Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Happy Birthday, Mr. President... Happy Birthday to You

Please do make sure to read that headline in the voice of Marilyn Monroe. Anyhow, yesterday was Joe Biden's 81st birthday.

Biden handled the situation using the only two viable tools available for someone many voters consider to be too old: (1) He made jokes and (2) he tried to downplay the occasion. The President posted this picture of his birthday cake to Instagram:

Biden smiles, his face aglow
as a result of the large fire on top of his cake

He added this caption: "Thanks for the birthday well-wishes today, everyone. Turns out on your 146th birthday, you run out of space for candles!" We salute the self-effacing nature of that line, but we would have gone with something snappier. Like, for example: "Good thing we passed some money for green tech, since my cake is undoubtedly contributing to global warming." Or maybe: "Lit with Jewish space lasers. Thanks for the idea, Marjorie!"

Not long after posting the picture, and then pardoning the White House turkeys ("Liberty" and "Bell," this year), the President and the First Lady hustled off to Nantucket. You can be sure that you won't be hearing any more about the presidential birthday from them. It is a little fortunate for Biden, we suppose, that his birthday is about as far distant from Election Day as is possible; by the time 82 rolls around, he'll either be reelected or he'll be a lame duck.

Meanwhile, in a development that approximately zero people think is a coincidence, Donald Trump posted a doctor's letter about his health to his failing boutique social media platform:

I have been President Donald J. Trump's personal physician since 2021. During this time, I have conducted several comprehensive examinations, the most recent being September 13, 2023, and have supervised specialist consultations along with ancillary testing for screening and preventative health maintenance.

I am pleased to report that President Trump's overall health is excellent. His physical exams were well within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional. In addition, his most recent extensive laboratory analysis remains well within normal limits and was even more favorable than prior testing in some of the most significant parameters, most likely secondary to weight reduction.

Cardiovascular studies are all normal and cancer screening tests are all negative. President Trump has reduced his weight through an improved diet and continued daily physical activity, while maintaining a rigorous schedule. It is my opinion that President Trump is currently in excellent health, and with his continued interest in preventative health monitoring and maintenance, he will continue to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle for years to come.

In case you missed it, the message is: "Look how healthy I am, as compared to Biden."

In contrast to the ridiculous Harold Bornstein letter from 2016, we suppose this one might actually have been written by the physician who signed it (Bruce Aronwald). At very least, it was written by someone who knows enough to avoid verbiage that a doctor would never use, like "laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent" and "[Trump] will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." That said, we don't think it actually tells us anything about the former president's health. Trump already doesn't live an "active lifestyle," so he certainly can't continue living one for years to come. Who knows what other exaggerations and outright falsehoods the letter contains?

And that's the latest from the 2024 presidential race. Things will likely be quiet for the rest of the week, thanks to the holiday. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates