A New York Times reporter made the ludicrous comparison of Joe Biden to Ronald Reagan to argue the American government can function just fine even with a president lacking mental capacity.
The Times’ David Leonhardt concedes at the outset of his article that Biden is running a “quiet” re-election strategy, eschewing public events and especially the media, and it has raised concerns about his age.
Biden, at 80, is the oldest to ever serve as president. If he were to win re-election, he would be 86 when his second term ended.
Prior to Biden, Reagan had been the oldest president finishing his second term at the age of 77.
According to Leonhardt, the big question for Democrats as they contemplate a Biden second term is not his ability to do the job, but rather whether his age will prevent him from winning. In other words, will enough voters think he’s too old to serve and choose his opponent?
“Strange as it may sound, the American government can function without a healthy president. The U.S. marched toward victory in World War II while Franklin Roosevelt was ailing in 1944 and 1945,” Leonhardt wrote.
“Four decades later, the government managed its relationship with a teetering Soviet Union while Ronald Reagan’s mental capacities slipped. In each case, White House aides, Cabinet secretaries and military leaders performed well despite the lack of a fully engaged leader,” he added.
YOUR REACTION as the @nytimes reassures Americans about @JoeBiden, writes in Opinions, “Strange as it may sound, the American government can function without a healthy president. The U.S. marched toward victory in World War II while Franklin Roosevelt was ailing in 1944 and 1945.… pic.twitter.com/x0swP1SmPC
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) April 26, 2023
Well, just watching even a small portion of the 30-minute-plus Oval Office interview Reagan gave to then-NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw three days before he left office in January 1989 will disabuse any of the notion that Biden is even in the same ballpark now as Reagan was at the end of his second term.
Reagan and Brokaw covered a wide variety of issues from his achievements and disappointments to more personal things about his family, faith and upbringing.
Or watch Reagan’s farewell address delivered about a week before the Brokaw interview. Yes, it was scripted, but he delivered it so well.
Nothing Biden has said during his entire presidency to date, scripted or unscripted, has even come close to Reagan’s performance.
The 40th president concluded, “My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.”
When Reagan ran for a second term in 1984 his campaign theme was “Morning Again in America,” because he had overseen the turnaround in the U.S. economy from a deep recession, marked by high inflation and high interest rates, to prosperity and a revitalized American spirit.
In contrast, Biden’s 2024 launch video for his second term offered little in the way of accomplishments and relied on dark themes trying to demonize Republicans.
The Times is wrong: Reagan was fully engaged throughout his presidency, and the country was so much better and safer for it.
Biden seems maybe half engaged now, and the nation is drifting.
If given another four years, it would be a disaster for the American people.