The Political Scene | The New Yorker

Can Joe Biden Squash Concerns About His Age?

Episode Summary

This week, a special counsel’s report renews worries about the President’s mental acuity, and the Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, seemingly loses his grip on his conference.

Episode Notes

The Washington Roundtable: The special counsel investigating President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, Robert Hur, released a report Thursday that describes the President as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Biden will not face charges for “willfully” retaining classified documents, but the report has reignited concerns about the President’s mental acuity. In a late-night press conference, Biden forcefully pushed back against the report’s findings, declaring, “My memory is fine.” But the incident could be “incredibly damaging” to the President, the staff writer Jane Mayer says, because people recognize it as “potentially true and potentially a giant campaign issue.” Another octogenarian politician, the Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, also had a bad week in Washington. The long-awaited bipartisan deal on border security and Ukraine aid collapsed, with Senate Republicans turning on their own leader. The New Yorker staff writers Susan B. Glasser and Evan Osnos join Mayer to weigh in.