Joe Biden Says Age Is Just a Number

Mr. Biden interviews for The New York Times’s endorsement.

Comments: 191

  1. I am not a Biden supporter, but Joe Biden is right about one very big thing: it IS possible for Democratic candidates to reach out to BOTH progressives and to workers. I applaud Biden for stating that, “they were talking about how we had to make a distinction between progressive values and working-class values. I said I’ve never found a distinction. Never found them hard to sell.” I wish more Democrats understood this!

  2. Indeed, "progressives" and "workers" are NOT separate. Among other problems, some people are precluded from protesting or even speaking of progressive principles by the onerous terms and hair-trigger firing habits of their employers. They aren't the all-too-noisy "silent majority" who stand with the loser—workers who support Sane policies (like unions) are an actual SILENCED majority.

  3. @Chris Rasmussen Yes and there is only one candidate who is appealing to both progressives and workers. His name is Bernie Sanders.

  4. @Ben I’m a progressive and a worker but not feeling the Bern. I wish Sherrod Brown was running. He’s got it figured out better than all of them together.

  5. This is painful to read. Word-for-word transcripts are always tough, but he seems to wander all over the place without saying much other than he has made mistakes when it comes to showing good judgment when it most matters. And his son has, too. This is not an interview with a man at the top of his game. And did he really run out the tape?

  6. @avrds I feel like I read a different interview from you. I appreciated that Biden took the time to explain his different positions and answer the hypotheticals posed to him. I think the EB could have better edited their questions in advance for all of the candidates. Some of the questions in this series lacked gravitas and took up space that could have been better spent asking about important topics. Climate change in particular got short-changed in favor of asking candidates about personal broken heart moments. I fault the Time’s for this, not the candidates, all of whom did their best with the mash-up they were given.

  7. @Jolton I agree. This series of interviews so far has been pathetic, and I won't read another one now. I get more complete and mature candidate information elsewhere, thankfully. I'm undecided yet who I would prefer as a candidate, but it appears to me that those who complain they can't follow this transcript are those who already don't care for Joe Biden and simply aren't interested in what he has to say. Their minds are made up. I had no problem following it. I'm used to listening to people who talk like him, and interested enough to pay attention. Some people simply talk that way - it doesn't mean they're old or losing it.

  8. @Jrb Read Andrew Yang's interview. Even if you don't agree with him THIS is how a candidate presents themselves. Clear, concise, and backed by data. This is the type of person I want leading this country.

  9. He's right. Age is just a number. Mr. Biden's number is close to my own. I'm still out there doing what I can do and so is Joe. He's a regular guy. He doesn't scream. He doesn't jump up and down. He goes about his business and does what he can. He knows how to work with those whose beliefs may differ from his own. If he's still able to do all that, why would anyone care how old he is. Age is a catalyst for wisdom. We need more of it. Vote Joe!

  10. @Lake. woebegoner I and many others will not vote for him even if he is the nominee. I'm not putting a stamp of validation on someone who dismisses the concerns of Millennials, who offers rhetoric without substance, and gives blundering, almost unintelligible responses to simple questions. There is such a thing as enabling and I will not enable Americans who think the Paris Climate Accord is a sufficient response to climate change. Maybe America does deserve another four years of Trump.

  11. @AB Not sure what you mean by muddled above. But then some Millennials are unable to de-muddle the world around them and those who would serve our needs. In the end we will get what we voted for.

  12. @Lake. woebegoner : If you’re Biden’s age, you must know by now that age is NOT just a number. Human bodies all face a slow inevitable decline after age fifty or so.

  13. I’ve been on the fence about Biden, but this interview validated my sense that we need his experience and wealth of knowledge to get us back on track starting on Day 1 after he beats Trump soundly. I am glad the Editorial Board stuck to serious questions and issues here and only wish they had treated all candidates with the same respect so that readers could better compare interviews.

  14. @Jolton " experience and wealth of knowledge " at and of what ?

  15. Looks like Warren is being offered the VP spot, all around great performance at the debate. Really sad that a blurred vision has resulted in politics. Joe Biden cannot be the winner here, even if they succeed in destroying Bernie, the Democratic party has lost their way.

  16. As 69 year old, age is not just a number - it is a reality. Physical, and more importantly, mental processes slow down markedly as we age. I would have much trouble supporting a candidate almost ten years older than me, who has also been a lightweight in the Senate over the previous decades. This is the main reason Biden has been singularly unsuccessful in winning the Democratic nomination for president. Moreover, it is not only his age,78, if he wins the presidency. It will be his age over the next 4 to 8 years, putting him well into his 80's. Not ideal by any stretch for holding down the most complex political position in the world.

  17. As a 69-year-old whose mental processes have not slowed down one iota, I suggest you do not make judgments about or for other people. Having been a runner for 39 years, I have arthritis in my left knee. I don’t think that would prevent me from functioning as POTUS if that had been my career path. This age stuff has got to stop, including the age stuff coming from older people who feel that their faculties have diminished. You don’t speak for everyone.

  18. @RMC There is a large difference between being 69 and being 79. I suspect that you will soon learn that after age 70 or so, unexpected things begin to happen to human bodies and minds. Of course, not all of us decline at the same rate, but to deny the likelihood of some decline as one approaches age 80 seems quite foolish.

  19. @alank While as a 69 year old, i still see myself as a gay stud. In reality, i am now on the edge of very old age. It's hard to realize this. It doesn't mean i'm not pretty darn smart with my doctorate, but i do know that Biden is past the age where i would trust him at his best for being president at such a complicate time in the world. Please know i hate to say this as i adore Biden. I just can't support him or Sanders. We need a new generation to take over.

  20. Yes, age is a number.... a really important one. You can say numbers don't matter, but the bank gets super upset when I add extra zeros to my checks.

  21. As a former resident of Delaware I can say that if Sen. Biden were a Senator from any other state - including RI - he would have been one term Senator. He's a nice guy but very average. He's poof that if you get along, and are lucky you can go far.

  22. I like Biden and Warren and hope that they share a ticket. Biden has the experience to hit the ground running on day one. Warren has a progressive agenda. Together they can beat Trump. A word on age. Many Americans do not realize how blatant and pernicious age discrimination can be. I am approaching 70. I work out each day and have done so since I was 30. Before that, I biked. I am in excellent shape and have all my cognitive skills. 5 years ago I lost a job that I had held for 17 years. My department was restructured and I was out. Fortunately I had the skills to start a small business; but I am now working at three separate jobs because I was unable to find a single position, due solely to my age. Anyone who thinks that age was not the reason has not looked for a position at age 60+ and is not a recruiter. The recruiters told me point blank that I would never find employment. Fortunately I am resilient. Knocked down, I got up. Told I would never find a job, I insisted that I would. It took 3 1/2 years for this Ivy League graduate to find a position that paid 1/4 of what she had previously earned. I hope that when Joe Biden assumes the presidency, he will make ending age discrimination a priority. I am still standing, but my health and finances took blows. The Republicans will say that I should have saved enough to be out of work in my 60s and survive until my mid 80s. We all know a word that describes the Republicans’ theory. Joe, when you are elected, remember us.

  23. It's not unreasonable to take age into account when choosing a president. We're talking about one of the most demanding jobs in the world. And one of the most important. It's fair to consider whether a president will be physically and mentally up to the challenge. Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office. There has been much speculation about whether his faculties were declining while he was still in office. The average life expectancy for an American man is 76 years. Joe Biden will be 78 when he gets sworn in. If you are confident that he will be up to the task, physically and mentally, then by all means vote for him. When I read his interviews and listen to him during debates, I believe he has lost some of his former abilities. It concerns me. I don't disagree with you about age discrimination -- it's a pernicious problem that we need to rectify. But, I don't think it's age discrimination to consider all relevant factors when choosing a president.

  24. @Ryan I disagree with you about Joe. I remember his previous campaigns. He has never been a particularly effective campaigner. He always digresses - it’s his personal style. I have watched him carefully and think he’s fine. I believe that you can take age into account to ensure that a person is healthy and mentally alert, but should not start from the assumption that he or she may not be. Our friends and family are active and healthy in their 60s and early 70s. We are fortunate to have always lived a middle-class lifestyle with good medical care. The 60s and 70s are not what they used to be, at least not for people who have the opportunities that we have had. Those opportunities should be made available for all.

