In their Manhattan congressional debate Tuesday night, veteran Democrats Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler both refused to support Joe Biden for a second term in 2024.
“It’s too early to say,” said Nadler.
There was shock on a few faces, but it’s true.
No one honestly believes that a shuffling, mumbling geriatric whose opinion polls are in the toilet, who would be 86 at the end of any second term, and whose cognitive decline already was on full display in Iowa in February 2020, is seriously going to be permitted to run again.
Biden 2024 is a charade, designed to avoid premature lame duck status and allow time for replacements to jockey behind the scenes.
The real question is will Biden make it to the end of this term — and how will the succession be managed if he doesn’t?
Ronny Jackson is one who thinks the president won’t last. The former White House medico to Obama and Trump, and Navy rear admiral-turned Republican Texas congressman, has been vocal about the medical drama he sees unfolding in the Oval Office as a threat to national security.
He sent a third letter, signed by 54 House Republicans, to the president and his physician Kevin O’Connor last week, calling on Biden to “immediately undergo a cognitive test and share the results with the American people.”
“Something isn’t right with Joe Biden’s cognitive state,” says Jackson.
He stresses that he is not making a diagnosis as he has never examined Biden, but “everyone in America knows someone who is in cognitive decline and the symptoms are clear.”
He points to the shuffling gait, the confusion and memory lapses. There are the falls, off a stationary bike, and three times up the stairs of Air Force One.
The president’s health
Now Jackson is promoting a revelatory new memoir, “Holding the Line,” about his experiences in three administrations, he doesn’t hold back about his successor medico’s failure to front up to the American people to answer questions about the president’s health.
O’Connor, the diminutive former Army physician who has been with Biden since his vice-presidential days, has been invisible during the president’s term and most notably during his current bout with COVID.
While he writes a memo most days on his official “physician to the president” letterhead, summarizing the president’s COVID status and vital signs for dissemination to the press, he has yet to front up to the podium for an interrogation by the White House press corps, as Jackson and his successor Sean Conley were expected to do for Donald Trump. Jackson once memorably endured a 75-minute interrogation about Trump’s mental fitness after the president had passed a cognitive assessment with flying colors.
O’Connor by contrast has been “hiding in the basement,” Biden-fashion, says Jackson, and should come clean with the American people about all the medications being used by the president.
“It is part of the job to stand at that podium.”
But instead of making O’Connor available to the press, the White House has filled the gap with its COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, neither of whom were treating the president or knew about his medications. What they knew they passed on from O’Connor in an elaborate “game of telephone” as one irate reporter dubbed it.
There is no love lost between O’Connor and Jackson, who blames Biden’s physician for “pushing” derogatory information about him which derailed his nomination by Trump as secretary of Veterans Affairs. He alleges that O’Connor was motivated by “jealousy” because, while being senior in rank, he had been relegated to treating VP Biden while Jackson was tapped to treat President Barack Obama.
Jackson says he got on beautifully with the Obama family, but when he tweeted a warning about then-candidate Biden’s cognitive state during a confused campaign speech in early 2020, the former president admonished him for the “cheap shot.”
Decline on display
And yet Jackson had simply stated the obvious. Candidate Biden needed a teleprompter in small town hall meetings during the presidential primaries of 2020 for stump speeches every other candidate could recite in their sleep. He forgot people’s names. He forgot where he was and what he was running for. He mixed up his wife and his sister.
His campaign and his party hid the truth from voters.
Two years later and polls show that the average voter now can see what Jackson saw. Last November a Morning Consult poll found a minority of voters consider Biden “mentally fit.” A Harvard poll in May found 53% of Americans had “doubts about his fitness for office.” Between February and March, Washington Post polls found the percentage of Americans who say Biden does not have “the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president” leapt from 43% to 54%. A July poll found that 64% of likely Democratic 2024 primary voters don’t want Biden to be the party’s nominee, with one third mentioning his age.
When a whistleblower told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently that Biden was being medicated before public appearances, nobody was surprised.
A video of Biden giving a speech was oddly jump cut so that he was listless with squinty eyes in the first half and wide-eyed and bellicose in the second, suggesting some sort of stimulant between segments.
Jackson says he can’t see the president seeing out the rest of his term.
“Maybe they will say he has long COVID,” as an excuse for his resignation.
Biden has served his purpose for the Democratic machine and is now surplus to requirements. He got rid of Donald Trump, by posing as the only moderate in the Dem field, and then did a bait and switch on voters by imposing a policy agenda that is the opposite of moderate.
The only thing in the way of his forced early retirement now is the woeful performance of Vice President Kamala Harris. Her polls are bad but her palpable insincerity, inappropriate cackling and mindless banalities are worse.
The only escape route for the Dems is to install a more viable Gavin Newsom-esque candidate as VP, give Harris a few months to make history as the first Black woman president, and then shuffle her off into splendid retirement.
Biden will be spared the indignity of the Republicans’ promised Hunter Biden investigations and Harris will happily issue his family pardons.
The left media and the pet historians Biden has cultivated will ensure that his legacy is burnished, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Everyone except the country which had to suffer through his Potemkin presidency.