President Joe Biden turned 80 on Sunday, a milestone that comes as the aging commander-in-chief considers running for reelection in the wake of Democrats’ stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm elections.
If Biden wins a second term, he will be 86 years old at the end of it.
Jill Biden tweeted a romantic message Sunday afternoon, saying, “There’s no one else I’d rather dance with than you,” and declaring her love with a pair of heart emojis.
The gaffe-prone president has sought to ward off concerns about age-related declines in mental and physical stamina — even as he’s acknowledged his advanced age is a “legitimate” concern to voters.
“And I think the best way to make the judgment is to watch me. Am I slowing up? Do I have the same pace?” he asked voters in an MSNBC interview last month.
Biden, who recently said he “felt 50,” has asserted he’s confident he could again beat former President Donald Trump again in 2024.
Trump, 76, who launched his third consecutive presidential campaign last week amid relentless attacks on the ailing Democrat, would be 82 if elected to a non-consecutive term.
The failure of nearly two dozen of the candidates endorsed by the would-be GOP kingmaker on Election Day boosted Biden’s confidence in a rematch. But, as he huddled with aides to lay the groundwork for another campaign, Biden had yet to make a firm decision.
Some Democratic strategists are concerned that delaying the announcement until next year will harm the party. In deference to Biden, no potential prominent Democrats have expressed interest in the big job.
An October poll found that 64% of Americans were “concerned” about Biden’s mental health, up from 59% in August. The issue reverberated across both sides of the aisle, with more than half of Democrats surveyed expressing concern about his age.
The last time a president who did not ascend to the presidency through succession chose not to run for a second term was in 1880, when Rutherford Hayes fulfilled his 1876 campaign pledge to serve for four years.
Prior to the Democrat’s presidency, Ronald Regan was the oldest US president, serving until he was 77.
Biden’s achievement came just days after 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her retirement from Congress after her party narrowly lost control of the House.
The President planned to celebrate his big day with a White House family brunch hosted by his wife Jill Biden, 71, according to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
His shindig came a day after his 28-year-old granddaughter, Naomi Biden, wed fellow attorney Peter Neal, 25, at a White House ceremony.