  25. @RMC -- I applaud your personal resilience, motivation and entrepreneurship achievements while fighting the challenges of mature age. However, I would counter that championing a physically active and experienced, but never exceptional leader, serves a personal mindset regarding age more than the best interests overall of all of the people of the US. This is my personal mindset. I believe there are more talented individuals in the race (regardless of age, which is just one valid factor) at this point to choose from. While there's still time to choose, we can do better than Joe. Why just settle for the status quo, when we could perhaps do better if we just had the courage to try?

  26. The other board members of Burisma were also notables or luminaries. The board was seeking credibility more than influence. Sometimes there is overlap there but name recognition was the main feature of Hunter Bidens qualification to sit on the board. Still, he might have been wiser to turn it down.

  27. @RjW I've noticed that even though he now says it was a mistake, he hasn't returned the money...

  28. I'm sorry to say this, but my attention drifted away about halfway through this article. Biden is certainly a decent man, but this reads as too much defensiveness about his past, with a hyper-convoluted way to solve our problems. Biden's responses to the healthcare crisis alone shows that he's only interested in further tweaking our failing, expensive, Rube Goldberg deathtrap of an insurance industry. That's not the solution we need. And his endless statements about "working across the aisle?" It's both baffling and maddening. Whatever decency Biden once encountered in the Republican party has long been jettisoned. Republicans are now nothing but an affiliation of greedmongers and bigots, dancing around the golden calf of Donald Trump, while tearing our democracy and rule of law to shreds. We need to utterly defeat them in November, not look forward to more "compromise" that further degrades our nation and the world. We are in desperate need of real change and fresh thinking. This isn't it. I'll certainly vote for Biden if he should secure the nomination, but I hope I won't have to.

  29. @Dominic I wish he would stop looking like the man most likely to lose to Trump in 2020. It seems he was very much in touch and adroit at one time. Things have changed. Essentially, I can't gin up much enthusiasm for more patchwork efforts to sustain a let them eat cake system. The right, at least, thinks they have a vision of how things should be. I think a vision to keep things stumbling along isn't much competition.

  30. Support reparations? Really? As a litmus test for what? POTUS? Noble idea but it isn't fair to set this up as a some kind of minimum requirement. Theoretically, I am sure every person in the US who has a clue about how slavery destroyed families, ripped people from their homeland, subjected them to subhuman living conditions followed by hundreds of years of economic deprivation, discrimination and hatred feels an obligation to right these wrongs. But, the idea that Congress will, at some point, appropriate money to correct the problem is a stretch. I'd look more toward correcting the inner city housing shortage, getting needed healthcare to everyone, fixing voter registration barriers, employment discrimination, and building better schools offering sound, modern day curricula....that would allow for decent jobs as a way to start. That could be called the first step in reparations. Maybe money for descendants of slaves as one other form of reparations as well. But not the only type. In any event the goal is to get Trump out...and reset for the future. As long as he is in office everyone's future is at risk.

  31. @Harley Leiber; Don’t ignore the ‘reparations’ which blacks already receive; affirmative action, tax relief for lack businesses, economic entitlements, etc.

  32. Age might be a number, but aging of a biological organism is a very REAL thing, and no organism escapes its "magic". How aging manifests is unique enough to every individual, but there are also enough common effects, that patterns can be charted and said to affect a majority of organisms in similar ways. With a few points of deviation up or down. We can say with confidence that anyone at the ages of Biden, Sanders, Trump, plus many in the US Senate...have slowed and declined in various physical and cognitive functions. That the plasticity of their brains are long past their expiration dates. Memories are compromised, mental faculties are slowed, even stunted. Processing new and complex information is compromised. Accepting changes in ones personal life, ones surroundings, and society at large becomes difficult, often impossible to handle. Being physically compromised also impacts ones mental faculties. This is reality! Being aware of ones physical limits takes up "mental space," and for many amps up their emotionally negative responses to Life's, lets call them inconveniences. Aging can also bring keen insights, based on experiences, and an accumulation of knowledge. Bigger picture thinking is often the reward of getting older, and maturing gracefully. As well as chilling-out. But not always. As Trump, and several of his older cronies, Rudy and Barr for example, appear to be men who are not aging "gracefully", but in fact are more bitter, more belligerent, meaner.

  33. I was really hoping that through an interview I was going to be able to follow the views and policies of the former vice president better than I was able to during a debate. But alas, the transcript probably left me even more confused because it was the written word. I'll try watching the interview's video when it's released, but my gut tells me I shouldn't be voting for someone that I have such a hard time following. I won't say that it's his age working against him because I don't know much about what he was like before he was vice president. Maybe he was as confusing to listen to then, and had as many incomplete thoughts as a younger man. But you couldn't blame someone for wondering if he's crossed the line from wisdom into senility.

  34. “I have no empathy for it. Give me a break.” Joe Biden. Biden was speaking specifically of student debt but, based on the candidate's actions over many years, it's not credibly deniable that Biden's utter lack of empathy extends to all ordinary - read non-politically connected - Americans. Biden was Obama's VP, but in his lack of empathy Biden is the polar opposite of Barrack Obama whose sincere concern for all Americans and shining integrity are indisputable. Leadership, particularly presidential leadership is putting your country and your fellow Americans first and your interests, family and friends second. Biden, in this regard at least, is just like Trump. Trump is a clear and present danger to American democracy. But the ever widening gulf, in both economic well being and political representation, between almost all Americans and the billionaire class is an even greater danger. What kind of democracy is it where all significant decisions are made by a handful of rich men? Biden potentially could solve our Trump problem but he has never given any indication that he considers accelerating inequality to be a problem much less one that he would do anything whatever to address it. If Biden is the candidate I will very reluctantly vote for him, not voting really is tantamount to voting for Trump, but I'll expect him to lose badly because many Americans will see little difference for their families or opportunities between Biden and Trump.

  35. @KenC He has no empathy for debt because his chief patrons are the banks. He's the Senator from Wilmington, after all, and has been beholden from day one.

  36. I will certainly vote for Biden if he's the nominee. But I also have very real concerns about some of his positions, especially in terms of how they might influence getting young people to turn out to vote for him. It's as if he's tailored his positions to get moderates and people over 60 to vote for him, but those are often people who will vote anyway. I think elections today are won and lost on the people who only sometimes turn out -- especially young people -- and his positions will not appeal to them at all. Take his position on marijuana. I'm not a marijuana cheerleader by any means, and I have specific concerns about selling edibles that look like candy. But overall, it's pretty indisputable that marijuana is safer than alcohol on most measures. So if our society's standard is that alcohol is legal, then there's just no justification for locking up people who are selling something that's less harmful than alcohol. Biden's answer shows a cluelessness about how that law impacts our prison system, and how it's applied with clear racial bias. That position strikes me as both outdated and tone-deaf. He is behind the times, and that has nothing to do with his age. So I just don't seem him connecting with young people. They'll just stay home if he's the nominee. Maybe they shouldn't, but they will. And that would be a disaster.

  37. Of all these interviews, the person who best answered the questions coherently and with candor was Senator Bernie Sanders. My guess, by the tone of interviews and body language of majority of Editorial Board is that the NYT will endorse Elizabeth Warren. I hope you change your mind. Senator Sanders was AT the civil rights movement for minorities in the 1960s. Senator Sanders has supported civil rights movement for women and has numerous women on his staff and apparently pays them more than other candidates and legislators. He made his position clear on opposing the Vietnam War and attempted to register as a Conscientious Objector and did not hide behind a deferment. He was elected Mayor of Burlington and worked with all legislators who wanted to improve the city and was successful. He was elected to House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. Senate and opposed the Iraq War and did not buy into the rhetoric. He wants to improve health care, provide food stamps to those in need and allow those who are on Social Security and appropriately qualified to remain in that safety net. He wants to eliminate the fleecing of students lured to for profit college paper mills. He wants the wealthy to pay higher taxes (as does Warren Buffett). He wants to act on climate change, and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement signed by President Obama. Please endorse Senator Sanders for President of the United States.

  38. @Cliff I like Sanders, though I'm more of a Warren person. But I wouldn't say that Sanders telling the Times "we live in different worlds" was exactly a forthright response to some of their questions. When backed into a corner, his answer was basically, "Well, I see things differently." He does that a lot. And as someone who tends to agree with how he sees things, I actually think that's not a terribly effective persuasive technique. I find that a concerning habit for someone who is running for a position where he has to persuade a nation to go beyond their comfort zone on a lot of issues. At any rate, for what it's worth, my money is on the Times endorsing Buttigieg.

