As the week ended, President Trump appeared to celebrate some newfound youth, gleefully telling reporters outside the White House: “I just feel like a young man. I’m so young! I can’t believe it. I’m the youngest person! I am a young, vibrant man!” He was comparing himself, with his usual hyperbolic flair, to rival candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. It is true that if either one of these septuagenarians wins the Democratic nomination, Trump will be the younger of the two major-party candidates. But the age difference would only be a few years.
Trump has been ridiculed for his age before, so he would no doubt welcome the opportunity to be the younger candidate. Before Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “fell in love,” Kim and his government liked to taunt Trump with a Korean word that means “old lunatic” or “dotard” in English. In September 2017, Kim warned that “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.” A couple of months later, Kim’s government called Trump an “old lunatic,” prompting an offended Trump to tweet, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!” Unfazed by Trump’s sarcasm, North Korea took things further, branding Trump as “an old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject.”
Now that Biden is officially in the race, Trump is acting like he has taken a drink from the Fountain of Youth. In addition to telling reporters how youthful and vibrant he is, Trump attacked his rivals for being or appearing much older than him. “I know they’re all making me look very young, both in terms of age and I think in terms of energy,” the 72-year-old insisted.
Soon after Donald Trump’s remarks to reporters on Friday morning, Joe Biden appeared on ABC’s “The View” and proceeded to shut Trump down. “If he looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home,” Biden said to laughter and applause. Indeed, as Biden reminded us, “Everybody knows who Donald Trump is.” Biden is a different type of candidate than Trump, clearly uninterested in playing his petty chest-thumping games. Instead, Biden simply suggested people follow him on the campaign trail to see if he has the “energy and the capacity.” As Biden put it, “The best way to judge me is to watch.”