Age And Skill

I am so sick of the focus on Joe Biden’s age. In the interests of transparency, I will admit to being two years older than the President. I do forget names and dates more frequently than I used to (although I never had much of a memory), but then, like Biden, I have a lot more material to remember and a lot more experience to draw on than younger folks do.

Some people are senile at 50. Some never are. My grandmother, who died just two months before her 100th birthday, was mentally coherent to the end. My husband is 91 and still sharp (so is Willy Nelson, who’s also 91 and still performing). Donald Trump, who is a mere four years younger than Biden, seems to have been born with dementia. (Trump has always been incoherent, so his followers evidently haven’t noticed the extent to which he is visibly continuing to decline.)

The people trying to defeat Biden by claiming he is age-impaired are people who have no persuasive argument with his performance and are desperate to find something–anything–they think will work. The Democrats who are publicly panicking over the issue–or worse, insisting he should allow someone else to run– are providing them aid and comfort. The truth is, Joe Biden has been a great President. (My middle son says Biden is the first person he’s voted for who has exceeded his expectations.)

I thought about the issue of performance when I viewed a powerful ad run by a candidate for U.S. Senate in North Dakota, of all places, sent to me by a (formerly Republican) friend who pointed out that the picture painted by this particular candidate is applicable everywhere, not just in the state of North Dakota. I am going to shorten this post in an effort to encourage you to click through and watch it, because it is a powerful indictment of the “wolves” who have hollowed out America’s middle class and who are attacking Biden because, under Trump, they will be able to continue preying on America.

Joe Biden has done more than any President since FDR to combat the wolves and shore up the middle class, to grow America “from the middle out,” as he likes to say. If the linked video speaks to you, you are a Biden voter! (If, on the other hand, you are throwing your lot in with the wolves, you are clearly a MAGA person…)

Let me be clear (as if I haven’t been!). Given the choice Americans will in all probability face at the ballot box, I will vote for Joe Biden. I would vote for him even if he was in a coma. The only genuine issue with his age isn’t senility–he is clearly in possession of his faculties, and his superior performance as President has been enhanced by the depth of his knowledge and experience and the connections he’s developed over the years that have allowed him to surround himself with highly competent people.  The only downside of his age is an actuarially increased possibility of death sometime during the next four years– and a Kamala Harris Presidency would still be infinitely preferable to the disaster–for America, for democracy, for world peace–that Trump represents.

Watch the video.


  1. All of this attention to Biden’s age makes me think that it is a tactic of, in the words of the reprehensible Roger Stone, “Rat-f***ing”.

  2. Excellent explanation for the evils of Republican politics. Some can rant and rave about oligarchs controlling everything and clutch their pearls about Biden’s age, but the final issue is the saving of our democracy from the insane, deranged, self-immolating politics of the Republican party. Their current stance on things is to do more of the same.

    Wait for the roar of outrage at the latest mass shooting in Kansas City from Republicans. Yes. Wait for it. And wait and wait and wait. The Republicans will just wait for their next bribe from the gun/ammo makers. It’s who and what they are. Their voters? The Republican voters just vote their hate, not their best interests.

  3. When the DOJ released the statement about Pence and his retention of classified documents, it was one page and basically said there is no reason to charge him.

    The statement about Biden was an attempted political assassination disguised as “just being thorough”.

    I will have to say that Biden has been the most effective president in my lifetime, and I think it has to do with his level of experience and leadership skills that his age brings to the table.

  4. Genocide Joe should take the cognitive test to put other’s fears at ease, but his refusal (the first president ever to decline) tips his hat. It makes everybody wonder what he’s hiding. It makes me wonder, too.

    Washington’s two main political parties are not serving the people’s best interests by serving up two poor choices for POTUS. Once again, I’ll support a third-party candidate that better aligns with my beliefs, wants to end the wars, and will work for the people–not Wall Street.

    Putin has endorsed Biden for POTUS mainly because he’s “predictable” as an old-style politician. Yes, he is predictable as a tool of the MIC and oligarchy in the USA. One look at his campaign contributors reveals who he works for in this country.

    By the way, our constitutional rights are being rechallenged today by giving the security apparatus the ability to spy on US citizens without probable cause. Many believe the announcement yesterday about a new Russian capability being a “national security threat” was to cause fear in Americans so they’ll ignore their constitutional rights being violated and support the tens of billions being sent to Ukraine. We’ll see today if it works.

