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eyes on the U.S.

World Rolls Eyes At “Nonno” Biden’s Reelection Run

After Joe Biden announced he's running for a second term as U.S. president this week, newspapers around the world began to brace for a rematch of two rather old men.

Photo of U.S. President Joe Biden during the North America's Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, USA.

U.S. President Joe Biden during the North America's Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, USA.

Riley Sparks

It was America's "worst-kept secret": U.S. President Joe Biden's announcement this week that he would seek re-election came as no surprise. Still, there was plenty to say around the world about the president officially joining the race for a second term.

Many commentators focused on the president’s (rising) age and (sinking) popularity, with some questioning the Democratic party’s decision to stick with “old, boring and moderate” Biden instead of a more progressive candidate.

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At 80, Biden is the country’s oldest-ever incumbent president, and if re-elected would be 86 by the end of his second term.

Spain's El Confidencial predicted a repeat of 2020's "battle of the septuagenarians" – a rematch with former president Donald Trump, who will be 77 in 2024.

Trump and Biden Back in the Ring 

\u200bMexican daily El Un\u200biversal featured a front-page piece on Biden's announcement that he will run again in 2024, probably against Donald Trump, called: "Trump and Biden Back in the Ring"

Mexican daily El Universal featured a front-page piece on Biden's announcement that he will run again in 2024, probably against Donald Trump, called: "Trump and Biden Back in the Ring."

Mexican daily El Universalfeatured a front-page piece on Biden's announcement that he will run again in 2024, probably against Donald Trump, called:"Trump and Biden Back in the Ring"

Papy Joe, Nonno Biden

French daily Les Echos delves into Biden’s leadership and potential second term. Despite concerns about his age and physical capabilities, withe paper referring to him as “Sleepy Joe”, the article is focused instead on Biden’s strong action in Ukraine, and how he promoted an “America First'' agenda through a thoroughly crafted recovery plan destined to revitalize energy renewal.

Les Echos does question his ability to endure a second term he so desperately seeks, referencing a French cult movie called Papy fait de la résistance (a satire comedy set in World War II which translates as “Grandpa is in the Resistance”). The article concludes by speculating whether Biden can maintain a slight lead in the polls over Trump, given both are widely unpopular — although there are no clear alternatives for the Oval Office.

\u201cBiden up for the challenge of age, and Trump\u201d \u2014 Les Echos

“Biden up for the challenge of age, and Trump” —Les Echos

Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano also calls Biden "grandpa," (nonno) and recalls that he had hinted during his first campaign that he would serve as a "bridge" to allow the Democrats to find a new candidate after four years. But it looks like he has changed his mind; meanwhile, the Grand Old Party, hoping to see ultra-conservative Florida governor Ron DeSantis at its helm, rejoices at this decision.

“American politics can't get rid of the old men,” writes Die Welt correspondent Clemens Wergin. “Many Democrats aren't thrilled that the sometimes confused 80-year-old is running again. Republicans are cheering, for the same reason.” Still, “old, boring and moderate” may be a recipe for electoral success, Welt predicts.

“The United States is probably preparing to revive the struggle of the septuagenarians of 2020 – the only difference is that this time, the septuagenarians will be four years older,” writes Spanish daily El Confidencial.

This is not unusual, the paper notes, recalling Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s decision not to retire while Obama was still president, which would have allowed him to choose her replacement before Republicans got the chance. Her decision to stay on, and death while Trump was in power, led to the selection of Amy Coney Barrett, making the Supreme Court a Republican stronghold for decades to come.

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Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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