  39. @Cliff I read Sanders’s interview closely and with an open mind, because I really would like to be persuaded by him and his proposals, especially since he is doing well in the polls. But he really fell short for me, as he has been since 2015. I know what he *wants* to do, now tell us how. He shows little patience when asked to explain his plans, and without enactable plans, it’s all empty promises. He’s too comfortable with his base and preaching to that choir — he’s got to start connecting with voters like me, and we far-outnumber his base, if he wants to win.

  40. @RVC No way the Times will endorse Buttigieg, and I am all in for Pete. The times was dismissive and hostile during their interview of him. For those of us who endorse Buttigieg, it made us proud to see him calmly, rationally, and elegantly respond to their rude and irrelevant questions, but there seems little doubt -- the Times is going to endorse Warren. I don't have a problem with that result because she is very qualified; I just wish that the Editorial Board had shown my candidate more respect.

  41. The Editorial Board tried to get to the bottom of the appearance of conflict with Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian company. But these questions continue to be asked in ways that candidates can easily talk their way out of. Here's the question that should have been asked of Joe Biden: "Why do you think Burisma wanted your son to serve on their Board." That's it. It's a simple question with an obvious answer yet it never gets asked.

  42. @SJG And it's beyond belief that Joe "didn't know" Hunter was on the board. Isn't that public knowledge ?

  43. @SJG This question has been answered many times. Hunter Biden himself admitted it was a bad ideafor him to serve given that it was primarily name-based prestige that got himthe job offer.

  44. @Bbwalker I'm sorry but the question I proposed has not been answered at all. I agree with you that it was a bad idea. I'm sure that Hunter Biden now thinks it's a bad idea. These are besides the point. Why did Burisma think it was a good idea? They had an American with no relevant experience on their board of directors and paid him a lot of money. Why did they do this? If you honestly consider these questions, all of the excuses and apologies and regrets go away. Companies do not spend money for no reason. This is not a partisan issue? I'll ask why AT&T and Novartis spent all that money to hire Michael Cohen? And it's not just a current issue. I'll ask why did the banks pay Hillary Clinton over $100k for an appearance? When companies spend money, they expect something in return. When Burisma paid Hunter Biden $80k/month, for a period of 5 years, during which he never even went to Ukraine, the only logical explanation is that Burisma was paying that money to gain access and influence at the highest levels of the US government.

  45. Age 82 at the end of his term. He should stay home and read a book. If he wants to be ambitious, he can try running a 5K race in less than an hour. "If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president. You had to be very flexible with your mind. You have to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them together in a comprehensive way." Jimmy Carter at age 95

  46. @Dan M This is addressed in the interview, including that quote. Your sentiment would also apply to Sanders. So we should disqualify the top two Dem candidates based on age alone? Clearly the voters, whether for Sanders or Biden, see things differently.

  47. When a person of a certain age, as they say, looks back on a lifetime one would hope it is with honesty and clear-eyed vision. It is not a time to "clean up" the errors one made then in the light of a new day--a rewrite so to speak. Should Biden truly examine his record, one might think he would understand that being president is not the prize he gets for revisionism.

  48. I think Joe Biden is a decent and well-intentioned man who has been through untold tragedy and heartbreak in his life. I truly wish him the best on a personal level and respect him as a human being. On a political level, however, he is simply out-of-touch and the last person we need for this moment. Young people are more motivated and energetic than ever. You want to take the wind out of our sails? A Biden nomination would be absolutely deflating for so many of us. Will I vote for him against Trump? Absolutely. Will I be excited to do it, will I canvass for him, will I work hard for his victory? No. And I think his Presidency would be a disaster. Joe Biden represents an era of politics that is dead and needs to stay dead. An era where both parties were effectively the same and passed policies that repeatedly stymied progress, kept the most vulnerable in our society down, and left behind millions without healthcare and in poverty. Biden's stances on the crime bill, the Iraq War, and his efforts to strip bankruptcy protections from people are simply inexcusable. Surely our eyes have been opened in the era of Trump and the last thing we will allow is a return to the status quo -- a status quo that has not worked for so many Americans? Biden thinks we can return to pre-2016 "normalcy." We cannot. It would be merely putting tape on a broken pipe. We need real, systemic change in this country or we are in trouble in the future. Biden is a good man, but his time is up.

  49. It's true that "Age is Just a Number", up to a point.

  50. I read the entire interview, slowly. I understood Biden better from the interview than I do watching a debate.. Of course, he elaborates more, in his meandering way, but I end up with a better sense of what he means. He is certainly not concise. That makes him hard to follow. But if I carefully read his statements, I can synthesize what he's saying. So, my impression changes. On TV I thought he may be becoming demented. Now, I don't think so. However, I believe his style will plague him, leading to misunderstandings and simple refusal of many voters to do the work in their minds needed to correctly understand what he's saying. His language style will prove politically damaging to him in this age of cancel culture and gottcha journalism.

  51. Though there's inherent arrogance if not hubris in anyone who thinks themselves fit to be president, the extent to which Biden rewrites his past demonstrates a severe lack of self-awareness that is especially troubling in such an experienced politician and a white man of his age. How can he really believe himself capable of bringing about a new era of progressive leadership when he can't even acknowledge the failings within his own record?

  52. Joe Biden is dead weight on the party. He is so much the polar opposite of Obama it is surreal. There were big issues I had with the Obama presidency on the ongoing militarization of the country. Other than that, I really have no complaints. Even the bank bailout. Barrack Obama is the type of Democrat I expect at 61 years old, and a lifetime member of the party. Biden switched lanes back in the 80's. The derision of Anita Hill in the SCOTUS hearings still resonates. Joe Biden has zero empathy. No way should he be our nominee.

  53. Better than I expected but still pretty rambling. I found his position(s) on marijuana pretty confusing and out of touch with reality. He also seems to be unaware of the economic pressures on young people. His whole view of this generation seems to be driven by the fact that some of them thought the political system was pretty corrupt and they did not want to participate in it.

  54. Joe Biden has lived in D.C. and been in economic and political circles that leave him out-of-touch with the big changes that have happened in our society as a result of automation and offshoring. We have a two class society and politicians of his generation lost touch with what is needed to build a better society. Joe needs to just play golf.

  55. Without fail, each of these interviews are followed by comments of basically “Not impressed. My chosen one is better. I won’t vote for anyone else.” So I guess that leaves the heavy-lifting to the rest of us voters who are determined not to let perfect be the enemy of good and support the nominee. Because four more years of Trump ain’t good, folks. No hopes for a revolution, or whatever some voters are holding out for, is worth the risk of reelecting Trump.

  56. I like and respect Mr. Biden very much, and I'm thankful for his tremendous work in the Obama administration. And who could forget his even handed debate performance again Mrs. Palin, or his aggressively taking the young Mr. Ryan to school in the 2012 debate? Both helped ensure the election of Barack Obama. But Joe Biden would be 85 at the end of his second term. Are we sure that this is a realistic choice?

  57. Very interesting. Joe's really got a touch w/the working man, the buddies from the old days, and savvy on foreign affairs and the economy. If he and Yang got together on the economy and the future for the country in terms of education, healthcare, and other issues, it might work. He's an old-fashioned guy in many ways, but modern in terms of reproduction rights even tho he's Catholic, he's for women having the choice, and his avidity to get to the bottom of things and solve problems sometimes leads him astray. If, and that's a big "if," nominated, I wouldn't hesitate to vote for him.

  58. I have no doubt that Joe Biden is a smart guy with lots of governmental experience and a fairly deep command of many issues. That is not what concerns me. What concerns me is that he is the poster boy of what I and so many of many differing political views dislike about Washington politics and he seems tone-deaf to it. His sense of entitlement while speaking to voters is palpable and unwelcome. His thin-skinned responses to honest questions of voters does not make me confident he is open to change or dialogue outside of the good old boy network he is so deeply ingrained in. In my view, choosing a President is not about hiring experience as much as judgement. Presidents are surrounded by experts from every government agency, advisory boards and can get input from almost any academic they choose to tap for advice. What is important is the willingness and ability to seek that input, ask the right questions and make good decisions. When I look at Joe Biden's voting record as a Senator as a Committee Chair and the actions of the Obama/Biden administration, I do not like what I see. I see a corporate Democrat, the ultimate insider and an unabashed neoliberal who supports the national security state. He apparently had no problem with the fact that Eric Holder did not prosecute one bankster or that the Fed has been making the rich richer by the moment since 2009 with free or almost free money. I want a Progressive in deeds- not just words.