    Profits over people.

  5. I’m concerned because Biden is at an age where things can go downhill very quickly. We saw what happened with Judge RBG and Sen. Feinstein; while a decline in mental facilities can happen much sooner, Biden is at an age where it is more likely to occur. I can absolutely see a scenario wherein the Cabinet is reluctant to act/

    Biden on his worst day is better than any day of Trump’s adult life, so I’ll be voting for Biden (maybe 13 times given how easy MAGA makes it out to be, haha), but I would have preferred to of voted for somebody younger to carry on the excellent work that Biden has done.

  6. People congenitally “against” see the world through greed colored glasses. They are against whatever doesn’t benefit them.

    The opposite of that is “open-minded”.

    Open-minded voters will preserve democracy.

  7. Being four years older than President Biden, and (I believe) still mentally competent, I am not impressed with the scare tactics of the MAGA crowd. For those of you who are “getting on with age,” here is a tip that should help with the occasional bit of memory loss that seems to be common as we age. Exercise. Putting stress on your bones, causes them to release (more than usual) sets of hormones to the bloodstream, and it increases blood flow to the brain. One of those hormones is used by the brain to assist in linking neurons together to form memories. That is probably why the medical profession recommends thirty minutes of vigorous exercise for everyone, five days a week. A brisk walk for, say, fifteen to twenty minutes a day could largely satisfy that requirement for most people. It won’t “cure” memory loss, but it should slow it down. I apologize for this diversion, but the President’s mental acuity is mentioned so often in the media that I decided to spread this information. I assume his medical staff knows about this topic.

  8. Biden is successful because he picks good people and he listens to what they say. TFG has a list of the most despicable advisors on earth. They will be doing everything in their power to end the rule of law and the Constitution. He hasn’t listened to anybody since Roy Cohn died, except for the sycophants who constantly tell him what he wants to hear. I’ll take Biden any day over that.

  9. Yes, Peggy, Biden, as did Edison, knows the value of having good, competent, people on his team. I am a mere 2 months older than President. Biden, have an occasional “brain fart,” but that is completely within the norm for people much younger than we. I will be happy to take the chance that he might, sadly, die during a second administration, rather than have the closest thing we know to the supposed anti-Christ in office.
    TFG is very sick one man(?) wrecking crew, and the only prize his eyes are on is himself.

  10. Oh, Now age isn’t a determinant for office? My how truncated memory spans we have in 2024. How convenient. I remember how concerned folks were wrt the age of Bernie Sanders when he was running for the oval office. And,now, those very same DNC Concern Trolls disparaging Sanders age a handful of years ago are now demanding the public accept Genocide Joe’s feeble attempts at cognizant behavior.

    The Democrats are losing credibility ever minute,everyday.

  11. Using Willie Nelson tas a comparison to the responsibilities of a president is puerile at best. We really have reached the nadir of science and logic. If Trump wins,don’t blame everyone else outside of the DNC bubble, the cause will be totally on yourselves and your fervent blind devotion– not to country or party. But your blind devotion to the real-life version of Mr Magoo.

  12. Todd. “Putin has endorsed Biden for POTUS” ????? You have leaped over the boundary between spin and egregious lies. I used to consider your posts worth reading even when I disagreed with you. No more. They have turned into pure trash.

  13. Todd. OK, I read Sheila before today’s headlines. I apologize for the egregious lie comment. However, anyone who believes that Putin actually prefers Biden (who is opposing Putin) over Trump (who praises him) is seriously deluded.

  14. I am probably the dean of Sheila’s blog as a WW II vet who will be 97 come March 11. I tell those who will listen that I’m so goldarned old that my degrees in economics and law were in hieroglyphics because Latin hadn’t been invented yet, and no, Adam Smith was not one of my professors. . .

    To Todd > Are you voting for a third party or Trump? If you are waiting for political perfection in any candidate of any party for office, including third parties, you won’t find him or her. They don’t exist; they’re only human.

