WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is scheduled to receive a medical checkup Thursday, a routine review that has taken on greater significance as he nears a decision on whether to seek a second term.
His age is perhaps his biggest political obstacle. Already the oldest person to assume the presidency, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term.
While Biden acknowledges that questions about his age are legitimate, he has also insisted he’s capable of serving four more years.
“Watch me,” Biden has said more than once, including in an interview last week.
“I would be completely, thoroughly honest with the American people if I thought there was any health problem, anything that would keep me from being able to do the job,” Biden told PBS NewsHour. “And, so we’ll see. But, you know, I just — I think people have to just watch me.”
In search of the perfect president:What Americans say they want, from age to gender
Republicans have already gone after his age.
Delivering the GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union address last week, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted she’s the nation’s youngest governor while Biden is “the oldest president in American history.”
Nikki Haley, who entered the Republican presidential race this week, is calling for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Haley is pushing for a new generation of leaders, an argument that works against both Biden and former President Donald Trump, 76.
Half of registered voters think later middle age, between 51 and 65 years old, is the ideal age for a president, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll taken at the end of last year.
An additional 25% picked earlier middle age, 35 to 50 years old.
Less than 1 percent said their ideal president would be 80 or older.
Biden’s last physical, which found him to be in overall good health, was in November 2021. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said said scheduling difficulties prevented Thursday’s from happening sooner.
As in 2021, the White House plans to release a summary of the results.
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Related:Republican Nikki Haley calls for ‘a new generation’ – preferably her – in her first 2024 campaign rally
More:Joe Biden boxes Republicans into a corner on Social Security, Medicare with an eye on 2024
Story Credit: usatoday.com