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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

How to Respond to Concerns About Biden’s Age

Kerry Eleveld shares some thoughts regarding”Here’s how every Democrat should answer questions about Biden’s age” at Daily Kos:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered a messaging masterclass over the weekend on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” beating back questions about whether President Joe Biden, 81, is too old to serve a second term.

Yes, Donald Trump is 77. But Newsom doesn’t waste a moment on that. Instead, he demonstrated how Biden’s age—and the wisdom that comes with it—is the reason he has notched so many important legislative successes as president.

As Eleveld noted in a Biden-Harris HQ tweet:

Q: Do you think it’s responsible for Joe Biden to be at the top of the ticket?


Responsible? I revere his record. What he’s done in three years is a masterclass. Close to 15 million jobs is eight times more than the last three Republican presidents combined.

As Eleveld notes further,

“The economy is booming, inflation is cooling,” Newsom continued. “We have American manufacturing coming back home—all because of Biden’s wisdom, because of his temperance, his capacity to lead in a bipartisan manner, which is an underrepresented point. And so I have great confidence moving forward. So the answer is: Absolutely—all in, in terms of the next four years.”

Newsom’s delivery was, quite frankly, performance art. All his points were solid, succinct, and informative. But his tone and assuredness inspired confidence not just in how he felt but also in how voters should feel.

Of course, there’s more than one way to combat the age issue. Another is to point out that Biden may be old, but he ain’t crazy—an approach that The Bulwark publisher Sarah Longwell took after Trump suggested he would let Russia do “whatever the hell they want” to America’s NATO allies.

….Newsom’s argument works on several levels, educating the public about Biden’s successes and building pride among Democrats about what Biden has accomplished—not in spite of his age but because of it. Wisdom, temperance, and bipartisan leadership are three perfect qualities to invoke as crucial to Biden’s successes—because Trump has exactly none of them.

Eleveld concludes, “Newsom’s answer, if replicated by a wide swath of younger Biden surrogates, will inspire Democratic participation in November.

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