Joe Biden will turn 81 on Monday with the traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys at the White House, but don’t expect him to mention the issue that has US voters in a flap.
His birthday will turn an unwelcome spotlight on the fact that the Democrat is the oldest president in American history — and that if he wins a second term next year he will be 86 by the time he leaves.
Biden sometimes jokes about it and aides point to a vigorous schedule that would floor far younger people, but poll after poll shows that the president’s age is the single greatest concern for American voters.
That has been reinforced by a series of trips, slips and stumbles, from losing his balance on the steps of Air Force One to giving occasionally rambling answers during press conferences.
Despite a series of his own recent gaffes, former president Donald Trump, whom Biden is likely to face next year, does not yet cause the same concerns among voters despite the fact that he’s 77.