Who's in Charge of Joe Biden?

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

It’s safe to assume at this point that the facts that Joe Biden is not running the White House and that his mental acuity is evaporating are not state secrets. Some say signs of a problem were evident even during his term as Obama’s VP. His latest slip-up Monday during the rollout of the new website designed to stop student loan fraud is just another reminder that Biden’s prime years, such as they were, ended a long time ago.


Biden’s questionable state of mind was at first alarming and then funny. Now, these gaffes are just boring, pathetic, and even expected. And for that matter, no one is even dancing around it anymore.

The New York Times has the story about how requests for Jill Biden’s appearances in the face of the midterms are starting to increase. She is viewed as the best “surrogate” for the president, has a better public presence, and is much less prone to verbal missteps. And first ladies enjoying more favorable ratings than their husbands is nothing new. But it is likely a calculated move that also is meant to limit Biden’s exposure, given his penchant for embarrassing himself and the administration in public.

The Times also notes that Mrs. Biden tries to keep a tight leash on her husband, understandably. According to the article, she was very much involved in hiring his aides and press team and took part in vetting Jen Psaki. It would appear that she wants to protect the president. During a review by staffers and Joe Biden following a two-hour news conference in January, Mrs. Biden walked into the room demanding to know why no one stopped the presser and who was in charge of ending it. She has also been known to deflect questions about Biden’s fitness for the office by comparing his record with Donald Trump’s.


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The GOP reaction to the article was predictable. Among the comments from various Republican legislators, Fox News had a quote from Georgia Rep. Scott Austin, who said, “Apparently the First Lady knows a train wreck when she sees one. I think everyone in the White House is concerned that the President will accidentally reveal the Biden-Harris administration’s true agenda.” Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn stated, “The American people are watching the situation with the President very closely. So are other world leaders. It is apparent he is not in control of the White House, his staff and the issues of the day.”

Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson commented, “Bravo to the staffer who exposed Joe Biden by confirming that he isn’t the one calling the shots in the White House. Nine months ago, the First Lady unloaded on the White House staff for allowing her husband to humiliate himself at a solo press conference. We all know Joe Biden isn’t capable of making his own decisions and needs constant supervision.”

Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey told Fox News, “The American people put Joe Biden in office and deserve to hear directly from the president himself. Our country does not operate under surrogates in Chief. If Joe Biden is not able to perform his duties as president and talk to the American people on a regular basis, then he should not be running the greatest country in the world. The American people deserve answers. Not from his staff, not from his press team, but from the President of the United States.”


Biden’s rapid descent from president to trademark and his cognitive decline are not news, which is sad because they should have been news long ago. And I would argue that part of the problem is not that Joe Biden needs a surrogate; it’s that Joe Biden is a surrogate. He is practically a character in a modern-day melodrama. We have been conditioned to shrug off the Commander-in-Chief’s inability to function and merely accept it as a fact of doing business, without asking who is setting policy and who is making the decisions that affect the nation and the world. The Surrogate-in-Chief is obviously not doing it, so who exactly is accountable, if not him? Theories have ranged from Barack Obama to Biden’s chief of staff. Whoever it is, in addition to being unknown, they are unelected. It is the proverbial swamp at its absolute worse. While Biden’s poor performance should be cause for concern, the greater question is who, beyond Jill Biden, is managing him?



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