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The 2024 campaign gets grimmer, with Trump’s extremism on full display alongside concerns over Biden’s age

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are each offering a stark glimpse at the political liabilities that have many Americans wishing they had other options in 2024. Biden, 81, is angrily refuting questions about his age and memory, struggling to lay to rest anxiety among voters that he wouldn’t be capable of serving a full second term.

But far from exploiting the president’s rough patch, Trump offered a stunning display of extremism at the weekend, raising fresh questions over his fitness for the Oval Office.

The comparison between the likely general election opponents helps explain why polls show limited enthusiasm for both men, each of whom is unpopular outside their core constituencies.

Biden would be the more conventional choice because Trump is promising one of the most tumultuous second terms in US history. But as the president’s campaign gathers pace, his troubles are complicating his effort to convince Americans that Trump would destroy American democracy and would shatter the country’s reputation abroad.

Trump is giving every impression that his second term would be even more aberrant than his first, as he vows to use presidential power to exact retribution against his enemies. But he’s nevertheless closely matched with Biden in polling and has a real chance to win.

While a Biden vs. Trump race would be a rematch of 2020, it would not necessarily be the same. The sitting president is four years older, and age questions are even more acute. And Trump is even more radical and unchained than when he left office.

How Biden and Trump are putting their political weaknesses on display
The different liabilities both would bring to the race were on display during the frantic last few days.

In Trump, voters can pick an ex-president facing 91 criminal charges who has been found liable for fraud, sexual battery and defamation in court. Trump, 77, tried to stay in power after losing reelection in 2020. This weekend, Trump sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over NATO allies and mocked the military service of GOP rival Nikki Haley’s husband.

This week, the ex-president faces a set of court deadlines and hearings that will renew the focus on his seemingly endless threats to the rule of law.

In Biden, voters must decide whether to reelect the oldest president ever, at 81, who is angrily refuting claims of a declining memory following a damning assessment of his faculties by a special counsel.

The president, who warns Trump is a danger to democracy, is visibly aging while mixing up the names of foreign leaders, and polls show overwhelming skepticism among the public about his reelection plans.

Sources; CNN

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