Even among the ultra-elderly figures who populate the Old Testament, Methuselah holds the record for longevity at 969 years. Curiously, he didn’t do much except beget more famous biblical figures; his son Lamech would father the somewhat more famous Noah, the last biblical figure to survive over 900 years. I guess humanity got soft after the flood.
Those of us confined to this vale of tears generally don’t survive much past 100 these days, but apparently Joe Biden is something special. In a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Saturday, according to the New York Post, the former vice president said he entered the Senate “180 years ago.”
If that were true, Biden’s history might read something like this …
He was a young senator, having been elected to the upper chamber at the age of 29, only turning 30 (the minimum age to be a senator) just before he took office in 1840.
A lot’s happened since then. Biden’s history on race in the run-up to the Civil War is a hotly contested topic these days, but he swears he was always against slavery and shouldn’t have said working with Southern congressmen like John C. Calhoun and Preston Brooks constituted a different era of “civility” in Washington.
He’s tried to minimize his votes in the run-up to the Panic of 1893 despite the fact he consistently supported policies that encouraged the railroad bubble. His support for America’s entry into the League of Nations has also been a source of criticism for the Delaware senator.
Things have changed a lot in those 180 years and Biden has very, very, very slowly worked his way up the ladder to finally attain the Democratic Party’s nomination for president at the age of 210. Now, the oldest man alive is facing off against —
According to the New York Post, Biden started the Saturday speech “by praising mayors for taking care of Americans’ practical day-to-day needs, and for being on the front lines during fires, floods, health emergencies and school shootings.”
“That’s why I’ve made it a priority my entire career to work closely with you, from the time I got to the Senate 180 years ago.”
He then gave a strange laugh. “You know?” he added, blinking repeatedly. “As well as my tenure as vice president.”
Sure, sure. Yes. We know, haha. Hilarious. Mo~om, Uncle Joe’s acting screwy again.
WATCH: Joe Biden misreads the teleprompter: “I got to the Senate 180 years ago” pic.twitter.com/tPtHHtNlcq
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 26, 2020
The problem is that Methuselah probably shouldn’t be the guy J/K-ing about this one.
First, old politicians joking tend to seem like they’re glitching. Almost none of them were exactly Steve Martin-esque entertainers when they were in their prime and, now that they’ve reached senescence, it’s even worse.
Take this much passed-around clip from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last Sunday trying to … well, just watch:
What did I just watch??
In the middle of an interview Nancy Pelosi seems to completely lose her mental acuity
ANCHOR: “To be clear, you’re not ruling anything out?”
PELOSI: “Good morning. Sunday morning.”
Leaves Stephanopoulos looking dumbfoundedpic.twitter.com/xKzw7qG2Wj
— Jake Hoffman (@JMHoffman) September 21, 2020
The general line of defense for Pelosi that’s emerged after the interview is that she was trying to shut Stephanopoulos down. If that was her intent, however, the actual effect was somewhat different. From the looks of things, Stephanopoulos wouldn’t have been more confused if Pelosi started singing “The Girl from Ipanema” and juggling apples.
Second, this joke sounds way too much like other errors Biden has made. It’s the “Saturday Night Live” skit version of a regular Biden gaffe.
Here’s Biden telling an audience earlier this month that there were over 6,000 military dead from COVID-19. Actual number at that point: seven.
Video: Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden misstates number of COVID infections and COVID deaths among U.S. military personnel.
Biden: Over 6,000 dead.
Actual: 7 dead.
Neither the CBS News report nor tweet noted the discrepancy. pic.twitter.com/9rYhmExNWx
— The Hill Report (@StandWithAZ) September 10, 2020
Probably a rounding error. Here’s the Democratic nominee for president saying 200 million Americans had died of COVID-19:
Joe Biden: “It’s estimated that 200 million people will die, probably by the time I finish this talk.”
That’s nearly 2/3 of the U.S. population. pic.twitter.com/lp23K11K3o
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 20, 2020
The actual number at that point was about to pass 200,000, not million. A stickler for detail he isn’t, unless it involves lifting speeches from leftist British politicians.
Finally, why even remind voters of the most glaring problem with Joe Biden — that he’s not only 77 but a high-mileage 77?
At this point, it’s better for Biden to play it straight and stick the landing than lean on a sense of humor that wasn’t even particularly strong when Biden was young and spry. He took office in the Senate 47 years ago, not 180, but when you watch him it certainly feels closer to the latter number than it does the former.
Now, he wants to be elected to a profoundly demanding office where putting a lid on his days at 9:30 in the morning isn’t an option.
At this point, you’d almost prefer Methuselah, in spite of his lack of recorded achievements. He’s been dead for roughly 6,000 years, meaning he can be found on Chicago’s voter rolls. Biden’s on the actual ballot, however, a prospect that should disconcert us all.
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