An advisor to former President Bill Clinton says Joe Biden faces a tough re-election campaign. His age and mental fitness are significant concerns. The advisor believes that Biden’s biggest challenge is not Donald Trump but himself.
What Happened: In a recent opinion piece for The New York Times, Clinton’s advisor Doug Sosnik compared the 2024 election to the 1980 race. He pointed out that Biden’s age and mental fitness have become a significant concern, much like Ronald Reagan‘s in 1980.
Sosnik emphasized that Biden must address these concerns and win over the same swing groups Reagan did in 1980. He also highlighted that Biden’s current economic message does not resonate with most Americans, and he has not effectively utilized the presidency’s powers to sell his accomplishments.
Despite Biden’s efforts to highlight his forward-looking views on climate change, abortion rights, and reasonable gun control, Sosnik believes that “Biden’s biggest challenge is not Mr. Trump but himself.”
Sosnik also noted that Biden’s age-related concerns are intensifying, with 76% of respondents in a late January NBC News poll expressing doubts about his mental and physical health for a second term.
Sosnik suggested that Biden needs a strategy to neutralize these concerns about his age and mental competency.
“Mr. Biden also needs to do more. One of the lessons from the 1980 presidential campaign is that dissatisfaction with one candidate isn’t enough to seal his fate if the opponent can’t meet voters’ threshold for acceptability. To get re-elected, Mr. Biden needs to clear the same threshold that Mr. Reagan did,”
He also advised Biden to change his current economic message, which does not match how most Americans feel about their lives, and to use the presidency’s powers to sell what he has accomplished in office.
Why It Matters: The concerns about Biden’s age and mental fitness come at a time when the election race is heating up. Despite his efforts to engage with younger voters on platforms like TikTok, Biden’s age and mental fitness are becoming increasingly important factors in the election.
Moreover, despite recent economic growth, a poll shows that many Americans favor Trump over Biden in handling the U.S. economy. This finding adds to the pressure on Biden, who is already facing scrutiny over his age and mental fitness following a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur about the president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Image via Shutterstock