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New York Times Stunned Biden Would Spend His Birthday Alone With Family Instead Of Around People Asking Him If He's Dead Yet
We get it. Biden's old. Do we have to chat about it all day?
President Joe Biden turned 81 on Monday. Good for him. We all know he’s old, but we also know that Donald Trump is planning a fascist takeover of the nation. You’d hope Rust Belt swing voters would find that more frightening than the prospect of President Kamala Harris, even if she defies all focus groups and remains a woman of color who’ll turn 60 next year. (Yeah, the VP looks damn good.)
During the turkey pardon festivities yesterday, Biden joked, “I just want you to know it’s difficult turning 60.” That’s how old he is. When Biden was 60, Destiny’s Child still held out hope that Beyoncé would come back.
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The New York Times didn’t exactly offer Biden many happy returns in Monday’s article, “For an Aging President, a Birthday With a Bite.” (OK, for the record, we’re all aging, even if you’re 21.)
For many of a certain age, there comes a point when marking yet another birthday, taking note of yet another passage of the calendar, is not greeted with the same enthusiasm it once was. And that’s for people who are not even running for president.
This is already morbid nonsense. In my experience, older people are often happier on their birthdays because they appreciate survival and continued time with their loved ones. It’s usually people who are still young who get all mopey because a birthday has passed without their meeting some arbitrary deadline for marriage, career advancement, or overpriced home ownership.
Baker discusses the president like the traveller in Shelley’s “Ozymandias.”
For President Biden, who turns 81 on Monday, another birthday may bring more liability than revelry, offering one more reminder of his age to an already skeptical electorate. Unlike other presidents who have celebrated birthdays with lavish political events, Mr. Biden plans to observe his milestone privately with family in Nantucket later this week.
When Donald Trump turned 77 in June, the Times marked the occasion with the piece, “A Deflated, Low-Energy Trump, Now Twice-Indicted at 77: ‘Some Birthday’.” The key difference here is that Trump was genuinely depressed on his birthday and with good reason: He’d been indicted twice in the same year with two more indictments to come before the end of summer.
However, with Biden, the Times is just projecting psychobabble that’s clearly out of character if you actually know the guy. He’s openly optimistic about his political future — you might disagree with his assessment, but there’s no evidence that he’s fleeing to New England, locking himself in a dark room, and refusing to blow out any candles. He just wants to celebrate his birthday with his family. It’s not a bizarre choice, unlike the many bizarre choices in Baker’s article.
The best birthday gift the oldest president in American history could hope for would be a strategy for assuaging voters’ concerns, but that has been hard to come by.
Baker has no idea what he’s talking about — unless “Assuaging Voters’ Concerns” is on Biden’s public Amazon wish list. I have no particular insight into Biden’s mind, but he’s probably content with a sunny-day drive in his badass Corvette.
Appearing on MSNBC, Baker kept pushing the narrative that Biden is miserable and will spend his birthday reading New York Times polls and weeping.
“You’re not going to see a big lavish celebration the way Barack Obama celebrated his 50th birthday in office or Bill Clinton celebrated his birthdays in office with fundraisers and concerts and all that. You’re going to see basically almost nothing.”
Yes, Biden is old. No one would deny this obvious fact, but just because the president might prefer a low-key birthday, that doesn’t mean he’s close to death.
And I recall how Times writer Mark Lander discussed Obama’s 50th birthday plans in 2011. It was also a premature elegy.
For many men, turning 50 can be a day of reckoning, marked by graying hair, a slowing step and the wistful recognition that you are probably never going to make it to the corner office. What could be better, at such a melancholy moment, than to celebrate at home, among old friends?
Dear God, Morrissey lyrics are more upbeat.
It apparently doesn’t matter if you’re 50 or 81. The Times will find a way to make you wish you were never born.
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