President Joe Biden turns 80 years old on Sunday, becoming the first octogenarian to ever serve in the highest office of the United States.
The unique milestone of Biden’s birthday comes as the president faces speculation about whether he will mount a reelection run and dredges up questions about whether he’s too old to serve another term.
The president celebrated his birthday in Washington with a brunch hosted by first lady Jill Biden, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Jill Biden tweeted a photo of him blowing out a candle on top of a coconut cake, with balloons in the background.
“A perfect birthday celebration filled with so much love – and Joe’s favorite coconut cake!” she wrote.
Members of Biden’s family already in town celebrating his granddaughter’s wedding at the White House on Saturday attended the brunch.
The wedding’s timing, two people familiar with the planning had told CNN, was not a coincidence – noting the “age issue” is never something Biden wants to highlight.
The president has political momentum on his side ahead of a potential reelection bid – having been able to maintain a Democratic majority in the Senate and thwart the historical political tides of a resounding Republican wave in Congress. There was also the lukewarm political support his slightly younger predecessor, Donald Trump, received when he announced his recent decision to run for president in 2024.
But Biden has not been able to shake voters’ apprehensions about his age, with rhetorical gaffes and literal stumbles at times reinforcing concerns about his health and mental acuity.
Biden would be an unprecedented 86 years old by the end of his second term if he were to run and win his reelection. By comparison, some of the oldest past living presidents still had years on Biden – Trump left office at the age of 74 and Ronald Reagan left office after his two terms at 77 years old.
The president, for his part, maintains that voters concerned about his age should see his record of accomplishments since taking office.
“Well, they’re concerned about whether or not I can get anything done. Look what I’ve gotten done,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper in October. “Name me a president in recent history that’s gotten done as much as I have in their first two years.”