April 15, 2024

President Biden’s age

The time is nearing when Joe Biden officially announces he will seek re-election for president. Although political pundits spend a lot of time speculating, there’s little chance he will abandon the presidency when his knowledge and experience are so badly needed.

There are few pundits, and definitely no Democrats, who would even question a second term for Biden, if not for his age. After 46 years in public service, he almost ran out of time before he arrived at the highest level – President of the United States. It is indeed unfortunate that he is already 80, and will be 82 at the beginning of a second term. At 86, he would be completing his presidency, well beyond the average life expectancy rate of 77 years for American men.

Regarding life expectancy rates, the key word is “average.” Life expectancy averages include survival rates for all men from all walks of life. Once a man reaches 70, the average rises to beyond 80 because life expectancy depends even more on genetics. Health care, nutrition, diet, normal body mass index (BMI), exercise and lifestyle all contribute to longevity, as well. Fortunately, Biden has most of those factors going in his favor.

His critics and political opponents spend an inordinate amount of time trying to characterize Biden as old, feeble and confused. He continues to contradict them daily as he goes about his job as president. He presents himself as a thoughtful, patient man and his words reflect intelligence and the ability to read, comprehend and communicate, traits sorely missing in the previous president. The president moves carefully and appears a little stiff but his slim physique, fitness and endurance levels far surpass most men at age 80. He is more physically active than many previous presidents, and far healthier than several presidents of the past.

When President Dwight Eisenhower took office in 1953, he was just 62 years old. In 1955 he suffered a massive heart attack and was afflicted with poor health throughout his two terms as president. There are reports he even had a mild stroke before he ran for re-election. Although Eisenhower looked fit, he was not. He was a heavy cigarette smoker and his only exercise was playing a lot of golf. Before he died at age 78, Eisenhower suffered seven more myocardial infarctions and several cardiac arrests.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s health issues were known to the public when he was elected at age 51, but before television, they really had no idea how seriously incapacitated he was from polio. By his third term he was confined to his wheelchair; however, he had already proven his strength and expertise guiding the country through the Great Depression and World War II. His chronic hypertension and heart disease caught up with him by the beginning of his fourth term as President when he died in office in 1945.

The youngest president at his inauguration was John F. Kennedy who assumed office at the age of 44. Although he appeared vigorous and youthful, he was one of the least healthy of all presidents. He hid his ailments from the public and it was after his death that we learned he had Addison’s Disease, an insufficiency of the adrenal glands. As a young man he suffered from severe spinal injuries and had undergone four unsuccessful back surgeries. He contracted infection after surgery, suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, urinary infections, ulcers and the after effects of chronic use of steroids. When he was assassinated at age 46, doctors said he was already a very sick man.

Based on how well he’s conducted his presidency, President Biden deserves to be re-elected. He and Vice President Harris guided America out of a crushing pandemic. They have achieved passage of enormously important legislation. Biden’s greatest accomplishment is uniting the western world in the fight against Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. His age has undeniably had no impact on his ability to govern effectively. Polls show he would again defeat Donald Trump who would be 78 in a 2024 rematch, especially with Kamala Harris, a black woman, representing a major voting block of the American electorate.

Biden should seek a second term as president. He has returned the country to a position of strength and has regained respect for America around the world