Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

February 9, 2024

Yes, it is Biden’s call whether he should stay in the race, or for the best of interest to the US, he should drop out immediately. There is no need to bring up Trump or any other challenger.

  1. Biden should look take the public opinion about his performance as the president of the US. Then ask himself, how he will contribute to his beloved nation even if he were to win another term. Honestly, has Bident convinced himself that he the only one in the US who should stay in the White House after January 6, 2025?
  2. Look around the world, is the world safer under Biden safer now than three years ago when he stepped into the White House? What is going on now, is Biden fully in charge?
  3. There is no need for Bident to get fired up and shout “How dare he…?” Blame others does not justify one’s actions!
  4. No one is getting any younger, even if Biden’s health condition were perfect now, he will age like everyone year by year: the next US election is to select a national leader for 2025-2028. Biden would be 85 years old if he barely survived the second term of the US President.
  5. Worse, Biden is trailing Trump: an opponent that Biden characterized as an “existential threat to the US democracy!” On November 6, 2024, how would Biden face the nation and declare that “I congratulate Mr. Trump for his victory, and I will fully support Mr. Trump as the President of the US?”

God Bless America!

‘He must do better’: NYT’s editorial board warns Biden campaign on age issue

Christine Zhu

Fri, February 9, 2024 at 5:25 PM PST

Opinion: Is Biden an out-to-lunch president?

Peter Bergen, CNN

Published 9:55 PM EST, Thu February 8, 2024

CNN — 

Special counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Joe Biden keeping classified documents at his home from the time he was vice president in the Obama administration is notable for the details of that case but also for the devastating portrait it paints of an out-to-lunch president.

A quick tour of the report, released Thursday, highlights: “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both … in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023.” The report, which recommended that the president not be charged, portrays Biden as someone who comes across as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

When he talked to officials in the special counsel’s office, Biden could not remember the years when he was vice president, nor did he remember, “even within several years” when his son Beau died.  The latter is fairly astonishing given how close Biden was to his son and what a wrenching pain Beau’s death in 2015 at the age of 46 was for the Biden family.

White House officials and Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer said the report made inappropriate and incorrect statements about the president’s memory, noting the interview with prosecutors took place in the immediate aftermath of the October 7 attack on Israel and suggesting Biden’s attention was elsewhere. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events,” Bauer said in a follow-up statement to Hur.

In a press conference Thursday evening, the president slammed the special counsel for putting in the report that he did not remember the year of Beau’s death and that his “memory was significantly limited.” A seething Biden told reporters “I don’t need anyone. I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.”

Yet the special counsel’s report hardly stands alone. Consider that during Thursday’s press conference, President Biden, right after defending his memory, mistakenly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the president of Mexico. And this week, speaking at a campaign event, the president confused French presidents François Mitterrand, who died in 1996, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president today.

Americans have had presidents in the past who have had memory problems. Towards the end of President Ronald Reagan’s second term, he was forgetful, and in 1994, years after he left office, he disclosed that he had Alzheimer’s.

Bottom of Form

So, do Biden’s memory lapses raise questions about whether he should have his finger on the nuclear trigger? I have no idea, since it is hard to determine his medical condition based on what we are seeing on TV and reading about his memory lapses in the special counsel’s report, but it certainly seems worrisome.

And yet, for the many Republicans, Democrats and independents who think Biden is a doddering old man, think back to the last State of the Union when Biden did a skillful end run around some of the more conservative Republicans attending by getting them to publicly assent not to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

If Biden’s performance is as shaky as it was when he talked to the special counsel, his assertion that he is the right guy to defeat Trump will likely be greeted with considerable skepticism. But if he pulls off another State of the Union as good as his last one, Biden is back in the fight.

Biden tries to lay to rest age concerns, but may have exacerbated them

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 8:41 AM EST, Fri February 9, 2024

CNN — 

A probe that spared President Joe Biden from criminal charges paradoxically dealt him a threatening political blow.

Special counsel Robert Hur’s report released Thursday on Biden’s handling of classified documents effectively ended the matter. But his assertions that Biden was elderly and forgetful ignited a political firestorm that cut directly to the heart of the president’s chief vulnerability in the 2024 election.

After hours of Republican claims that the report showed he wasn’t capable of serving as president, Biden appeared at a hastily scheduled news conference Thursday evening, apparently seeking to turn the page on what turned into a disastrous day.

“I know what the hell I am doing,” Biden fumed in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, as he defended his faculties and bristled with anger.

