Ben Shapiro: Will Biden’s Age Finish His Campaign?

Last week, Joe Biden’s presidential reelection campaign fell apart.

To be fair, it’s been a long time coming: Biden himself is deeply unpopular by every polling metric, running behind his chief Republican rival, Donald Trump, on nearly every major issue. With the world on fire — war in Ukraine, a conflagration in Gaza, shipping harassed in the Red Sea, the ongoing threat of Chinese intervention against Taiwan — and a widespread feeling of domestic economic instability based on continued higher-than-expected inflation, with an open border promoted by the White House and culture wars dividing the nation, Biden’s reelection prospects were already weak.

And then, the special counsel in Biden’s classified documents case proceeded to tell the truth about Biden’s mental health status.

And all hell broke loose.

The special counsel report makes clear that Biden obviously violated the law. According to the special counsel, Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.” But, the special counsel concluded, Biden is simply too old and feeble to prosecute: “We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

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According to the special counsel, Biden’s memory failures were repeated and troubling: “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’). He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”

Biden knew that he had to fight back against the perception that he is decrepit. And so he called a press conference. And at that press conference, he proceeded to light himself on fire. First, he tried to claim that questioning his memory regarding his son’s death was somehow unkind or nasty; next, he forgot where that same son had obtained his rosary; finally, he mixed up the president of Egypt and the president of Mexico. Then he stumbled into the wings.

And suddenly, Biden’s age issues were apparent for all to see. They were, in fact, inescapable. An ABC News/Ipsos poll in the aftermath of the press conference showed that 86% of Americans believe Biden is too old to serve another term as president. To put that in context, by some polling data, only 80% of Americans agree that the earth is round; just 71% agree that NASA landed on the moon. Essentially, only members of Biden’s paid staff and his immediate family believe he is capable of serving another term.

Which means that Biden is in trouble.

All Donald Trump has to do to defeat him is to shut up.

And herein lies the problem. Trump’s tendency to put himself in the headlines overlaps perfectly with the media’s desire to put him front and center in the campaign, rather than Biden’s political and mental incompetence. Trump loves the rallies; he loves the lights. In reality, he’d be best off running Biden’s 2020 basement strategy, allowing Biden himself to be the issue of the election.

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Will Trump do that? History suggests he won’t. Which means that we’re in for a nail-biter of a race — and an unprecedently chaotic, messy and incoherent campaign.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”

To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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