That New York Times Poll: Democrats Need to Have Some Very Tough Conversations

Swing voters, it seems, have an almost violently different view. That Arizona voter above: What exactly, we might ask him, about Biden’s comportment in the foreign policy realm suggests he can’t go toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin? He has done so, and the result has been that Ukraine has held on to its territory for far longer than it would have if the United States had kept its hands clean of the affair.

But the disgruntlement obviously isn’t limited to foreign affairs. Of course, it’s partly inflation. The inflation rate is way down. And those of us who read economic reports know that when it was bad, it was worse in the EU, and it largely wasn’t Biden’s fault (it was pandemic-related supply chain issues). But most people don’t understand that; they just know that their kids’ cereal went from $4.89 to $6.19.

And mainly it’s Biden’s age. Actually, you know what I think it is most specifically? His voice. He sounds old. Trump doesn’t sound old. He may not know which Midwestern city or state he’s in or which country Viktor Orban runs, but he doesn’t sound old. And Democrats need to face the simple fact that 80 is a psychological marker, one that Americans intuit from lived experience. When my mother was 75, she was still playing tennis twice a week. When she was 80, there were days she had trouble getting out of bed (in fairness, that was because of terrible back pain, which Biden apparently doesn’t have).