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Joe Biden's age shouldn't be a deal breaker

Plus the one issue (some) Democrats and Republicans agree on, a massive injustice in Montana and a special morning routine in this week’s 3 Minute Read from Jen Psaki.
"Inside with Jen Psaki"
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Don’t freak out… 

It’s clear, according to recent polls, that some people are freaking out about the president’s age. And facts are facts. At 80, Joe Biden is already the oldest president in U.S. history, and he would be 86 at the end of his second term.

On the other hand, the current Republican front-runner is 76 years old. Donald Trump’s four-year age advantage seems far less consequential than, say, his position on issues like democracy, women’s rights, gun violence and the climate crisis.

Joe Biden rides his bicycle along the beach in Kiawah Island
Joe Biden rides his bicycle along the beach in Kiawah Island, S.C., on Aug. 14, 2022. Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images file

There is also a long history of older politicians appealing to a broad swath of the country. Elder statesman Sen. Bernie Sanders is 81 and still a political icon, including among some Gen Zers.

Bottom line: Biden is in good health (we know this because he actually puts out his health records every year) and benefits from decades of experience. Just ask Harrison Ford (80), Jane Fonda (85) or Gloria Steinem (89) if they are ready to retire. I think we already know the answer.

A story you should be following: social media bipartisanship 

An unlikely alliance has formed on Capitol Hill. Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are among a group of bipartisan senators teaming up on legislation seeking to limit underage access to social media platforms.

The “Protecting Kids on Social Media Act” would set 13 as the minimum age for social media apps, require parental consent for 13-to 17-year-olds and restrict the use of algorithms for minors. 

Any semblance of bipartisanship feels challenging these days. But this legislation offers a sliver of hope, and a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting our kids from the detrimental effects of social media, especially for youth mental health.  

Someone you should know: Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr

Earlier this month, we witnessed the historic expulsion and reinstatement of two Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee who stood up for gun reform in the wake of the Nashville school shooting. This week, we saw a strikingly similar scenario play out in Montana, as Republican lawmakers attempted to silence Rep. Zooey Zephyr.

On Wednesday, the Montana House of Representatives voted to block Rep. Zephyr, the first transgender woman elected to the Montana State Legislature, from participating in floor debates for the rest of the 2023 session. She’s been using her voice to push back on an anti-trans bill that would ban gender-affirming care for children, even telling her Republican colleagues that they would “see blood” on their hands if they voted in favor. 

Zephyr is someone I will be watching closely as the fight for trans rights continues to intensify across the country. 

Joyce Vance’s weekend routine: 

 What show are you bingeing right now?

 My youngest son, a college sophomore, and I are binging “Burn Notice” together whenever he’s at home. 

What’s the last book you read? 

I just finished re-reading Preet Bharara's book “Doing Justice” — and I’m assigning a few chapters to my seminar students in the fall. 

What time do you wake up on the weekends? 

6 a.m. I have chickens!

How do you take your coffee? 

Either a latte or black, strong, and lots of it, with a dash of cream.