  59. Age isn't a thing. That is, if the president becomes incapacitated in office, we have mechanisms to take care of that. There was no crisis when Wilson or Reagan couldn't fully perform. So the real question is the candidates willingness to be objective about his or her competence. What are the signs and what would you do if you became confused? Let's stop talking about age as if it's some disease. None of us is immune, but it isn't always debilitating.

  60. According to Joe Biden, Millennials are responsible for the current state of affairs. Just breathtaking.

  61. @AB Your little trick of deliberately misunderstanding is obvious to everyone. It's why nobody can discuss anything rationally and politics is at a standstill these days. Really.

  62. "Age is just a number" is usually what old people say.

  63. I have watched every Democriatic debate, and I do not believe the Times's opening claim that "Joe Biden commands a boardroom." I assume that this remark foreshadows the Times's endorsement of Biden. If Biden is the Democratic nominee, I hope he ousts Donald Trump, but I am far from confident that he will win.

  64. Like it or not, people born long before the Post-War Baby Boom have significantly different cultural imprints from more recent generations. Just as the Baby Boomers live in a different world from Millennials, these oldsters still see a long-gone world. If they cling to that past, that's when the trouble starts. Today's new hysteria over Russia, for example, is mostly driven by those elders whose youth took place during the Cold War that began in 1946. They seek the comforts of the world they had in childhood. The only thing all generations have in common is that in due time they will each complain about "Those kids today"... https://emcphd.wordpress.com

  65. Biden asserts that if the conservative Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade that he will "immediately send to the United States Congress legislative — legislative — requirement legislating and codifying Roe v. Wade as amended by Casey and put it in the law." And the NYT does not ask Biden, as they did the other candidates, how such a bill could be passed into law?? Apparently, Old Joe has forgotten who the Senate Majority Leader is.

  66. So many of his answers are laced with inaccuracy, exaggeration and in a few cases, complete fabrications. But the most disturbing part is how clear it is that Biden has made some very bad calls for the very reason he thinks he is most qualified for the Oval: he is willing to do what he and the Republicans "can agree on". Let's take a look at what he and Republicans "agree on": The crime bill; The war in Iraq, which he authorized and even beat the drums for GW; Privatizing social security, a bargaining chip he has always promised to Republicans; abusing Anita Hill in public; The Hyde amendment; cannabis and on and on. When questioned on all of these things he spins, obscures or filibusters. Americans are done with this kind of politician. His weakness will be on full display against a shameless hypocrite like Trump and we will have 2016 again.

  67. Very interesting title considering some of his past behavior.

  68. I'll be 80 in August. While "experience counts", "seniors" (that's you, too, Joe) in high office really have little business in making decisions of authority that will frame or determine the future for those half my age or more. Case in point: America really hasn't "won" a "war" since 1945 (the Hiroshima bomb was dropped on my 5th birthday) notwithstanding a lot of human sacrifice since in the name of "freedom" and "liberty" ("for all" ~ not!) There are practical lessons as well in the current fact Germans are selling more BMW's in China (both at one time foreign "enemies") than anywhere else in the world. Biden's and my generation sewed the seeds of global warming, too. Neither of us will live a natural life to witness Nature's full fury for all that, let alone any possible recovery. Pass the torch, Joe, and sit down.

  69. @Edgar Numrich Excellent point. Not a popular view by many of the readers here, but one that I share, and I'm just over half your age.

  70. Biden is for nobody. He is a default option for every unhappy democrat. He is not dynamic. He is too old. Age and vitality do make a difference in strenuous positions. It is a sad commentary that this is the best that the democrats can do.

  71. @rich williams His knowledge of foreign policy alone blows every other candidate out of the water. I read very single interview.

  72. How much was this edited? The American press edits Trump to try and make him see at least semi-coherent. Also did you remove questions where his answers were like: "No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense and that rarely ever occurs. And so we have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it." Also where were the questions about over-population, pollution, regulating Wall Street, cleaning up the environment, etc.?

  73. @Keith Dow Lol...that was a classic~! Thanks for the morning coffee out the nose~!

  74. It is by no means just age that is worrying. There's health status, cognition, stability... then there's a whole range of policy stances, political record, integrity... you know, small unimportant details.

  75. Good lord. I like Joe but if he is he front runner then Trump has the election sewn up in a bag. All the more since Sanders and Warren are now engaged in some kind of pointless feud. Maybe Buttigieg will gain some traction, but wonder how he’ll do once the novelty value wears off. Maybe Democrats should have courted Oprah to run.

  76. @citybumpkin no way !! Oprah would BE the nanny state !! Bloomberg would be better

  77. Doesn't matter what Joe thinks about his age. The voters overwhelmingly think the guy is too old. And he is too old. Period.

  78. @mpound I agree, as is Sanders and Warren. I don't want a president who is older than I am, or at the opposite end, barely meeting the constitutional age requirement (Buttigieg). I am supporting Amy Klobuchar.

  79. Put Biden in a room with 5 Republicans and he'll talk them into submission. He's all over the place. He goes off on tangents, doesn't finish thoughts and sentences, evades questions. And man, he really thinks highly of himself. He seemed to get caught up in a number of contradictions regarding his past positions. This is just not the guy to be the nominee. I sure hope he doesn't represent the base of the party.

  80. Age IS just a number. Look at Bernie, 78 but relatively spry and just as cogent as ever. Biden, on the other hand, has slowed down both in mind and in manner. Watching him try to convey a simple sentiment, on the debate stage, can be downright PAINFUL. It is long past time someone close to him let him know his time has passed and if he manages to win the nomination, out of nostalgia, he'll just be handing the election over to Trump. So far we've gone fairly easy on him because Democrats LIKE HIM. Imagine what the Republicans will do with him.

  81. @Halboro I see Sanders and his health differently. This is the problem when we use age as a deciding factor.

  82. @Jolton However you may feel about Sanders and his policies, there's no denying that he seems to be "all there," unlike Biden and Trump, for that matter.

  83. @tlasa Sanders’s interviews, including the NYTs, concern me. I am not impressed though I wish I were.

  84. Joe is right, age is just a number. But when one starts sundowning, his advisers need to step in. Not the donors who are buying a Reagan puppet. America has had a sundowning president already. It begat the most criminal administration to date; along with the beginning of a half century decline in the 99% and a rise in the top 1%. America doesn't need a Pres. that has promised his billionaire/Wall Street/Corp. donors that "nothing will change!" Sorry Joe. No. Thank you for your public service. Time to go swing a hammer with Jimmy. The pipers due is coming up really quickly, best have a few more good deeds in your pocket for St. Peter's gate toll.

  85. @Dobbys sock So no to Sanders also then. The majority of polled voters prefer Biden with Sanders in second. Knock those two out because of age concerns and who’s left? Warren is fading and ageism rules out Buttigieg for many voters who see him as too young. Bloomberg’s starting to look pretty good then, if we follow your logic.

  86. @Dobbys sock Ageism counts out Sanders too, you realize, right?

  87. @Dobbys sock I’m old enough to remember JFK. Consequently, Buttigieg doesn’t seem too young to me. Biden, Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg, Trump - all too old.

  88. Good ideas, vast experience, sure. But there are questions. One reason Obama is quoted as having chosen him for the VP was that Biden was to be the guy who knew how the Senate worked, and could help get things through. So what happened with Merrick Garland? Couldn't even get hearings. Where was Biden? Yes he was right on Afghanistan, but is he planning to get us out of there, or continue a forever unwinnable war?

