By Ari Kaufman,
Joe Biden recently lent support to Mitch McConnell in the wake of a second episode on Aug. 30, in which the 81-year-old Republican leader briefly froze while taking questions.
Why this reply? The last thing Biden — who turns 81 in November — wants is for Republicans to show consistency on the issue of age and public service, particularly when the vast majority of Americans, including two-thirds of Democrats, agree Biden is too elderly to run again.
Partisanship sometimes imposes consistency, even in an age of negative partisanship and political expediency.
But the Biden-McConnell comparison is imperfect. McConnell’s difficulties stem from a bad fall. And while Biden often appears confused or languid, he has not endured a public episode akin to the McConnell freeze-ups caught on camera.