The Democrats’, and America’s, Biden Problem

Joe Biden

Yes, for sure this is a sensitive subject. But without a doubt, there are Democrats of note out there who are aware of the problem – and ignoring it.


The problem?

Anyone paying attention realizes former Vice President Joe Biden has, put delicately, an aging problem. He gets confused as to where he is – Vermont or New Hampshire? Iowa or Ohio? He starts to quote the Declaration of Independence, which says this:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In Biden’s confusion it comes out this way:


“We owe these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created, by the – go, you know, you know the thing.”

Biden long ago acquired a reputation as a “gaffe machine.” Who can forget years ago at a rally when he called for a local Democrat to stand-up – then realized the man, in his direct line of sight – was disabled and wheelchair-bound. Or the time he saluted another local pol’s late mother – only to realize she was very much alive, well and present and that it was the pol’s father who had passed away.

But there is a serious, major league difference between a gaffe and an aging problem, the latter resulting in confusion, loss of memory, and all manner of other things. Aging is, of course, inevitable. Millions of Americans have had or are having the sad experience of dealing with an aging parent. But aging is also different for everyone. Bernie Sanders is 79 – a full year older than the 78-year old Joe Biden. There is not the slightest indication Sanders has any kind of mental acuity issues. Like Biden, Bernie is daily out there campaigning in the full glare of the lights and cameras. His crazy socialist ideas aside, there is no hint of confusion or loss of memory or bewilderment.


Yet, in the quest to deny Sanders the nomination the Democratic Establishment has rallied to Biden.

Politically this sets up President Trump, who is both mentally clear as a  bell and a dynamo of physical energy, to obliterate an enfeebled Biden in the fall campaign. But there is a serious question that needs to be asked of the Democrat Establishment that is well beyond the political.

What if, however unlikely it may be, Joe Biden does, in fact, win the election? Then what? The answer is crystal clear.

If there is President Biden the American people will, in fact, be saddled with a President of the United States who will quite literally not be up to the job. Biden in a room with Putin? Biden dealing with crazy terrorists? Biden dealing with setting American policy on a thousand and one issues that include everything from the economy to healthcare to education to national security?

It is plain as day what will happen. Everybody around a President Biden, from his wife to his kids to his staff, vice-president and Cabinet will make it Job One to protect him, to shield his problems from the American people.

In fact, America has faced a version of this problem once before. In 1919, World War I was over, and President Woodrow Wilson sailed for
Paris to participate in the Paris Peace Conference talks that would lead to the Treaty of Versailles. On his return, exhausted, he had a bout of the flu. Recovered from that he boarded a train and set out on a cross-country train trip to rally support for US entry into the brand new League of Nations.

On September 25th the exhausted Wilson, in the middle of his speaking tour, collapsed. He “recovered” and kept going. But on October 2, 1919, it all finally caught up to him and he suffered a stroke. It was serious, paralyzing the left side of his body and blinding him in his left eye.

What did those around him do? They hid the President from public view and pretended he was just fine. This was decades before American vice-presidents were seen as close back-up partners for a president, a practice that did not begin until President Jimmy Carter finally made his VP, Walter Mondale, a full cooperating partner in the running of the government, a practice that has continued ever since with presidents of both parties. So behind the scenes, it was the First Lady, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson -totally unelected – who actually ran the government and made the inevitable decisions. All of this was kept secret, not becoming public until Wilson’s death after he left office.

What does this have to do with Joe Biden? Easy. Human nature doesn’t change. The very human urge of Biden’s wife, family and closest advisers in a Biden presidency will be to keep from the American people the true condition of a President Biden beyond what is seen in what will undoubtedly be intensely stage-managed appearances, appearances designed to hide as much as possible whatever Biden’s mental condition is at the moment.

Meanwhile, as it does for all presidents, the outside world will rage on, with the usual modern-day assortment of problems dealing with hostile foreign powers, nuclear weapons, the economy and all the rest.

And the Democrats will have installed in the White House a president who is utterly unable to do his job – and will be run by those in his inner circle.

Not good. And as sensitive as the subject may be, it is far too important not to be discussed. The well-being of America and the world will depend on it.