  89. I'm just unsure how Joe Biden is not redux of Hillary Clinton. There's not a whole lot of daylight between Joe's and Hillary's policy proposals and political support. Both are in the pockets of Democratic establishment, have family members that traded political access for money, have electoral support largely based on their personal connections to previous presidents, achieved their cognitive peak a decade prior to their candidacy, and feel a sense of entitlement to the presidency because they've been in the political game for so long. His main argument seems to boil down to this: the traditional Democratic Coalition of white working-class plus African American voters is greater than the Republican establishment (minus the never Trumpers) and the Trump base. Yet, this is exactly the formula that Hillary Clinton used and lost: a majority of the white working-class has left the Democratic Party, a significant section of the African American voters who voted for Obama stayed home for Hillary, and Trump base in the swing states were much larger and more motivated than those who turned out for McCain and Romney. This time around, the Democrats need a candidate who will energize a new group of voters that is bigger than the new voters who voted for Trump (a monumental task) and fold them into the Democratic electorate: this interview makes it clear that Joe is not the candidate for this job.

  90. @UC Graduate Or, he could be the second coming of Walter Mondale. Both served as VP under the most recent Democratic president, both were absent from public life for four years before returning as their party's elder statesmen, both seemed to be the "safe" candidate against the Republican seeking re-election, and it's a good bet that Biden would also choose a female running mate. We recall what happened in 1984...

  91. @UC Graduate Or, he could be the second coming of Walter Mondale. Both served as VP under the most recent Democratic president, both were absent from public life for four years before returning as their party's elder statesmen, both seemed to be the "safe" candidate against the Republican seeking re-election, and it's a good bet that Biden would also choose a female running mate. We recall what happened in 1984...

  92. @UC Graduate His mind has started to wander, there's one thing that sets him apart from Hillary. I can't even imagine why democratic leadership hasn't taken Biden aside and tried to dissuade him from running. On the contrary, they seem to be promoting him. This guy is a ticking time bomb, we may as well run John Edwards.

  93. I agree age discrimination is rampant. But in this case, age should be a factor when considering who we elect for president. Our president has the hardest job in the world. It is enormously demanding. Age shouldn't be considered when hiring someone for most positions. But not for President. I don't support electing someone who is statistically more likely to have health problems and die in office because if something happens to him/her, it affects the entire country and the world. And a 75 year old is more likely to die in office than a 50 year old. I'm disappointed that posters keep discussing how useful Elizabeth Warren would be as running mate. I'm not thrilled with Elizabeth Warren's age either, but women usually live longer then men, and the not so veiled sexism many voters display toward her as a candidate is just as apparent as the ageism, if not more so. In 2020, it's sad that gender is still such an insurmountable obstacle to qualified women achieving their dreams. We heard it repeatedly when Clinton was running against Trump. Americans refused to vote for a woman as POTUS. Had Hillary Clinton been a man, we might have President Democrat running the country right now. Why would Warren only suffice as running mate? Why not Warren as POTUS and Biden as VP? Few of our former presidents were VPs before, so her inexperience in that role is not an adequate explanation for the continued assumption that she doesn't deserve serious consideration for the job.

  94. @Kristin The issue, for me at least, is that I have zero interest in Warren for President or VP, whether in combination with Biden or Sanders. And based on her polls, a lot of voters feel the same way about her. So where does that leave us?

  95. @Kristin I do not think the Presidency is the hardest job in the world. The man or woman in that office has an army of highly skilled, dedicated and talented people from our Federal Civil Service and military to draw upon for research, input, advice, and execution of policy. They also have an appointed army of officials throughout the Executive Branch that can make things happen and provide advice. Although I do not agree with the policies of many of our Presidents, none have yet driven us into a ditch to include the guy from Queens currently stinking up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Air Force One.

  96. @Jackson What I heard over and over and over again was: I COULDNT VOTE FOR THAT WOMAN! Most of the time I took it to mean I couldn’t vote for a woman.

  97. Biden blames Millennials for the current state of affairs? Breathtaking.

  98. @AB I read the interview carefully (as I did all the others) and yet somehow missed that — because it’s not there. Breath taken.

  99. I am not voting for any candidate who is so self-important and drenched in hubris that he refers to President Obama as "Barack".

  100. Millennial here: I won't be voting for Biden under any circumstances. If he wins the nomination (with the endorsement of this newspaper and the support of out-of-touch geriatrics across the country), the race will be about Ukraine and the impeachment proceedings). That's good news for Fox and the NYT but very bad news for the American people. He offered nothing but meandering rhetoric in this article and he's far from the most talented candidate but that won't stop the corporate media from boosting him.

  101. @AB I won't either. If he becomes the nominee, I won't vote at all. (Gen X.) Not that my vote matters anyway. I'm a liberal in a state that bleeds red.

  102. @AB So what’s the plan then? Hope everyone votes for your chosen candidate? Are you so certain your candidate is the right choice that you’re willing to risk four more years of Trump by not voting if you don’t get your way? I sincerely want to understand your view because, unlike you, I consider voting a sacred duty, one that people have died fighting for, and one that people in other countries wish they had, and again, are willing to die fighting for. Sitting out any election has never been an option for me.

  103. @AB Aged liberal here who will vote for Warren or Bernie in the primary but will vote for the party nominee in the general election as I did three years ago. PLEASE reconsider! You have so much more to lose than I do. I remember choosing not to vote once in my thirties and regret it. You can’t complain if you don’t vote but more importantly if we don’t take immediate action to mitigate global warming there is no future.

  104. With age comes wisdom Goodness knows this country of ours could use some NOW! Biden's the foreign policy expert we desperately require today. Go Joe Go,We the People are eagerly awaiting a return to sane times.

  105. Why are we even talking about Joe Biden in the year 2020? Just another sad example of how broken our electorate system is.

  106. @Nature It's the same reason we were talking about Hillary in 2016 - the Democratic Party Machine. They work hard to give the illusion of democracy but are really controlled a small bunch of bosses.

  107. Fair treatment of Biden. Wish Buttigieg and Warren, et al, were treated fairly as well.

  108. I'd vote for Biden without hesitation if he is the nominee. I think there is some risk involving Democratic and independent fracturing over the primaries; much more risk than Biden's age or Bernie's policies would pose to the country. In 2016, there was a strong contingent of anti-Bernie Hillary voters and anti-Hillary Bernie voters. If the primaries get too tendentious, which we're beginning to see between Bernie and Warren, the holdover animosity is going to pose a problem. I say that because human conflict is a strong, emotional force. And there is a lot of emotion when it comes to politics; it influences how we vote.

  109. @David Any concern about when he said, "We believe our truths over facts"?

  110. For some reason Gordon Lightfoot's song "Sundown" is stuck in my head. This is political malpractice to put this guy up there, it's sad and verges on elder abuse. Look at Joe in 2012 to now, it's not even close. Why is everyone propping him up as a viable candidate? Just to protect Kaiser, Blue Cross, and Atena?

  111. Incredible, not a single question on his support for the Iraq invasion, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, and is a catastrophe that continues to destabilize the region. But the editorial board made sure to ask Biden if he called an Iowan "fat". Thanks.

  112. Oh here we go. The Times is taking it easy on Biden, even offering platitudes in their introduction. I suspect this is in preparation for their endorsement. Biden is the one candidate in the field who I will not go out and campaign for. I'll vote for him, of course. But you won't find me knocking on doors and putting up signs. I don't even think I could bring myself to put up a yard sign for the man. If Biden is the nominee, turnout will be low and Trump will win. God help us. I hope I'm wrong.

  113. Normally I would disagree with Biden' statement. Sometimes you can be too old to work but ironically its the other way around today. Age discrimination in employment is rampant, accepted, institutional and ugly. Added in the mix, an ego maniac demagogue like Trump (and those are some of the nicer things I can say about him) and I say vote for Biden (assuming he is leading in the polls in Nov. like today against Trump) even if three doctors declare him senile. Trump imo is the biggest threat to our democracy since the Civil War.

  114. @Paul maybe, but the looming threat is our continued falling away from the LORD God. "Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34 KJV

  115. after reading all of these interviews (except steyer and booker), I am most impressed with Andrew Yang. he seems to have a more comprehensive understanding of the problems that lead to Trump's election and the implications of those problems for the future. VAT is intriguing, but I am not convinced that a UBI is the solution, and he has a lot of bizarre policy stances (including on circumcision), but I don't think an unexperienced businessman is the best candidate.

