”Keep the faith, guys,” Joe Biden said early in the fourth and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Thursday, talking to four union workers in a video.
Biden later accepted his party’s nomination for president, promising, “I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”
The whole night was a powerful, unexpected yet effective blend of religion and humor, of Common and John Legend singing “Glory,” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus hosting and delivering probably the sharpest line of the night:
”Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.”
Biden is the oldest man ever to run for president as the nominee of a major party. If elected, at 78 he’ll be older when he enters the Oval Office than Ronald Reagan was when he left.
One of the keys to navigating age successfully is keeping good friends, and across the four days of the 2020 Democratic Convention, Biden’s A-team of political pals came out — Michelle and Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton — providing all the rhetorical bunting and virtual balloons that this unique, otherworldly COVID-19 political season rendered impossible.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons got Thursday going by praising Biden’s reverence for his Catholic faith and prayer, a theme continued throughout the night.
“Faith is about healing, not about exclusion,” added Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, one of eight who squared off against Biden in the primaries who returned to support him.
We are an aging nation — in the 2010s, the average age of Americans grew by a year. But that average age is still 38, which means Joe Biden is twice as old, or more, as most Americans.
Donald Trump, at 74, is no spring chicken either. And his spending millions to focus on whether Biden is too old for the job is exactly the kind of bald hypocrisy that for Trump is the rule rather than the exception. Trump’s flaws are so baked in that nobody needs to blame age; you often hear of a “blithering idiot,” but rarely do you see a man blither as Trump does, daily if not hourly.
There was nothing feeble about Biden’s performance Thursday night. It was serious, sincere, impassioned. And the truth is, even if age slows him down, an older good man is far preferable to a younger bad one.