Biden's Age, Mental Health to Be Under Close Scrutiny in Coming Debate With Trump, Analytics Say

© AP Photo / Morry GashPresident Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden debate during their first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Sept. 29, 2020.
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden debate during their first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Sept. 29, 2020.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 27.06.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden's age and state of mental health will be the main issues under close scrutiny in the first of two nationally televised live debates with Republican challenger and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night, political analysts told Sputnik.
Biden, 81, the oldest man to serve as President of the United States, continues to pile up embarrassing displays of verbal, mental, and physical confusion in his public appearances.
Despite continued favorable and uncritical coverage in the US corporate media, a long succession of opinion polls display widespread concerns, including among committed Democratic voters, that he could plausibly serve another four year term in the White House.
Trends Journal publisher Gerald Celente said all eyes will be on how Biden comports himself and responds to Trump's high energy debating style.
"I believe that those who watch it will be most interested to see and hear if Joe Biden is mentally capable to debate," Celente said.
Adding to the pressure, Trump will certainly focus on Biden's record on the inflation-crippled and stalling domestic economy, as well as the soaring illegal immigration and crime rates attributed directly to the Biden administration's open-door border policy, he said.
"As the [former President Bill] Clinton team said back in the 1992 campaign, 'It's the economy, stupid.' The economy is number one on the voting public's mind and immigration will be number two," Celente said.
While Biden has always been a bumbling and often confusing public speaker throughout his career, the problem has now reached epic proportions in his years as president, resulting in difficulty completing sentences and thoughts in an intelligent manner, he said.
Trump is forceful and direct, and he also often goes off on tangential issues rather than sticking to his main points of policy, so for him, the issue will be "staying with the facts" when confronting Biden, Celente said.
US support for Ukraine in its disastrous war with Russia will likely be an issue for the two men to clash over, and, by contrast, both will compete over which one is doing more to support Israel, he said.
However, this first debate is too far ahead of the November election and comes at the beginning of the leisurely three-month summer season for it to have too much political impact, as much can happen between now and then, Celente said.

Biden Fighting to Achieve a "Boring Draw"

Political commentator Charles Ortel said Biden is not going to melt down into garbled incoherence in public, as he has so often done before, and will coast quietly in the uncritical support he continues to receive from the US media.
"His handlers will pray that Biden eschews word salads, obvious and bloated lies, or literally falls down. If he remains sentient (a huge question), Biden should avoid making mistakes that starkly call his governance abilities into question," Ortel said.
Trump, by contrast, will be on the offensive, recognizing his own dramatically growing support among many traditional Democratic constituencies who have suffered the most from the failing economy and crime epidemic, Ortel said.
Trump, therefore, should not stoop to angry ripostes but instead should exude confidence, hope and excellent humor, he said.
Despite his incumbency and the lockstep unity of the corporate media establishment behind him, it is Biden who will have the most difficult task with his personal credibility plummeting in his own party's ranks, Ortel said.
"There is a huge power vacuum in the Democrat Party. I believe insiders know that running Biden with Harris now is likely trying to sell leprosy and cancer as a diet plan," Ortel said.
Biden entered the contest on shaky ground, and despite the four months still to go before the presidential election, a bad performance on Thursday night could deal a fatal blow to his reelection chances, he said.
If the Democrats foolishly then stick with Biden, the United States may be looking at a landslide Trump victory, akin to challenger Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, Ortel said.
As with then President Jimmy Carter in 1980, most Americans in 2024 are far worse off now mired in Bidenomics, crime and war than they were under Trump before the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns occurred, he said.
California State University Emeritus Professor of Politics Beau Grosscup said both men would try to remain true to their stereotype images, with Biden aiming to appear cautious and statesmanlike while Trump aggressively attacks him.

"Trump will seek to prove Biden is old; Biden to prove he isn't. Trump will seek to avoid connections to his convictions, bankruptcies, January 6 role, mental status," Grosscup said.

However, foreign policy caution, which played well for Biden in 2020, would be a millstone around his neck with so many global catastrophes and US policy failures on his record since then, he said.
"Biden will seek to avoid being tainted with Israeli genocide and with his support for the Ukraine war and with the desertion of many young people from his cause," Grosscup said.
Biden only has to fight for a boring draw and avoid any spectacular embarrassment, but any major public failure by him would be politically fatal, he said.
"How significant to the election will this first debate be? Very little, unless there is a total breakdown by Biden," Grosscup added.