    I have a theory in re the Republican rant about Biden’s age that I haven’t seen or heard about on the net, i.e., that his record of FDR-type accomplishments (over 14 million new hires and continuing, stock market record growth, record wage growth, etc. are unassailable facts), leaving Republicans (who don’t even have a platform) with nothing else to talk about but his age. They don’t dare talk about the accomplishments his age and experience and governing philosophy have made available for the benefit of all Americans and not just the superrich lusting for tax cuts. We are in an economic boom time and in the midst of a labor shortage, which explains the loosening of child labor laws and pro-migrant stance of Koch and other such terminal capitalists who need human hands to keep the buybacks, executive compensation, and shareholder dividends humming until AI perchance rescues them from such need, though I’m still wondering how unemployed humans supplanted by AI in a capitalist system can afford the goods and services thus produced.

    I think as a political proposition we should double down on Biden’s age by calling it a plus and challenging Republicans to look at his historic accomplishments and compare them with those of the criminal psychopath they are asking the American people to install in the Oval Office, a coup-monger who makes Benedict Arnold look like an Eagle Scout.

  15. Sheila – I disagree with you. I think that Jimmy Carter was the last president to really have deep commitments – that he stayed true to. Obama – probably meant well – but was too inexperienced and faced Deep Racism. 45 and the Republicans are wrong over 99% of the Time. Biden tries to be good – for “middle class” people. The “Great Economy” – is not so great for a lot of – people who aren’t making much money – in some ways he is in the direction of supporting “the well off” – through Not prioritizing – the “others” – who often aren’t white -while the turnout of these “others” are what Elect Democrats. Figures show that up to 76% of Democrats support a Ceasefire in Gaza – where Biden and the Dem Pols – are largely “Republican”. On both practical and ethical/moral grounds – Biden is a POOR choice – his purported skills – are considerably worse than many of your skills! He is rarely “strategic”. Republicans Play on Fear! – Racism – is significant. Democrats – try to talk a “line” – “Of the People” – rarely recognizing how Big Money influences them too, too much. Michigan – could easily go Republican – due to Palestinian and other Arab-American voters – NOT voting in the Presidential Race. I’ve been told too- way too many times – “vote strategically” – It is time that the Democrats NEED to be strategic. The replacement for Joe Biden – if one is sought – and runs – will NOT be a “good Democrat” – S/he – may even be worse than Biden on some key issues. It is Unfair that – Biden’s age is an issue – but 45’s lack of mental capacity is Not an issue – but – 45 – has Core Support – that embraces his Horrible Areas. Biden’s support – is MUCH more – “hating 45” and Republicans – than core support for him – which you seem to have. Online – I’ve been labeled a “tacit T***P supporter” – I’ve also been called “A Nazi” – while wearing a Yamukah. Ignore my words – if you believe they are “wrong” – but please listen. I live in an “island” – California – where my vote(s) don’t matter. You live in – a diehard (now) Republican State – the opposite reality – at least for the Presidency – but I hope you will hear at least some of my message. We may flee the country – if the worst happens – I’m not – “living in my privilege” – my gender-non-binary older step-child’s life could easily be in more danger than they are already. …. etc etc.

  16. Greg Farrell nailed it. Harris is a “political” liability because of sexism and racism. That compounds the Biden age issue.

    Todd, your third party vote is a vote for Trump. Plain and simple.

  17. Great video!! Am sharing it with others (however I do object to casting wolves as bad actors).

    What “Over It” said!!!

  18. tfg has not made any move to select a running mate. His comments about VPs not winning elections likely means he will either break precedent by not picking anyone or picking someone who will be more of a toady than Pence was, if that is even possible.
    Those who have no credentials or expertise concerning cognition and make judgements about those conditions in others without any personal interaction with those they presume to judge are incompetent in the extreme and should be called out every time.
    Misogyny in this country’s culture runs almost as deeply as racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Haley and Harris are held in disrespect at so many levels by not only men but other women who have bought the generalized belief that women are somehow less fit, physically, emotionally, and intellectually for any leadership role. Shocking to see but common now are paraphernalia with “Joe and The Ho Gotta Go” proudly displayed by these arignant cretins. Haley is being not so subtly attacked by MAGA forces even in her home state.
    The most puzzling group of voters supporting tfg are veterans who apparently either don’t mind being called “suckers” and “losers” or think he doesn’t mean them personally, able to rationalize the draft dodger’s dismissal of them.

