Vientiane Times
Web Service
About us
Audio/ Video news
Subscribe now !
Online Sub
Online Adv



Home Lao

President Joe Biden.

Biden at 81: Often sharp and focused but sometimes confused and forgetful

WASHINGTON (AP) -– President Joe Biden’s conduct behind closed doors, in the Oval Office, on Air Force One and in meetings around the world is described in the same dual way by those who regularly see him in action.
He is often sharp and focused. But he also has moments, particularly later in the evening, when his thoughts seem jumbled and he trails off mid-sentence or seems confused. Sometimes he doesn’t grasp the finer points of policy details. He occasionally forgets people’s names, stares blankly and moves slowly around the room.
Biden’s occasional struggles with focus may not be unusual for someone his age. But at 81 years old and seeking another four years in the White House, the moments when he’s off his game have taken on a fresh resonance following his disastrous debate performance against Republican Donald Trump. The president appeared pale, gave nonsensical answers, stared blankly and lost his train of thought.
The June 27 faceoff alarmed Democrats and his financial backers, in part, because Biden seemed so much worse than during the almost routine moments when he’s less sharp. And that has raised questions about whether he’s up for a campaign that’s only going to get nastier and whether he can effectively govern for another four years if he wins.
“We understand the concerns. We get it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week. But she insisted Biden has no intention of stepping away from the campaign. “The president is clear-eyed and he is staying in the race.”
But there have been other notable signs in recent weeks, from Biden’s constrained itinerary during a recent visit to France to his flat demeanor during a big-dollar Hollywood fundraiser with top stars.
This story is based on interviews with two dozen people who have spent time with the president privately, some of whom were granted anonymity to discuss interactions that were not intended to be public.
The way Biden acts in private, according to regular observers, often tracks how he comes off publicly. In both settings, he can be commanding one day and halting another.
A day after his debate blunder, Biden’s voice at a North Carolina rally was forceful, his eyes alert, his delivery confident. As he spoke, cheers filled the room.
“I give you my word as a Biden. I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job,” he told supporters. “Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.” But sometimes, Biden speaks so softly that it is difficult to make out his words even with a microphone. He’ll stop mid-sentence and trail off during speeches. At other times he runs the room, leading the audience, joking and shaking hands with thrilled supporters, in clear command of the moment. His gait is often stiff, but sometimes he jogs.
His State of the Union speech earlier this year was widely seen as a confident and fiery speech that showed he was ready to take on Trump.


(Latest Update July 5, 2024)

Newspaper Subscription Prices l Newspaper Advertisement Prices l Online Advertisement Prices l Online Subscription Prices

Vientiane Times Phonpapao Village, Unit 32, Sisattanak District, P.O.Box: 5723 Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: (856-21) 336042, 336043; Fax: (856-21) 336041;
Copyright © 1999 Vientiane Times.