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Biden’s Age Issue – It’s NOT About The Math!

Biden himself – never mind his Democratic allies – is trying to joke off his age issue. Rank and file surrogates at the local level will even argue the math between Trump’s and Biden’s age. The age calculation between Trump and Biden is prolific throughout social media and the 24 hour news outlets. While age certainly is part of it, it’s not really age that is reducing Biden in the polls. It’s just not about the math. Presidential politics has been about video presentation since the Kennedy/Nixon race in 1960, 64 years ago. Candidates who don’t understand that aren’t qualified to be President in the first place. Video presentation is a long standing political reality in presidential politics.

A highly placed political operative in the Carter administration was forced to watch the Carter/Reagan debate in a crowded bar during the 1976 race. He couldn’t hear the sound very well. As he watched the presentation on TV with diminished sound he realized that Reagan’s presence was dwarfing Carter, a young man at the time, younger than Reagan, and he understood Carter was in real trouble. Video presence has played a major part in presidential politics since the Kennedy/Nixon debates, when Kennedy operatives turned up the heat to cause Nixon to sweat, and Nixon’s 5 O’clock beard was widely viewed as a major factor in Kennedy’s perceptional debate win. And does anyone really believe Obama’s video presence had nothing to do with his win against John McCain? Or Bill Clinton’s win against both Bush who looked at his watch during a debate, or the elderly appearing Bob Dole? Please!! Of course it did.

I never evaluate a debate unless and until I have watched a replay with the sound off, especially for presidential debates. The larger the district or state, the more the video presentation matters. Welcome to the real world. Is this how it should be? It doesn’t matter. It’s how it is.

I met Joe Biden in New Hampshire during his first run for President in the 80s. He didn’t make a very good video presentation then. His age has made his video presentation much worse. He looks weak. He looks not in control. He appears incompetent while what he says is very competent. He just does. And for busy or low IQ voters who don’t really understand what the word “dictator” means? Video presentation really matters. In our democracy, low IQ and very busy voters vote.

And it matters regarding the coattails that a presidential candidate has for down ballot candidates.

I’m with James Carville, who has suggested a real, old time, Democratic convention, especially if Biden is still floundering in the polls at the convention. There is a notion that it’s too late to change horses. And along with that notion is this shaming for those of us who are critical of Biden’s candidacy. Opinions and criticisms like this one is NOT what voters will be thinking about when they vote next November. But they will be watching the video presentations of of the candidates in the debates and other video media.

That is the contrast – the video contrast – that will count the most in October, and count the most to low IQ and very busy voters who don’t analyze policy, or even understand the word “dictator” and what it really means, along with the associated consequences of a dictatorship.

Biden’s age issue isn’t about the math of his age. It’s about the video image Biden presents. He can’t change it. But he can grow up and accept the reality of it. Biden is old. But he’s not mature enough to face the political reality of his video presentation. As NH’s Union Leader Joe McQuade put it. Joe Biden and Donald Trump are two of the most selfish men in America. Biden not being realistic about his video presentation that his age causes is taking unnecessary risks for this country.

Criticisms like this one will have nothing to do with, or have any effect on Biden’s and down ballot races chances in November. But Biden’s video presentation will matter. And in that context, it is NOT too late to change horses at the Democratic convention.

If Democrats don’t deal with this reality, even if they squeak out a White House win, the consequences for down ballot races will produce a House and Senate that will be so close that Biden will get nothing done. And there will be no change in the crazy that is prolific in the GOP.

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