Hillary Clinton addresses implications of Biden's age on electoral prospects

 February 11, 2024

A firestorm erupted this week with the release of special counsel Robert Hur's report on Joe Biden's handling of classified materials, which also touched on the president's issues with recall, and now former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has weighed in with her diagnosis of the situation, as Fox News reports.

Clinton's remarks have taken on increased significance amid the recent release of findings from Hur's probe of the president's conduct, and while the special counsel did not recommend charges against Biden, he did comment on the “significant limitations” of the commander in chief's recall abilities and the “poor memory” that appeared to plague him during the course of the investigation.

Clinton weighs in

Hur's report, not surprisingly, brought new attention to ongoing concerns about Biden's cognitive state and advanced age, spurring some to call on members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to orchestrate Biden's removal from office.

Clinton, during a Wednesday chat with Alex Wagner of MSNBC, offered her own assessment of the situation.

“I talked to people in the White House all the time, and you know, they know it's an issue, but as I like to say, 'look, it's a legitimate issue,'” Clinton said of Biden's octogenarian status.

However, she also suggested that the issue is not one that is unique to the presumptive Democrat nominee, given that his likely Republican rival is not far behind in his tally of years.

“It's a legitimate issue for [former President Donald] Trump who's only three years younger, right? So it's an issue,” Clinton opined.

“I'm for Joe”

With all of that as background, Clinton reaffirmed her support for the incumbent Democrat, suggesting that the critical nature of the next presidential election is what will dictate her vote.

Though not dismissing the importance of the age question, Clinton said, “you need to also talk about what is at stake in this election.”

“And I'm for Joe Biden because of the merits,” she added. “I think he has done a really good job as president.”

Indicating the strategy she believes the president should employ as he continues his campaign, Clinton said that he should joke about his age and “also should lean into the fact that he's experienced, and that experience is not just in the political arena. It's like, the stuff of, you know, human experience, character, wisdom.”

No laughing matter

Clinton's somewhat lighthearted riff on concerns about Biden's age stood in contrast to the angry response to Hur's report registered by the White House and Biden's inner circle.

Biden's personal lawyers Bob Bauer and Richard Sauber declared that the special counsel's description of the president's memory was not “accurate or appropriate,” as Axios noted.

Vice President Kamala Harris also went public with her criticism of Hur's portrayal of Biden as a forgetful, elderly man, stating that it “could not be more wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated,” but in light of the president's disastrous Thursday night press conference in which he attempted to respond to the report, the American electorate could prove increasingly difficult to convince.

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