  116. @Leroy Jenkins The circumcision issue was a one-off that came out of the Yang's experience with two boy babies. The younger crowd has an active anti-circumcision movement ongoing, and they're right. It's something the boy themselves should be able to decide, not 'tradition' and the parents (who are often slightly pushed into it by docs who get a bit extra from the delivery with it). His UBI stance OTOH, would greatly benefit the vast majority of citizens with a trickle-up economy. A VAT tax on the personal data that we are now giving away for free along with on consumption (not of necessities but more on luxuries) would go a long ways toward evening out the current income disparities. Given the onset of of AI and robotics taking over millions of jobs, the alternative is too awful to contemplate. Read up about ALL his policies; judging him by one or two is unfair: yang2020.com/policies/

  117. I have watched every debate and am not convinced that Joe could take on Trump in a debate. He closes his eyes in order to speak a sentence, has frequent problems enunciating and often mumbles words that make no sense. The rest of the candidates are either not going to be nominated or are just too far left to get elected in a national election. I am looking forward to Mike Bloomberg being our nominee. He knows how to govern from being the mayor of NYC for 12 years, is financing his own campaign and will be a superb president. He earned his money fair and square, honestly, and is a true patriot to put it to use to defeat Trump. There is no one who even comes close to the total package he offers.

  118. @Simon Sez Bloomberg is the best candidate. It's a travesty he cannot participate in the Democratic Presidential debates because he is self-financed.

  119. @Simon Sez I have watched the debates as well and think Trump would eat him alive on the debate stage. Sad but true and I don’t know if I could even watch. I’m 79 and in the same place. Not as quick or smart as I used to be.

  120. @Simon Sez Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg is an impressive candidate because he cannot be bought and has ideas for improvement which are practical and can be accomplished.

  121. Much less detailed discussion of the economy and how to address challenges. Does seem to have a good grasp on the job. Better in a conference room than in a debate.

  122. Sorry, his noticeable slowing of speech is just a symptom of his mental degradation. I want a person who is cognitively aware...not just someone who doesn't know any other job and is willing to do what he has to maintain.

  123. Well - Pelosi and the Democratic establishment really helped out with the timing of the impeachment. Now all the progressive candidates are stuck in Washington while Biden can bumble along in Iowa. And to think Pelosi holding up the impeachment was a Trump Strategy - it was a Bernie Strategy - just as Bernie is moving up, he is knocked off the stage by Pelosi. Brilliant! Pelosi didn't get to be worth $300M while working a government job by not having sharp elbows.

  124. No, age is not just a number. It says quite a bit about the person. And although we all age at different speeds, and some of us are healthier than others, there is absolutely something about getting older that seems to be universal. I will be 73 this week. I am healthy (as far as I know), exercise 3 times a week without fail. I am not on any medication. I feel well, I am active. But I would be fooling myself if I believed that I am what I always was. I react slower to situations. I tire more easily than I used to and my memory, although pretty good, is also not what it used to be. Nothing drastic, but definitely a slowing down in many areas and I believe a normal state of affairs. I retired 2 years ago because I didn't want to deal with the stress any longer. I could still do my job, but the toll the stress took was no longer anything I wanted to put up with. So I called it a day and live a slower, less stressful life. Healthy, as long as it lasts. And I hope it lasts a long time yet.

  125. Well, candidate Biden may have moved 'fluidly' in the boardroom, he was not moving very fluidly during the last Democratic Presidential debate. At times he looked slightly confused or even moments away from sleepy-land. While Bernie is energetic and quick witted (I'm not stumping for Bernie here), Biden is subdued, often tongue-tied and searching for words. But age is just half the equation with Mr. Biden. Anyone remember his lies about his academic background during the late '80s? Or perhaps his role in reforming consumer bankruptcy laws, where consumer credit card debt was made undischargeable under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Yes, that was Uncle Joe's handy work as his home state, Delaware, is home to much of the consumer credit card business. And we're just at the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Biden is just like every other politician in DC, controlled by the special interests not by the will of the people. Which makes one wonder: how is it that he's so popular? His Obama administration experience? Think carefully folks! Next November's vote will be one of the most important of our lives.

  126. @Bo Baconator To me, Biden's base consists of two types of voters. The first of which are the default, low-information voters. Joe Biden has massive name recognition because of his time as Obama's VP, so there are likely a good few who support him because that's the name they know. The other type of Biden voter has been convinced that Joe Biden would be the most electable against President Trump. Personally, I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that Joe Biden is the most electable Democratic candidate because of the record outlined in the original comment and his current mental capacity. I would also add that Biden is on the record advocating for cutting Social Security and Medicare, both of which Trump has campaigned on preserving and has preserved thus far. How is it that the Democrats could put up a candidate that Trump can outflank from the left on certain issues? All this being said, Biden will be a strong competitor in the primary so long as his "electability," however that is defined, isn't properly challenged. The Sanders campaign and its surrogates have started making that case, but Sanders himself hasn't made a strong enough case yet. For Sanders, that's a big worry because Biden supporters' top second choice is Sanders himself. I think Sanders will be fine if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, which he currently looks set to achieve, but this race could have been his much earlier had he started making a case for why Biden is unelectable sooner.

  127. I do not want an 80 year old pilot on my commercial flights. I do not want an 80 year old surgeon operating on me. And I do not want Biden to be president. I'll vote for him if that's my only option but I certainly hope it's not.

  128. Interesting. ...thank you for the chance to "hear" Biden somewhere other than a crowded debate stage. On age I think he has a point. Some of the oldest farts I know are in their 30's and 40's, and I know some truly creative alert thinkers well into their 60's.

  129. @PJM Well into their 60s is not pushing 80.

  130. Yeah, Joe is old and lacks the verbal nimbleness some younger people have. And he carries some baggage, although not that much for someone his age who's been in DC as long as he has. BUT - A solid plurality of Democrats prefer him as the nominee. Are they wrong? Who can doubt Biden would be a huge improvement over the present POTUS? If an Electoral College majority that wants an end to the chaotic noise that now passes for America's government exists - and I believe there is such a beast - Biden/Klobuchar is the winning ticket.

  131. Would a guy Biden's say his age is a matter of concern. Before we measure him for a rocking chair we all need to take a big breathe.Biden is still standing upright so we need to give the guy a break. Bernie is older than Biden and his age never seems to be peoples primary concern.

  132. "Age may be just a number," but with Biden aged 77 his number is really up. As a 79-year old in what is considered excellent health, I'm all too aware of the decline in mental and physical abilities. With all his mental slips, fumbles, and gaffs, I would only vote for him if he's the nominee. Ditto for Bernie Sanders at 78 who seems mentally and physically sharp, but who has a high probability, according to the research data, of second heart attack during his first-term that is disqualifying along with a number of other issues.

  133. Numbers are symbols that correspond to whatever is being counted. In the case of the age of persons it includes health and abilities. When age is referred to as only a number, one can bet it’s a large number and the consequence of wishful thinking.

  134. Why did the paper of record not ask "middle-class Joe" to account for his support of outsourcing trade deals, bank deregulation, and the bankruptcy bill, all of which brought great harm to middle and working class families?

  135. @Ann And why nothing on his longstanding efforts to cut Social Security and his recent call for means testing on Social Security and Medicare?

  136. Biden, because the DNC Party bosses, in their great and unmatched wisdom, think Biden will somehow appease those 73,000 upper midwest swing voters who thought Clinton was too mainstream. You saw some nice debates, now support Biden and stop all the silly talk about health care and climate change.

  137. The introduction here is far too generous.

  138. As a physician I have to question Mr. Biden's comment that drug addiction is caused by mental illness. Drug addiction is a mental illness. What he is saying would be akin to saying leukemia is caused by cancer.

  139. I can't believe the questions your editorial board is asking him. So much time spent on reparations and marijuana. It reminds me of the students or faculty at a university where I taught. A president has to deal with foreign policy. People are struggling to get by every day. We also have a huge national debt. You say you are focusing on issues he hasn't been asked about. But you seem to be focusing on issues of interest to left wing liberals. I'm a Democrat and a UC Berkeley graduate. I was vs. the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. So I am not some ultra conservative. I just find the focus of your interview revealing about the NYT and disappointing. I would rather have a Midwestern farmer ask the questions.

  140. Positions and policies aside. Reading this one after reading PB's is startling. Biden's thoughts are just not organized and are difficult to follow. Not sure if it's age or just the ability to communicate logically.

  141. @Tom in my opinion, it's just a different style. Joe Biden speaks as though he's having a conversation with another human being.

  142. @Tom Between Joe and Bernie, Joe comes off as the spry one.

