Jill Biden Defends Her Husband’s Mental Decline 

lev radin / shutterstock.com
lev radin / shutterstock.com

In a recent ABC News/Ipsos survey, 86% of Americans believe President Joe Biden is too old for a second term in the White House. This sentiment was shared by 73% of Democrat voters. And with the troubling report released by Robert Hur, the Department of Justice’s special prosecutor, it’s a perception unlikely to change heading into the 2024 election. 

The report characterized the 81-year-old Biden as a well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” which was “hazy,” “fuzzy,” “faulty,” and full of “significant limitations.” 

The report pointed out Biden’s inability to recall significant dates in his personal life, such as the year his son Beau passed away or his tenure as vice president. In the past week alone, he has made several notable blunders, the most recent being a call on Sunday for Russia to target any alliance member that fails to meet defense spending targets. 

On Sunday, the president’s attorney, Bob Bauer, raised concerns with the special counsel and the attorney general regarding what he deemed disparaging and unnecessary remarks about the president’s memory. “This report went off the rails,” Bob Bauer said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday. “It’s a shabby work product.” 

But Hillary Clinton emerged from the darkness of obscurity to call concerns over an aging Biden “legitimate.” However, the twice-failed presidential candidate prefers to draw parallels with Trump, who is only four years younger than Biden. 

Following the release of Hur’s report, First Lady Jill Biden defended her husband in a message to his campaign contributors and questioned whether the intention was to “gain political advantage.” 

Jill Biden is the quiet force propping up her husband throughout his gaffes, missteps, and memory lapses. She consistently shields her husband from media attention at the White House, showing her dissatisfaction with aides when press conferences highlight the president’s errors. Her presence at Biden’s side, even strolling across the White House lawn, implies she is in control and there won’t be a chance for media questions. Her active involvement shields President Biden from potentially challenging situations, ensuring a more controlled atmosphere without unexpected gaffe-able media questions. 

During a January 2022 press conference, Jill Biden criticized her husband’s aides for allowing the conference to continue longer than she preferred. The press conference involved multiple gaffes and factual mistakes, including what many considered his biggest faceplant, a comment commonly referred to as the “minor incursion” gaffe. Biden implied that a minor Russian incursion into Ukraine wouldn’t pose significant concerns. About a month later, Russia initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which critics have partly attributed to Biden’s weak comments. 

Following that disastrous press conference, Biden and his top aides convened in the Treaty Room, the president’s study in the executive residence. An enraged Jill Biden appeared at the door, demanding accountability. “Why didn’t anyone stop that?” she demanded before pointing to the aides. “Where were you guys? Where was the person who was going to end the press conference?” Biden, who had been slipped a note urging him to end the conference, remained silent in the face of his wife’s tirade. 

Since assuming office in January 2021, Biden has only conducted three solo White House press conferences. In November 2022, Jill Biden arrived at one of these late and was escorted to the front of the State Dining Room. She was strategically positioned to signal her husband to end the press conference, if necessary, without journalists seeing her do so.  

The White House press office has implemented a complex prescreening process to determine which reporters can attend large indoor events, a departure from the open-access policy observed in prior administrations.  

While the prescreening process was relaxed following a protest by press corps members in the summer of 2022, it was reinstated before Biden’s impromptu response to Hur’s report on Thursday night. Digital RSVP forms were distributed only moments before the hastily arranged event in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room, and some reporters on the executive mansion’s grounds were denied entry. 

Following the release of Hur’s report, Jill Biden sent an email to donors supporting Biden’s re-election campaign, where she emphasized the enduring grief of losing a child and how it shapes one’s perspective on time. Without explicitly naming Hur, she criticized the report’s focus on her husband’s age and memory and condemned the use of a personal tragedy for political purposes.  

But voter sentiment increasingly points to a Biden loss, based on the perception of his failing mental acuity, further evidenced by Hur’s report. While Jill Biden staunchly defends her husband, the increasing attention to his declining mental acuity raises one crucial question: Is America being set up for a spoiler Democratic nominee just ahead of the 2024 election?