After launching her campaign this week, former UN ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley subtly emphasized the age of the two presumptive front-runners in the 2024 presidential campaign — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump — by calling for older politicians to submit to “mental competency tests.”
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said on Wednesday, according to Fox News. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
So the Democrats called in Vice President Kamala Harris — a politician who proves that one need not live for three-quarters of a century to come across as mentally befogged. To say she succeeded is an understatement, particularly when you see the expression on her interviewer’s face after she defended her octogenarian boss.
Harris was being interviewed by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell at the Munich Security Conference, where Harris is representing the U.S. (I’m guessing Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “Corn Pop,” that one dead Amtrak conductor Joe keeps making up stories about, and literally anyone else remotely in Biden’s orbit were all unavailable.)
Mitchell mentioned Haley’s announcement and said her rhetoric was aimed “very pointedly at both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, people over 75.” Harris was asked whether she thought requiring cognitive tests for elderly politicians was a good idea.
Now, watch Harris answer “no” in the most circuitous, incomprehensible way possible while still using words:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 17, 2023
“When you present the suggestion that anyone is saying that it is time for a new generation, and they’re running against the person who is president, and when presented as though it’s an attack, I would like to let us all be clear that the attack is misplaced if the point of it is that we need leadership that is strong because we have a strong leader in Joe Biden,” Harris said.
In trying to parse that word salad, one notices a look briefly flash across Mitchell’s countenance — a bit like her brain is a Commodore 64 trying to load Photoshop. That said, even though Mitchell is over 75 herself — 76, to be exact — she’s sharp enough to know that bit of rhetorical software on Harris’ part is incompatible with coherence. So she gives up and thanks her for her time.
Consider the cognitive test passed, at least in Mitchell’s case. Harris, eh, not so much.
This was actually the second time Haley’s remarks were brought up during the interview — and the first answer Harris gave was only slightly more coherent, if just by default.
The first time, Mitchell mentioned Haley’s comment about America needing a “new generation” of politicians and asked whether Harris was “that new generation for the Democrats if the president decides not to run.”
“So let me say that I think that is very coded language, and what I know from traveling our country is the American people want leaders who will see what’s going on in their lives and create solutions, not just offer solutions, but create solutions,” Harris said.
“And in Joe Biden, we have a president who is probably one of the boldest and strongest American presidents we have had in his response to the needs of the American people.”
She then went on to say Biden had capped the price of insulin for seniors and would be getting rid of “lead pipes in America” — something she claimed “grandmothers and grandfathers for years have been complaining about.”
Let me translate that for you: “Nikki Haley is using ‘coded language’ to reach Americans concerned about our president’s age. Here, let me use similarly coded language to scare older voters into supporting him.”
The problem is that Biden’s cognition is a real issue — and the Democrats can’t run away from it after they spent the four years of the Trump administration banging on about his supposed cognitive decline and the need to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Say what you will about Trump, but moments like these weren’t exactly commonplace between January 2017 and January 2021:
Is everything okay?
— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) April 29, 2022
And I just picked that one at random. My Twitter bookmarks are so full of “huh?” word salad jumbles from Grandpa President that I could throw a dart at my monitor and come away with 1) $850 worth of damage, considering it’s an iMac and Apple literally charges $20 for a microfiber cloth you could get for cents on Amazon, and 2) convincing evidence Joe Biden should resign immediately.
In fact, the only salient counterargument one could make is that Harris would be the woman replacing him. Heck, maybe that’s why he picked her. He may senile, but you can’t say ol’ Uncle Joe doesn’t have a little bit of craftiness left in him.
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