  143. A lot of big numbers, all related to age, for the ultimate WSH insider for forever. That said, his age must not be taken against him - free to run and win, and repeat. But it is the ultimate mental laziness to not being able to think of anybody else than our friend and uncle Joe, 50 years on tv and in WSH hallways. And, sorry about that, but please add Burisma somewhere there, for completeness.

  144. If nominated, Biden should announce that he would serve only one term as President, and select a VP such as Klobuchar or Harris or someone else in the same age range.

  145. @Rip Murdock Joe is showing he is pretty spry. No need to make such an announcement.

  146. Only the elderly say age is just a number.

  147. @Olivia And the young think they will live forever and don't save for retirement.

  148. Not nearly enough has been made of Biden’s vulnerability in the Ukraine/Burisma scandal. Even with innocence he is tainted. Scandals dogged Clinton in 2016 and do we really need a replay. Biden hasn’t sufficiently answered everything and it’s been months. Hunter’s life continues to be People magazine fodder and isn’t going away.

  149. @Winston All of the crimes, bad decisions, nasty tweets, cuddling with dictators will continue to plague Donald Trump. Few in politics can escape this. There is no reason to reject VP Biden because of his being magazine fodder. Joe Biden, a moderate Democrat, is still the best choice in my opinion. He's got my financial support and my vote.

  150. I think it might be fun to vote for my 18-month-old niece. Just a number. Not saying, just saying.

  151. "Age is just a number." -R. Kelley Sorry, couldn't resist. I support Joe, just was too much temptation, perfect setup, just had to be done.

  152. Yes, age matters. It is a genetic roll of the dice, so one 80 year old may be quite sharp, while another may be noticeably slowing down. But in general, though I am no expert in the field, I'd say it's typical to be slowing down at 80 - and earlier. Biden sounds, in every way, like age is taking its toll.

  153. Times board, thanks so much for these rich, in-depth interviews with the Democratic candidates. This is so much better than the televised debates. You're helping us find out how each person thinks and what's inside them. What I get from Mr. Biden's interview is his experience in politics and with human beings. And above all, his good character. I'm waiting eagerly to see what the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina decide. Vote Blue, No Matter Who -- Congress, State, and Local Too.

  154. Anyone who is old knows that age is not just a number. I am a fit member of the senior community, but things happen as you age. I would love it if this wasn't true, but sadly, I find it hard to get up when I fall down skiing, I find it hard to remember things that I know are still in my brain. Still, better Joe Biden than DT, who is also no spring chicken and has never had an original thought in his life.

  155. Warren and Sanders are also “older adults” but are much more articulate and passionate about issues than Joe.

  156. Pure Joe. That was quite an interview. I appreciate these transcripts. I think the interviewers exhibited some "ageism" and seemed to be badgering him a bit too much on issues related to his age. I think Biden came across as genuine, if long-winded (we're used to that), and quite capable. All the current Dem candidate exhibit honor and intelligence, and all would (hopefully one will be) restore honor to our currently disgraced presidency. Thanks. Good interview; good comments.

  157. I am not a Biden fan. But I do respect him for standing up against the establishment that is trying to use him to gain the White House but deny him the opportunity to run again if he wanted to. It’s absolutly unAmerican for anyone to suggest such a thing.

  158. Yes, 77 is "just a number." And this November, it becomes 78, And four years later, it advances to 82. It could all be blithely dismissed as semantics, or even numerology, except for the fact that the cognitive decline has already been noticeable, at times even alarming. The issue of ageism is invariably injected into the discussion, but what's also important not to overlook is common sense. Amid the frequent invoking of "Barack" in hope of benefiting from the 44th president's reflected glory, it's worth remembering that when Mr. Obama took office, he was 47. It's also worth remembering that despite Mr. Biden's repeated assurances that he possesses uniquely magical powers to "reach across the aisle," two of his high-profile missions to Capitol Hill -- gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators in Newtown, Conn., followed by the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland -- both went nowhere. Which leaves voters with the inevitable question: Is this a risk worth taking? The stakes, obviously, have never been higher.

  159. It is nice that he defends Bernie's age like that. But Biden still tried to slash Social Security benefits, he still voted for and long supported the Iraq War, he's still the go-to guy for donor politics of the worst of the Democratic Party.

  160. A lot of sour grapes in this comments section. I am voting for Joe Biden in the primary, and will sit at home for Sanders or Warren. Take heed, fellow Times readers—there are many like me. Four years of stable Democratic leadership and I might change my mind in favor of a more progressive candidate.

  161. It's a nice uplifting saying about age being just a number, but the truth is, I can tell you, your body starts breaking down variously according to age in various ways, gradually or suddenly. This does not mean a person is not capable of being president at an older age, especially these days. Other countries have had and do have older leaders ( male and female), leaders with failing health. But it's critical to have truthful reports on the health of a president mental and physical. This we do not have with Trump who leads us into dangerous waters with a gaggle of sycophants unwilling to tell on him. Why is the media exempting Trump? Why are they on Biden and Sanders?

  162. @Potter Due to the climate change, the poor medial care people receive, the terrible junk food we are forced to eat because we cant afford Roche Brothers. The body begins to break down from birth on. Minority deaths in childbirth are high, that has nothing to do with age. It has to the culture of this country that doesnt care for any American. Nursing homes are forced on people who die within two weeks of entering just so profit can be made. ER are nightmares why? its all about the money. If we treated everyone fairly our bodies wouldn't break down. All factors need to be examined before wee can honesty say that age is a factor in our bodies breaking down.

  163. These interviews are fantastic and really force the candidates to reflect and expand upon their positions--much better than the "debates". What I find troubling with Biden is his inability to articulate his positions and explanations. He seems to have a hard time completing a thought with clarity. There are so many asides and insertions, I no longer know what he is talking about. it's as if he doesn't want to get pinned down on anything and can then spin it to his advantage if necessary. Whether it's due to age or too many years in politics he sounds like a salesman (sorry salesmen) trying to say anything in order to close a deal

  164. I think Joe is on to something here! As an early octogenarian, I can still get around, take nourishment, and do a few good deeds every now and then. There are some nonagenerians who can still move about on the dance floor. My brother died from cancer after just turning 60. We lost a son at the age of 6, and so on. Proof positive that age is indeed a number....and that's all. The rest is left up to fate. As ABBA sung it, "Take a Chance on Me." Joe is right. Fate is the lonely hunter. You never know.

  165. Has the Comments section of The Time been captured by a subset of readers? It looks like the Bernie fans are out in force, repeating the same old tropes against Biden that they used against Hillary Clinton four years ago, which Trump seized on to win the general election. I don't know if Biden will win the nomination or the election, but national surveys repeatedly show little support for Bernie outside a handful of states.

  166. @Smford with all due respect that is not true. Bernie is officially tied with Biden in national polls and outright winning in: Iowa, New Hampshire, close in Nevada, New Mexico, and California. Further, he beats trump in almost all of the important swing states. His base is growing and he has the best ground game and money (minus the billionaires running) of any of the candidates. Biden's support is very soft in comparison. There are reasons why us "Bernie Bros" (I am a queer woman of color btw) are in full force. He is the most popular Senator in America, the second most popular politician--only topped by Obama, has the majority of Latino support, officially is tied with Biden with black support, and dominates all candidates among voters 40 and under. Further, he is wildly popular internationally. Just sayin...we aren't a cult. His base is easily as large as Trump's and inclusive of every American whereas Trump's excludes almost all Americans. Just sayin...check the data. He's arguably the frontrunner.

  167. I am not sure of his verbal integrity – which might be overrated – but if able to cast a vote I would vote for this man. I believe his use of language would not engender in me thought, for or against his words, able to be designated as emotive rubbish; this is my one complaint of the current President, whose thought and speech I try – sometimes racking my mind – not to disrespect. I wish that all might go well for Trump and that he serves just one term (no more).

  168. And Biden's policy positions show that his non-numbered version of age is pretty old as well.

  169. More than anything, these Times interviews remind me that there is no perfect candidate. Also, that it's impossible to predict which candidate is most likely to unseat the uniquely (and multiply) unqualified POTUS who never should have had a path to the White House in the first place. 'Til I read this piece it hadn't registered that Biden's communications shortcomings (someone, please coach him in completing his thought before detouring onto a tangent) bear similarity to Trump's -- many of whose supporters like his "plain-spoken" manner. Is it possible that, with that subset of voters, this annoyance is actually an ASSET? At least the content of Biden's strange locutions is not Trumpishly cruel, divisive, bigoted, dishonestly fabricated or ignorant. As for Biden himself, he's not my first choice, but if he ends up leading the ticket -- particularly with a strong running mate -- yes he has my vote. I'll just have to remind myself over and over that while he doesn't even see that the marijuana ship has pretty much sailed, he was ahead of the (granted, belated) curve on marriage equality. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. Let not the perfect...

