As another Trump presidency starts to look more likely, the incessant conversations about age are bubbling back up.
Roundtable discussions about “cognitive capabilities” took a hiatus over the last few years in the mainstream press, as a slow-jogging, hair-sniffing, Joe Biden restored normalcy to the White House.
Normalcy, for those who haven’t been paying attention, looks like said octogenarian falling up the stairs of Air Force One, falling asleep at COP26, forgetting the names of his own cabinet members and of course, being escorted around the White House lawn by the Easter Bunny.
Like clockwork, the same Biden loyalists in the media who dutifully ignored Joe Biden’s very obvious mental decline since he began his third quest for the presidency in 2019 are now pretending to be concerned about Trump’s mental fitness.
The criticisms about Trump’s age aren’t unfounded. He is seventy-seven after all. Last week while ranting about former speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump mistakenly kept referring to Nikki Haley. It was a gift to Haley who cut a campaign ad highlighting Trump’s mix-up.
That much makes sense. Of course Haley, who just turned fifty-two, wasn’t going to miss the chance to milk Trump’s gaffe for all its worth. Like her or hate her, there is no denying that compared to the two likely nominees, Haley is the young blood.
Now for what doesn’t make sense: San Francisco’s octogenarian Marie Antoinette coming out of the woodwork to take a victory lap over Trump’s flub. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi went on MSNBC and tried her best to mock Trump’s cognitive decline. In a “Who’s on First?” inspired turn of events, Nancy, while attempting to point out Trump’s confusion, confused Trump with Biden.
Not to be outdone in the lacking self-awareness Olympics, Joe Biden took to X to get in on the fun. He — or more likely the poor souls tasked with running his social media accounts — reposted a Nikki Haley ad focusing on Trump’s mistake and wrote, “I don’t agree with Nikki Haley on everything, but we agree on this much: she is not Nancy Pelosi.”
Have neither Pelosi nor Biden, in their combined 164 years, ever heard of the expression about throwing stones in glass houses? The guy who called Taylor Swift “Britney” can’t sit this one out?
Biden’s cheerleaders in the press are also sounding the alarms about Trump’s age and fitness. Rachel Maddow shared her takeaways after Trump’s New Hampshire victory speech. Keep in mind, Maddow prefers to condescendingly explain Trump’s speeches to her audience rather than actually showing them in full and letting people come to their own conclusions. After all, she wouldn’t want to air his remarks and risk one of her viewers having an original thought.
“Donald Trump is not leading the Republican Party and leading the Republican field because of his youthful vigor,” she told MSNBC host Jen Psaki.
No one knows more about presidential vigor — or lack thereof — than Jen Psaki. Biden’s former press secretary once told a panel on MSNBC that they could rest assured Biden was taking the bank collapses seriously because he delivered a brief teleprompter address at 9 a.m. “Biden never does anything at 9 a.m.,” she said proudly.
When it comes to conversations about slurred speech and bizarre behavior, these keyboard warriors don’t have a leg to stand on. They lost all their credibility running cover for the eighty-one-year-old ice cream fanatic.
The fact-checkers who courageously defend our democracy from darkness didn’t bother pushing back when Joe’s minions in the White House bragged about his energy and enthusiasm. They did not bother following up when during an interview with CNN, Dr. Jill defended her husband’s mental acuity by asking, “How many thirty-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train?”
For the record, I happen to know several thirty-year-olds who can board transatlantic flights and get on trains.
Yet now these crack scribes are putting their white coats back on and readying their diagnoses as they dissect Trump’s every move during his speeches, which, you might notice, tend to be considerably longer than the current president’s.
The critiques of Trump’s cognitive capabilities will only grow louder as the election gets closer. His political opponents have hit on a good strategy because these attacks clearly get under the former president’s skin. But I can’t blame him for that. None of these armchair analysts made a peep over the last four years as the world fell apart and the president napped on the beach.