With all the concerns about President Joe Biden and his age, plans for his birthday as he turned 81 were decidedly low-key.
Amid devastating poll results and fears from his supporters about his ability to fully campaign ahead of the 2024 election, some of his staffers reportedly “still believe he needs protecting, with a new strategy being set out to stop him falling or getting lost on stage like he has on multiple occasions,” according to the Daily Mail which referred to it as a “Bubble Wrap” strategy.
Joe Biden turns 81. pic.twitter.com/hPEFtCAFVZ
— Pop Base (@PopBase) November 20, 2023
“Some described it as putting the president in bubble wrap until November 2024 to make sure he doesn’t trip or fall in public again, like he did at an Air Force Academy commencement in June,” the outlet noted. “Yet other current and former administration officials vehemently disagree and called for him to hit the campaign trail to ‘show his vigor’ and ‘boast about his age rather than ignore it.”
And while his birthday celebration goes off with little fanfare, a Democratic National Committee official told CNN the occasion will be celebrated “with a post to social media” and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has asked Biden’s supporters to sign a virtual birthday card
“I don’t think the campaign should be focused on anything but the winning record,” Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California said.
“Everything else about people’s biographies or when their birthdays are – that doesn’t matter. People want to know, what did they do, and what are they going to do?” Garcia, a member of the Biden campaign’s national advisory board, added.
“He’s been successful because of his age, not in spite of it,” argued Democrat strategist Simon Rosenberg, according to Daily Mail. “We’re all going to have to make that case because it’s true. We can’t run away from the age issue. It’s going to be a major part of the conversation, but we would be making a political mistake if we don’t contest it more aggressively.”
Biden himself has joked about his age, saying at a recent fundraiser, “I don’t look it, but I’m 180 years old. I’ve been around a long time,”
His likely 2024 opponent, former President Donald Trump, who is 77 years old, doesn’t believe age is the issue with the oldest president in history.
“He’s not too old, he’s incompetent,” Trump told Megyn Kelly in an interview last month.
“Age is interesting because some people are very sharp and some people do lose it, but you lose it at 40 and 50 also,” he added. “But no, he’s not too old at all. He’s grossly incompetent.”