  170. How sad to see a man show his weaknesses on stage and in an interview. What is left? Watching him is painful enough, but reading his responses is even more so, as he has the opportunity to answer without a time constraint and he still fails miserably. One does not award to most powerful position in the world to someone because it's their 'turn' - Hillary - or because you empathize with their tragedies - Joe. The Democrats have failed once again and given us a biased and mediocre primary. Take your thumb off the scale and see if Joe survives. My guess is not.

  171. ahh joe biden... the man has never let a bandwagon pass without hopping on board and taking the reins. good, bad, who cares where it is going, it serves his purpose now. he will express his 'regret' (and nothing more) a few years down the road.

  172. Are Trump's rambling news conferences, speeches, misquotes, etc. a factor of HIS age? Or was he always like this?

  173. As much as I would like to agree with the old age is just a number put forth by Biden, I can’t...age is just a number when you’re 5, 15 25, 35 but when your in your late 70’s and running for President it’s a concern...physical and mentally your body is eroding and being President at that age is not the same as being a Walmart greeter at 77.

  174. Actress Betty White turned 98 today; she's still working and is still vital and active. Age "is" just a number.

  175. Age is just a number--until it isn't.

  176. Joe Biden had his turn as VP. He has stale old ideas and a horrible track record on progressive policies. We need fresh thinking in the 21st century, not hackneyed thinking.

  177. Alas for Joe Biden great age is far more than just a number. Even if former VP Biden has a much younger running mate (female or male), it'll be a tough slog for him, for them, to beat whomever is running on the G.O.P. Ticket this year. Will Donald John Trump beat the Impeachment Senate Trial rap with his dream-team? Will he continue running and rallying for re-election? Democracy's future isn't ours to know, so we're back to que sera, sera time in America.

  178. "I said, if you like your plan, you can keep it, assuming — I should add the obvious — if your employer doesn’t take it away from you. O.K.?" That's exactly what GM did when workers went on strike for better wages. Biden just indirectly endorsed Sanders' medicare for all.

  179. He's old-old. Slow, uninformed, distractible, not fit for this job. Which is okay. A lot of us are slowing down, in our much later years. Only the really special ones are still going strong. Biden is not one of them.

  180. I understand the answers Biden gave to the NYT questions. I remember the busing debate and his decision at the time not to support it. That was the right decision because so many Delawareans agreed with it. Biden voted to go to war with Iraq but we had bad intelligence with even Colin Powell being snookered. As for Biden's age, it is irrelevant and compensated for by his wisdom and experience. I would personally vote for a Biden/Klobuchar ticket and I am a strong Independent who believes our nation is best served by thoughtful and measured improvements to social programs and many fewer wars.

  181. What a rambling hash of an interview. One hopes it was more coherent listening to it live than it appeared on paper. But, in all fairness, Biden is no more scattered and inarticulate than Trump is or GW Bush was. The big problem is that Trump has an instinct for the jugular, while Biden's defense mechanisms often seem slow to kick in. That's a disadvantage in gutter warfare. Biden could bleed to death before he even knew he was cut. He manages OK when is able to stay on his memorized script. But when he is tossed off it, he either fumbles and stumbles, or dashes desperately to an unrelated topic. Biden's canned answer on Hunter's Ukrainian gig is unsatisfactory. He must come up with something better or Trump will rip him apart. The trap is that Hunter's sweetheart deal is a perfect example of the kind of legal corruption that enrages Trump's base. Democrats naively believe legal corruption is invisible. Ergo, if you just show that a ripoff isn't overtly illegal, you are home free. Hunter Biden sold his celebrity name to Burisma. Burisima was simply buying an appearance of respectability. Hunter was scrupulous in not trying to influence his father, and Joe was scrupulous in not talking business to his son -- because they both understood that is how the legal corruption game works. The in-your-face aspect of Trumpism is his base saying, in effect, we embrace the overt corruption of Trump because it at least is authentic; your too clever legal corruption is hypocrisy.

  182. I keep hearing mixed messages. Democrats seem to have no enthusiasm for Biden. But they have even less enthusiasm for any of the other candidates. Are we really that depressed? Jaded? Hopeless? If even liberals don't care for the options, Trump is a shoe-in.

  183. At this point locked in on Biden/Warren ticket. Would make a good team. Age thing - a none issue. Me 78 - consider Joe, like myself as "not old --- just chronologically gifted." Joe known for integrity, long & extensive experience in national and international affairs, knows the ropes, what bells to ring, empathy. Steeled and tempered by unbelievable family tragedies. Moderate, bipartisan. I also see patience and courtesy. What's not to like? Warren, intelligent, detail oriented, needs more pragmatism, that will come. Time as VP would stand her in good stead for President in 2024. Bernie - nope. Not my cup of tea. He was a spoiler in 2016 - not again. Free college - nope. Free Jr. College - yes. Above all folks - Dump Trump. VOTE!!

  184. More than anything, these Times interviews remind me that there is no perfect candidate. Also, that it's impossible to predict which candidate is most likely to unseat the uniquely (and multiply) unqualified POTUS who never should have had a path to the White House in the first place. 'Til I read this piece it hadn't registered that Biden's communications shortcomings (someone, please coach him in completing his thought before detouring onto a tangent) bear similarity to Trump's -- many of whose supporters like his "plain-spoken" manner. Is it possible that, with that subset of voters, this annoyance is actually an ASSET? At least the content of Biden's strange locutions is not Trumpishly cruel, divisive, bigoted, dishonestly fabricated or ignorant. As for Biden himself, he's not my first choice, but if he ends up leading the ticket -- particularly with a strong running mate -- yes he has my vote. I'll just have to remind myself over and over that while he doesn't even see that the marijuana ship has pretty much sailed, he was ahead of the (granted, belated) curve on marriage equality. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. Let not the perfect...

  185. We are yearning for boring guy who you wouldn't be embarrassed having over for dinner. Joe Biden fits the Bill. I'am hoping Joe thinks Twitter is species of bird.

  186. Age is just a number. Right. And death is just a noun.

  187. Said could be said for 'I.Q'.

  188. He doesn't come across as very intelligent---but he does come across a bit insolent--and slightly arrogant.

  189. This was a painful read. The answers were poorly organized, tangential, at times incomprehensible, and disjointed to the point of being funny at times -- e.g., the Times "clarifying" that Senator Moynihan did not in fact introduce crack to the United States as Mr. Biden stated. Regardless of Mr. Biden's experience, his communication skills are lacking.

  190. Joe Biden is the most likely Democratic nominee to lose to Trump. Biden's evil retrograde position to keep marijuana illegal federally will be hung around his neck by a million Trump Facebook ads. Biden is the one Democratic candidate who could plausibly lose Colorado and any other state that has voted to legalize marijuana. Joe Biden is the architect of mass incarceration policies that have hurt, really hurt, tens of millions. He is not in the least apologetic. He created federal agencies that for decades prevented marijuana from being studied in a scientific way. Those agencies denied studies that could have saved the lives of epileptic children. Biden claims to have always supported the black community. No. Four black citizens have been arrested for marijuana for every white citizen arrested. Joe Biden and way too many "moderate" Democrats happily got on board with Nixon's War on Drugs, and never made any practical distinction in the law between heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. This is the election when the Democratic party votes to dismantle the Nixon/Biden Drug War architecture.

  191. If democratic party cannot see what is in front of them, then the country is doomed for generation. Trump and Trumpisim was created by the GOP but was also helped by weak minded and risk averse democrats. The current Democratic leadership should have the wisdom and courage to see what is in front of them, which is Trump's kryptonite is strong, competent and nonsense women of his generation. To save America from the cancer of Trumpisim, they must allow Nancy to prep him this winter, with full recovery administered by Elizabeth this winter. In Nancy and Elizabeth, history will finally give American women leaders their due. Democrats! don't be stupid be a smarty and allow your women to ascend to your party!