Biden appeared fired up and passionate. But at the same time, his angry demeanor and an event which appeared to quickly spin out of his control, with reporters shouting questions as he struggled to interrupt, may have ended up exacerbating the very questions about his age that it was meant to dispel.

When CNN’s MJ Lee pointed out that many voters have questions about his age, Biden pointed his finger and forcibly said, “That’s your judgment.”

The press event also raised new questions about his sharpness in a week in which he has twice confused the names of a serving and recent European leader with those with whom he interacted in the 1980s.

An emotional moment

There was also a poignant moment where palpable grief came to the surface when the president condemned Hur for suggesting that in an interview he struggled to remember the date of his beloved son Beau’s death. It’s hard to think of a more painful thing for Biden to have to read since he remains deeply affected by his son’s passing from brain cancer in 2015. “How the hell dare he raise that?” Biden asked, before breaking off, apparently close to tears.

Overall, Biden left an impression of a president who feels he’s been deeply wronged, is bitter about the way he is covered by the media and treated by Republicans and still believes deeply he is the best option to beat Trump in November — an opponent that he views as an anti-democratic anathema to everything America stands for.

But at the same time, his age and acuity really do matter to voters and he is under increasing pressure to address this and demonstrate his capacity as the general election approaches. But Biden is the president now, and despite the preferred framing of his campaign that 2024 is a direct comparison between him and Trump, he will be judged on his own record and capability to serve as commander-in-chief for a full four years, especially as Vice President Kamala Harris has her own questions to answer about her experience, popularity and suitability to serve in the Oval Office.

In a CNN/SSRS poll published in November, only 25% of Americans believed Biden had the stamina and sharpness to serve effectively, while 53% said Trump did. In another CNN poll last week, 46% of Democrats were concerned about Biden’s age.

This is a delicate issue that has not been fully tackled either by the White House or the Biden campaign and is often rationalized away by Democrats and in Washington in a way that does not fully reflect the depth of feeling about it in the nation as a whole. The fact that Biden delivered his remarks on Thursday night shows that his team now recognizes the president has a significant liability in this area but his performance also suggests that he’s yet to fully work out how to put voters at ease.

A painful issue

Age and the question of diminished capacities as a person heads into their twilight years is a deeply painful and sensitive one. It’s something that many families have to wrestle with and so understand intuitively, a factor that may be reflected in public opinion on the matter as it relates to the election.

Many of the attacks on Biden by Republicans certainly reek of ageism and come across as cruel. As Biden knows however, politics is a nasty, personal business. In mitigation, he has kept up a rigorous schedule on the campaign trail in recent weeks traveling coast-to-coast and last year conducted several grueling foreign trips that would have tired a much younger man. But the pressures of the presidency are unrelenting and offer little time for true mental relief. This is underscored by the fact that Biden is for example dealing with two wars in Ukraine and Gaza that constantly threaten to spill out of control and embroil the world in a much wider conflict.

Hur’s report rebuked Biden for willfully retaining classified information, including top secret documents after he left the vice presidency. But he said no charges were called for because there was insufficient evidence of willful intent to prove guilt without reasonable doubt. He also also drew a distinction between Biden’s handling of classified material after documents were found at his home, his garage and in an office that he used and Trump’s hoarding of classified material at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Biden cooperated with his probe while Trump is alleged to have done the opposite, according to a criminal indictment that also accuses him of obstruction.

The facts show that there are huge differences in the cases of Biden and Trump — even if the nuance will be blurred in the heat of a campaign as GOP leaders complain of double standards in the justice system. The special counsel also said the president could not remember details of a debate over Afghanistan that appeared very important to him.

The reality of an unprecedented election

Democrats moved quickly to dismiss concerns about Biden.

“In my interactions with the president, which I have regularly, I’ve not experienced anything like that,” said Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. “When I came back from Ukraine the last time, I spent a good amount of time with him on the phone, talking about Ukraine and the details, and he was sharp.”

But the fact Democrats even have to address this, points to Biden’s big political problem.

And the entire situation is replete with irony.

Biden acted aggressively Thursday to try to prevent a report that lifted the threat of criminal prosecution from him but already appears to have damaged him politically because of questions about his age. Trump meanwhile is facing four criminal trials that paradoxically appear to have benefitted him politically — at least with his deeply loyal base which has bought into his claims that he’s a victim of political persecution.

That may not seem fair. But for Biden, it comes with being an incumbent president in his 80s who is facing genuine questions from the public about his capacity to serve.

This also reflects the sometimes warped reality of politics in the age of Trump and an unprecedented election between two elderly likely opponents in November, each of whom have served an Oval Office term and have defied the efforts of a younger generation to succeed them.

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