The success or failure of the US president, who is 81 years old, will be considered by political leaders when they analyze what the Brazilian president should do in 2026, when the PT member will be 80 years old.

The race for the White House in 2024 presents a major challenge for US President Joe Biden (Democrat), 81. He is being pressured to consider leaving the electoral race after being asked whether he still has the physical vigor and cognitive capacity intact to defeat Donald Trump (Republican), 78, in the elections and govern the United States for another 4 years.

Whatever Biden’s decision, the US succession scenario will serve as a parameter (albeit partial) for the Brazilian presidential race in 2 years. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) will be 80 years old in October 2026 (when the race for the presidency will take place). He will turn 81, as Joe Biden is today, 2 days after the second round of the elections, on October 27.

Read below the 5 possible scenarios for Biden and the consequences for Lula:

Only one scenario in the United States would be positive for Lula: Biden remaining in the race, winning the election and serving a good term. All other possibilities would raise doubts about the PT candidate’s eventual performance.

The discussion about the importance of Biden’s age and his ability to govern the United States is not exactly new. There are episodes in which the American got confused, seemed “freeze” or became disoriented in certain situations:

Recently, the US President needed to be “rescued” by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (Brothers of Italy, right) during the opening ceremony of the G7 summit held in Italy on June 13. A few days later, on June 16, it seemed “freeze” during a fundraising event for his election campaign in Los Angeles (USA). He was guided off the stage by former President Barack Obama.

Although cases like those mentioned above were already discussed with concern by allies and exploited by adversaries, especially Trump, Biden’s disastrous performance in the 1st pre-election debate, held by the television network CNN On June 27, he made the discussion about the American’s age explicit. He raised the issue to the point where Biden was questioned about his ability to complete the current term.

The same discussion, however, had not yet reached Brazil in an open manner. Now, inevitably, it has arrived.

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In recent years, Brazilian politics has been emulating the scenarios of the United States – but with a delay of two years. As a result, Lula’s age has also entered the radar and has been discussed more intensely since the week of June 24. The president has been asked about the subject in interviews.

On Tuesday (2.Jul.2024), journalist Silvana Oliveira, from Radio Societyfrom Bahia, asked Lula if he was afraid of suffering from ageism like Biden. The president denied having such fears. “I have said the following to my PT colleagues and to many ministers: I can lie to you, but I cannot lie to myself. I cannot say that I am good if I am not good. I cannot say that I can do something if I cannot. I have to be honest with myself, with my loved ones and with the Brazilian people.” these.

The opposition to the PT member, however, is beginning to link his age to a supposed inability to govern. Senator Ciro Nogueira (PP-PI), former Chief of Staff of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), called Lula “Biden da Silva”.

“Every time you speak, President Biden da Silva, like the other one, Brazil is shocked and does not recognize who you once were,” wrote on his X profile (formerly Twitter). The senator also wrote an opinion piece on this topic for the Poder360: “Biden da Silva” is not criticism, it is an observation.

Whenever he has an opening or is questioned, the PT member highlights positive aspects of his health and tries to demonstrate vigor and energy. One of his main catchphrases since the 2022 election campaign is precisely to evoke a supposed youthfulness.

“I am 78 years old, with the energy of a 30 year old and the desire of a 20 year old”he often says in different situations, but always to show that he is fully capable of carrying out his government’s actions. In the same interview with Radio Societyon Tuesday, said he felt “a boy”. Declared: “You can ask Janja.

During the 2022 campaign, a photograph went viral on the internet in which Lula hugs his wife, Janja, at night and appears in shorts showing his thighs. Recently, the president recalled the episode in a speech in Ceará.

Lula says he gets up at 5:30 a.m. and exercises almost every day. He also has lunch at the Alvorada Palace frequently, which allows him to rest in the early afternoon. He also says that his aides get more tired than he does during presidential appointments. “The people who work with me get tired, but I don’t get tired. Not when I’m working.” […]. Pbecause I am very motivated for things”, said in the interview with Radio Society. Lula also said he was living a good spiritual moment and was happy with life.

When he had to undergo hip surgery in September 2023, he prohibited his team from recording any images of him using a walker or crutches. At the time, he even said that people would see him “always pretty”. The statement drew criticism because Lula was considered ableist (an expression used to describe someone who expresses prejudice against people with disabilities).

Despite his demonstration of vitality, Lula has already made mistakes. On March 26, he changed the name of the president of France, Emmanuel Macron (Renaissance, center), by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012), during Macron’s visit to Brazil on March 26.

In a speech in Rio, he almost swapped the name of the current mayor, Eduardo Paes (PSD), for that of the former governor of Rio de Janeiro Sérgio Cabral (MDB), on February 7.

When talking about 2026, however, Lula has already indicated that his physical and mental health will be fundamental factors to be taken into account in deciding whether he will seek reelection. In an interview with CBNon June 18, Lula was asked if he would be willing to enter another election at 81 years of age.

When starting his response, the PT member immediately made a correction: “81 no, 80. I would be 80 and I would be in the prime of my life”he declared. However, he then said that this would not be the first option and said, as he has rarely done, that he will have to measure his health and physical resistance. “Because I want to be responsible for Brazil”, stated.

Still, he said he would accept the candidacy if it were for “prevent the troglodytes who ruled this country from ruling again”. And he once again evoked an image of youth: “You can be sure that my 80 years will turn into 40 and I could be a candidate.”


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