Biden's age is a weakness as he runs for reelection. But he can boast about his record.

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With President Joe Bidens announcement of his candidacy for a second term, age is his Achilles' heel. A YouGov poll for Yahoo News in February found that 68% of registered voters believe he is “too old for another term.”

To win, Biden should study the campaign of President Ronald Reagan, another senior citizen who successfully neutralized the age issue.

Democrat Biden will be 81 on Election Day in 2024, and he'd turn 86 before completing a second term in January 2029. Republican Reagan was 73 when he was reelected in a landslide in 1984 as the oldest president in American history to that point.

Reagan wisely made the focus of his campaign what he had accomplished in his first term and what he could accomplish in a second, rather than focusing on his age. Biden should do the same.

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If former President Donald Trump, just four years younger than Biden, becomes the Republican presidential nominee he will be just as vulnerable to the age issue. It would be ludicrous for Trump to portray himself as a fresh young face.

Key accomplishments Biden should highlight include signing bills into law to cut health insurance and prescription drug costs, fight climate change, impose a minimum tax on multibillion dollar corporations, crack down on wealthy tax cheats, fund free COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments, send checks to individuals and small businesses to help them cope with the pandemic and invest $1.2 trillion to improve infrastructure.

Biden should highlight his record on creating jobs

Biden should also remind voters that the unemployment rate – driven up by the pandemic – was 6.3% when Trump left office, compared with just 3.5% this March.

A record 12.6 million jobs have been created in the United States since Biden became president. Schools and businesses have reopened thanks to the successful rollout of free COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.

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In foreign policy, Biden should highlight how he has improved relations with allies around the world that worsened under Trump, and how he has rallied nations to provide arms and other aid to Ukraine to oppose Russian aggression.

Like Democratic President Harry Truman in his successful election campaign in 1948, Biden should attack the Republican “do-nothing" Congress. Capitol Hill Republicans are vulnerable because they are focused on passing extremist legislation with no chance of becoming law and on launching partisan probes to protect Trump from multiple federal, state and local criminal investigations and lawsuits.

President Joe Biden is prepared to formally kick off his 2024 campaign on April 25, 2023.
President Joe Biden is prepared to formally kick off his 2024 campaign on April 25, 2023.

In addition to his age, Biden faces other obstacles to reelection.

While inflation has slowed, it continues running too high, at an annual rate of 5% in March. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are down but persist. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 following Biden’s order for a total U.S. troop withdrawal was a disaster, particularly for women and girls. Americans are worried about crime and gun violence.

Yet in all the above areas and more, the Republican record is worse and should cost the party’s presidential nominee votes.

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Republicans advocate tax cuts for the rich and cuts in government spending that would inflict economic pain on most Americans. Many Republicans oppose continued funding for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, as they earlier opposed vaccine and mask mandates that could have saved lives.

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Trump even called for defunding the U.S. Justice Department and FBI because they are investigating his efforts to overturn his election defeat and his hoarding of classified government documents at this Florida estate. If that actually happened, crime would undoubtedly worsen.

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Biden needs to campaign as a centrist and attack the Republican presidential nominee and the party’s congressional candidates for their support of unpopular positions. Biden should also continue condemning Republican actions to deny women abortion rights, which polls show most Americans support.

Biden needs to rebuild the coalition that elected him, reaching out to young voters, Black voters, Latinos, independents, moderate Republicans and voters in suburban and rural areas as well as his urban base. And he should expand the electorate by energizing more Americans to vote.

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In addition, Biden should build a strong grassroots campaign structure and get help from talented veterans of Democratic presidential campaigns. He needs to broaden his team and not rely only on a small circle of insiders. Insularity is insanity for an incumbent seeking reelection.

Biden needs to hit the campaign trail as often as his presidential duties allow, holding rallies, town halls and meetings with small groups of voters. And he should hold more news conferences and grant more interviews to journalists on TV, radio, online and in print.

Donna Brazile
Donna Brazile

Biden is an honest and honorable man with decades of experience in government and a deep knowledge of domestic and foreign policy. He exudes empathy and sincerity. He is a serious man who makes important decisions after careful study and consultation with his advisers and outside experts.

In other words, Biden is the polar opposite of Trump.

Based on all these factors and what looks like a flawed and deeply divided Republican field of candidates, Biden has an excellent chance of winning another four-year term.

Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She previously served as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee and of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute, and managed the Gore campaign in 2000.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden's age is an issue for reelection. Focus on his record instead