A long past his prime Joe Biden gave his first speech Monday as a 2020 presidential candidate and every day of his 76 years showed.
Biden, who turns 77 this year and will turn 78 before the next president is sworn in, stumbled over words in Pittsburgh, lost his train of thought, and slurred phrases to a point where you could not even understand him.
What’s more, despite some impressive plastic surgery on his face, Biden’s hair has passed the gray stage to enter the decrepit stage where it’s so white it looks brittle.
Age is not a factor in presidential politics. Vitality is. Virility is. If you still got it, you could win the presidency in your 80s. The problem for Biden is not the number 76, it is that he is no longer the Joe Biden we remember — who was never all that impressive, who was never a good presidential candidate, but he was not this guy — was not an old man past his prime looking to hold on when he needs to get out of the way.
I have a very simple philosophy about presidential elections, at least in the television age that began with John F. Kennedy in 1960… The alpha male always wins. An economic crash could end that streak, but if you look back you will see that this is how it has always shaken out.
You can laugh all you want at Barry Obama’s mom jeans and purple bike helmets, but as a candidate he was No Drama Obama; Calm, Cool Obama; Steady, Ready Obama — the guy who kept his opponents on constant defense, who ran against a neurotic (John McCain) who quit his campaign to save the economy and a weakling (Mitt Romney) who allowed CNN’s Candy Crowley make a public ass out of him.
And then there’s Hillary Clinton. Despite the best efforts of the media to cover it up, her health problems in 2016 were very real. This hurt her a whole lot more than a few Russian Facebook ads.
You see, it works like this…
In a country where a large part of the voting population is not ideological, the virtues of competence, strength, and confidence always win. The mushy middle always side with the guy who runs the strongest campaign and the mushy middle is who end up being the deciders in presidential elections… And so, it is the alpha male who wins.
This doesn’t mean a woman cannot be president. Hillary alpha male’d the hell out Republican Rick Lazio to win that 2000 New York Senate race and probably would have minced Marco Rubio’s and Jeb Bush’s meat just as effectively. If Kamala Harris would stop grinning like she’s in a cult or was forced at gunpoint to do a Mentos commercial she could be just as formidable.
Hey, maybe Biden had a bad day Monday, but over the last few weeks they have all been bad days and this frail old man who showed up in Pittsburgh has no business running for president. He is already a two-time presidential loser and now he’s just too old.
Contrast Biden with Bernie Sanders, who turns 78 this year. Bernie is not frail. He’s a little strange and sometimes sounds like he’s on stage acting out the part of a cranky, old man, but the vitality is still there.
Guys and like Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Donald Trump are even more impressive, freaks of nature, who into their seventies show(ed) zero signs of slowing down.
My dad just turned 80 and last year he ripped out all of the floors in his house down to the joists because they needed leveling. He did this by himself.
Listen, no one likes to watch anyone get old. I’m no Joe Biden fan, but I am a human being and if nothing else, watching this happen to a guy who has been in the public eye for decades is a disturbing reminder of my own mortality.
But it is what it is and the facts are what they are and if the economy holds firm, this addled, easily confused old man will have no chance against a Donald Trump who still has the eye of the tiger, who still fights like a hungry, young man with something to prove.
Donald Trump is the ultimate alpha male.