The New York Times is out today with a long feature about the “concern” over Joe Biden’s age and conspicuously deteriorating abilities. The story is strangely written, as it seems to go out of its way to conceal the heart of the matter by including lukewarm appraisals of Biden’s awesome capacities (/sarc):
People who deal with him regularly, including some of his adversaries, say he remains sharp and commanding in private meetings. Diplomats share stories of trips to places like Ukraine, Japan, Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia in which he often outlasts younger colleagues. Democratic lawmakers point to a long list of accomplishments as proof that he still gets the job done. . .
Advisers said his judgment is as good as ever. So many of them use the phrase “sharp as a tack” to describe him that it has become something of a mantra.
But then, near the center (heh) of this unnecessarily long story, there’s this:
Unease about Mr. Biden’s age suffuses Democratic circles. One prominent Wall Street Democrat, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending the White House, noted that among party donors it was all anyone was talking about. At a small dinner earlier this year of former Democratic senators and governors, all of them in Mr. Biden’s generation, everyone at the table agreed he was too old to run again. Local leaders often call the White House to inquire about his health. . .
In private, some officials acknowledge that they make what they consider reasonable accommodations not to physically tax an aging president. . . Aides limit exposing the president to news media interviews when he could make a politically damaging mistake.
Of course, the story skips over as quickly as possible his most recent fall at the Air Force Academy, which is the only real news on this issue from the last few days. One almost wishes for the late Sam Kineson to point out the obvious to Times editors: “HE FELL ON HIS —-ING FACE!!”
It is almost certain that this feature was largely written before Biden’s latest faceplant. Given that the Times sees itself as the agenda-setter for the mainstream media, this story should be understood as a green light to start a media feeding frenzy designed to force Biden to step down while there’s still time for Democrats to come up with a formidable candidate.