Does it matter?
Yesterday, President Joe Biden tripped and fell at the Air Force Academy after handing diplomas to roughly 900 graduating cadets. He was helped to his feet by an Air Force officer and two Secret Service agents.
There. That seems straightforward. Biden tripped and fell, apparently not seeing a small sandbag in his path that was being used to weigh down a teleprompter stand. No big deal. We all stumble, bump into things, trip, and fall.
So I have no idea why the New York Times described it like this:
President Biden appeared to trip and fall to his knees after handing out diplomas to graduates at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
He “appeared to”? Why the hedging? He obviously tripped and fell. And he had some trouble getting back up. That’s OK. He’s 80 years old and has some arthritis. We shouldn’t be surprised that this happened, nor should we try to qualify it. “Appeared to” trip and fall—c’mon, man, as Biden might say.
What worries me much more about Biden is that he never holds press conferences and rarely speaks extemporaneously. Remember when presidents would hold televised press conferences and occasionally take challenging questions? These simply don’t happen anymore. Biden is kept isolated from the press, and when he does appear, the questions appear to be scripted, with Biden calling on reporters by name in pre-determined order.
Add to this the DNC’s policy that there will be no Democratic candidate debates in 2024, irrespective of how well rivals are polling, and it truly makes you wonder about Biden’s fitness for office. If he can’t handle a real unscripted press conference and can’t endure a 90-minute unscripted debate with rivals like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, how can he possibly be well enough to serve as president, unless, of course, he’s merely a figurehead, pushed and shoved and propped up by those around him?
Even Hillary Clinton of all people has said that Biden’s age is a legitimate issue in the 2024 election. (Clinton said this, it seems, as a reminder to the DNC that she’s ready to run if Biden should stumble and fall in the primaries.) I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, but so far the DNC is standing by their man, no matter how much he has to be propped up.
Personally, I don’t want Biden to run again for many reasons, but one is most certainly his age. He deserves to walk away with some dignity intact. Another four years as president for Biden would likely kill him; charges of ageism aside, the physical and mental demands of the presidency are simply beyond most people in their eighties. That’s no knock on Joe; it’s just reality.