| Welcome to Global Village Space

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Biden turns 81 as worries about his age weigh on re-election prospects

"I know I'm 198 years old," Mr Biden joked back in June.

US President Joe Biden turns 81 on Monday, a milestone likely to draw attention to his status as the oldest person to ever occupy the Oval Office, with opinion polls showing Americans worried he is too old for the post he is seeking re-election to.

Mr Biden has addressed those who worry that he is too old for the rigours of the White House with humour and an attempt to convince voters that his age and experience over a half-century in public life is an asset in tackling America’s problems.

Read more: Biden calls for a “pause” in conflict to free hostages

“I know I’m 198 years old,” Mr Biden joked back in June.

If re-elected, Mr Biden would be 86 by the end of his second term in office. Republican Ronald Reagan, who had the prior record as oldest US president, ended his second four-year term at age 77 in 1989.

Mr Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Mr Biden in the 2024 election, is 77.

Read more: ‘Don’t be blinded by rage’, Biden tells Israel

In a mid-September Reuters/Ipsos poll, voters expressed concern over Mr Biden’s age and his fitness for office. Seventy-seven percent of respondents, including 65 per cent of Democrats, said Mr Biden is too old to be president, while just 39 per cent said Mr Biden was mentally sharp enough for the presidency.

By comparison, 56 per cent of poll respondents said Mr Trump is too old for the office, while 54 per cent said he was mentally sharp enough to handle the challenges of the presidency.