For once, you have to give Joe Biden credit. Not only did he not invent some preposterous story about his standoff against a gang of black punks, but he uttered the plain and unvarnished truth. And it could cost him the election.
While speaking to a small crowd at a campaign appearance Tuesday in Clinton, Iowa, the 77-year-old — and from all indications rapidly aging — Biden acknowledged his mortality. He prefaced the observation by remarking on potential running mates:
I can think of at least 8 women, at least 4 or 5 people of color that I think are totally qualified to be vice president of the United States. But for me, it has to be demonstrated that whomever I pick, there’s two things: One he’s capable of being a president, because I’m an old guy.
“No, I’m serious,” he added when the audience chuckled. He went on to assure those in attendance that he’s in good shape and that “I work out every morning.” Watch:
But his physical strength and mobility are not issues that have given some observers pause. Rather, it is his mental acuity. A day earlier at a town hall in Marshalltown, Iowa, the presidential hopeful inadvertently let on that he couldn’t remember what year he was last elected:
At a Marshalltown, Iowa, town hall on 01/26, Joe Biden was recounting waiting for Obama to pick him up to head to the inauguration in “January of 2012, actually 2013, no wait a minute, we got elected in 2012, 2010 or 13.”
Biden does not remember when the last time he was elected pic.twitter.com/y6TGgbsHb3
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 29, 2020
His lapses are hard not to notice. Even the Washington Post (yes, the Washington Post!) last August wrote a about an experience Biden recited on the campaign trail in which a four-star general asked him to pin a Silver Star on a war hero. “In the space of three minutes,” the Post wrote, “Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.”