Biden Shows Age, Struggles in First 2024 Debate Against Trump

This was the blunt takeaway from Charlie Comfort, an Iowa Democrat, a mere 14 minutes into the first debate of the 2024 general election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Comfort was practically ringing the alarm bells, noting that Biden didn't meet the bar. Suppose Biden's performance at this year's State of the Union managed to calm some nerves. In that case, his appearance on CNN this past Thursday in Atlanta reignites concerns about his age and mental acuity.

From the moment he shuffled stiffly onto the debate stage, appeared to cough extensively within the first two minutes, and quickly lost his train of thought while discussing the care economy and drug prices, Biden gave millions of viewers plenty of reasons to doubt his fitness for office. The split screen highlighted his tendency to stand gaping, which didn't exactly scream presidential competence.

While Trump took the opportunity to pounce on Biden's bewildering statement about beating Medicare, Biden's zingers were far few between. Even Comfort, who found Biden's exchanges on abortion and defending veterans somewhat redeeming, admitted that Trump was absolutely burying the incumbent with poise and delivery alone.

Comfort felt that while his support for Biden wouldn't waver, the President's apparent cognitive decline could seriously sway swing voters. He suggested that this race, which should be an easy win for the incumbent administration, is now leaning dangerously towards Trump.

Although the Trump campaign set low expectations for Biden, there was undeniably more pressure on the incumbent to deliver. Regardless, a source confirmed that Biden had a cold, which supposedly impacted his voice. Still, critics are undoubtedly wondering if it was the cold or just another excuse for his evident decline.

While Biden's supporters scrambled to defend him, portraying Trump as a villain who cut taxes for the wealthy and decimated Roe vs. Wade, the evening's performance underscored fundamental questions about Biden's ability to lead. According to his political allies, Biden remained the man with plans, a vision, and a focus on the plight of ordinary Americans. At the same time, Trump was painted as a self-serving felon.

Despite desperate attempts to fact-check Trump and highlight Biden's commendable track record, the collective impression was hard to ignore. Biden looked tired, out of touch, and unfocused. The reality is that this wasn't a stellar night for the President, and it revealed cracks that no amount of rhetoric could veil.

With only one debate left and time quickly running out, Biden's tepid performance has set the stage for an increasingly uncertain election. President Biden entered with low expectations and needed to clear even that minimal bar.

Written by Staff Reports

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