  19. Thank you Sheila for attempting to counter “Ageism”.

    Dr Bill Thomas, MD and now part of LifeSpark in MN, had for many years been attempting to counter the stereotyping of people according to age. It is Fake News! as had been shown by many, (including you, me, and others writing and continuing engaging in the world) here and elsewhere, as we take our accumulated years of living in stride and continue attempting to do good in the world.

    Check him out if you dare. If you live long enough you will also get to see the joy and benefit of living beyond 80.

  20. The Katrina Christiansen video really makes a strong case for voting against long in the tooth career politicians.

    Especially the point about how congress hasn’t passed meaningful legislation for ordinary Americans in one hundred years.

    Out of the previous 100 years, how long has Biden been in politics?

    Good video. But it reveals to me the Democrats have been somnabulent for decades and to continue voting for long held career politicians is pointless.

  21. Since Trump reminds me of the Anti-Christ and a cult leader I won’t be voting for him or any who is endorsed by him.

  22. I would like to see Biden substitute a running mate who people like more than Harris- because of his age. I wish he would slip a progressive VP onto the ticket late in the show, to foil the Wall Street $ backlash. You, for example, or Elizabeth Warren or AOC would make me so much happier about a 2nd Biden term, but like you, I would choose Biden in a coma over the dangerous buffoon.

  23. Trump is now Un fleeced and his wolf nature on full display; we know who he is and how corruptly he operates.
    Biden is an old hand at statesmanship and has the tenacity and fair mindedness to guide the country on a legal and sane trajectory. It’s painful to watch the personal opposition to Biden and his family to make political points. The Maga forces have no decency.
    If Biden died or was incapacitated while Potus his chain of command would hit the ground running, with their solid understanding of the Constitution and rule of law. His administration would continue to fight to protect working and middle class Americans from the deceit and corruption of libertine capitalists who take advantage of their monetary power to exploit the stations of the majority of American people.

  24. I agree with you. I am sick of the focus on President Biden’s age too. First of all that report put out about President Biden was unprofessional, It was full of political venom. They investigated President Biden for way too long. After they were not able to find any usable dirt on President Biden The only thing they could come up with is President has problems with his memory Therefore is not competent because of his age. He should not be running for office. All one has to do is take a look at the work President Biden and his team have done to move our country forward. President Biden may be an older man but that does not mean he cannot handle being president. The saying “If is is not broke don’t fix it comes to mind” when all the talk about replacing President Biden {or VP Harris} comes up. I see a winning team with no reason to make any changes. President Biden should be rated on his work record not his age. I will be 100% voting to keep President Biden {& VP Harris} in office another 4 years. They are our best defense against Trump & co The video drives it home about corporate greed and what it is doing to America. It is a reminder of why the likes of Trump & co cannot succeed. American cannot take another 4 years of Trump & Co.

  25. The critiques of Biden are almost all about style rather than substance. Biden has been lacking in the ‘style’ category for all his political life, but he’s a decent man who is sincerely interested in the middle class and poorer families like the one in which he grew up. That’s kept re-electing him for decades.
    Biden has exceeded my expectations too and by many miles. Four years ago, I worried that he was well-intended but unlikely to accomplish much. He inherited a post-Trump, post pandemic debacle and has turned our economy into the most and best recovered in the WORLD. Inflation has been cut by nearly 2/3s WITHOUT a recession and while gaining employment rather than with huge joblessness, confounding economists everywhere.
    USA Manufacturing has increased; long-delayed infrastructure repairs and upgrades are finally funded and underway; some drug prices for seniors have been capped with more on the way; the stock market continues to set records; we have a President whom our allies trust and who doesn’t appease our enemies. Best of all, we have a President who actually believes in and loves democracy and understands we are its banner carrier and role model world-wide.
    He’s old; he’s not glib; and he’s a damn good President. I’ll take that combination any time.

  26. I am approaching 80. Names and dates don’t come as quickly as they used to. However, my analytical abilities and writing skills, which are the foundations of my professional success, have never been better. I compare this to Biden’s occasional slips. However, look at the way he is guiding NATO. The stock market is at an all-time hifh. Unemployment is low. Inflation is a problem, but we’ve seen worse. Those who really fear Biden had better get behind Haley while there’s still time.

  27. Love your new pictures.
    I always look forward to opening your messages – no matter what picture is up there for you!

Comments are closed.