem to allow for the possibility or impact of Trump having a McConnell moment. And frankly that’s probably because the MAGA maniacs would vote for Trump regardless, which is pretty telling.

But let’s not forget Trump’s brain seems pretty addled - remember “person, woman, man, woman, camera, TV”?! - and IMO it’s just as likely he has some sort of speaking issue as Biden.

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This is a great typo:

“The age of Biden and Trump during their potential second terms corresponds to *infection* point at which the risk of death begins to increase meaningly every year.”

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While age is a factor, so is health status. Biden exercises, watches his diet, and remains active aand lucid. Trump is grossly overweight, has speech (mental) impairment that means he is unable to complete a sentence and jumps (within a single sentence) to other related and unrelated topics, frequently losing focus on what he began to talk about. He doesn't exercise (golf, yes, but not walking - he uses a cart) frequently eats fast food, who knows how many soda's (sugar or sugar substitutes) he downs daily, and he is under significant stress because his former charisma is no longer working on keeping out of trouble. I'd bet on Biden living longer than Trump.

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Yes, Biden's age is indeed a concern. You know whose age was also a concern? Joe Biden -- in 2020 (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/13/joe-biden-age-trump-2020-1361782)

*That* Biden turned out to be a damn fine President.

OK, it turns out we were wrong to be concerned about his age four years ago. But *this* time we're right to be worried, dammit!

Yes, he's old. Bad things may happen to him due to his advanced age. But he's not leaving the ticket, the ensuing chaos if he did at this point would be far worse for the Democrats and the country, and his track record shows no evidence that his age has negatively affected his performance as President.

So go ahead everyone. Bitch about "Biden's too old!" until you get it out of your system. And then maybe we can focus on all the other issues and concerns at stake next year.

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I'm biased, but I mean..isn't 83 and in shape (eating right and exercising daily etc.), more likely to live longer than being 80 and probably 80 pounds overweight and eating garbage food? Agree that Biden has lost a few miles per hour off his fastball, but by all counts he seems to grasp issues very well, and has surrounded himself with a highly competent cabinet.

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Here's the question I need addressed: How many people would change their vote/not vote based on Biden's age?

If I got asked if he's too old, I'd answer yes. But if the follow-up question was, would that make you less likely to vote for him, I'd answer emphatically no. I just can't see any meaningfully amount of people saying, "I think Biden is too old, so I'm going to vote for the other guy."

So it's not that I don't think his age is an issue, I just think it's not going to meaningfully affect the election, so how much effort should I invest in worrying about it?

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Agree with you broadly and the mortality stats here are quite helpful. On the narrow point of Biden being a favorite because economic conditions are improving, I mostly agree and I would frame it he’s a favorite because incumbent parties tend to win outside of recessions, and the odds of a recession are low. But when I look at prediction market pricing on both a recession and dems winning election, I think (small) markets tend to disagree with us, putting odds of both at around 50%, which is also worth noting. More detail on that market pricing in my latest post on my own stack.

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The idea that Republicans are diligently parsing the actuarial data around aging curves and that is what’s driving their nonchalance about Trump’s age, while screaming about Biden’s, rather than partisanship is so laughable.

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> Among Republicans, however, 89 percent say that Biden is too old while only 28 percent say the same of Trump. However, the differences can’t entirely be chalked up to partisanship.

Weren’t people polled on this exact question four years ago? If 28 percent or less of Republicans back then said that Biden was too old, I’ll agree partisanship doesn’t sufficiently explain the issue.

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It’s not the millions of people who actively support Trump that’s so discouraging. The Fox News delusion of so many Boomers and Gen Xers has been 30 years in the making and is a sad fact of our body politic. What’s jaw dropping stunning is that there is apparently a sizable percentage of people not part of the Trumperverse who could decide that Biden is too old, so they’re going to step back from voting or even vote for the grifting, immoral, ignorant, lying, serial sexual assailant, authoritarian coup plotter. Holy fuck, people. Get your face out of your phone and read a fucking newspaper once in a while.

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"...increase meaningly every year..." should be "meaningfully". "Meaningly" means something else entirely.

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