Maureen Dowd yesterday expressed concern about Joe Biden and his staff for the way they are dealing with his growing moments of forgetfulness and stammering during public appearances. Entitled, “Mr. President, Ditch the Stealth About Health”, she says trying to hide and protect him in our modern, all-day news world will not work. Here is an excerpt:
“In the days before TV and social media, the White House could suppress the fact that Franklin D. Roosevelt, who contracted polio when he was 39, could barely walk. With the help of a complicit press corps, a censoring Secret Service and a variety of ruses, F.D.R. was even able to campaign giving the impression that he was mobile.
But stealth about health is no longer possible, and the sooner President Biden’s team stops being in denial about that, the better off Democrats will be.
Jill Biden and his other advisers come up with ways to obscure signs of senescence — from shorter news conferences to almost zero print interviews to TV interviews mainly with fawning MSNBC anchors.
But many Americans are quite concerned about the 81-year-old president’s crepuscular mien. It’s the elephant in the room — except that elephants never forget.
Biden is running against a bad man, but that’s not enough. He has to acknowledge to himself that his moments of faltering — which will increase over the next five years — are a big weakness. He and his aides have to figure out how to handle that. Donald Trump, 77, makes his own verbal slips and shows signs of aging, but he conveys more energy.”
“But, in a world on fire, with Republicans in Congress spiraling into farce, the Biden crew clearly has no plan for how to deal with the president’s age except to shield him and hide him and browbeat reporters who point out that his mental state — like the delusional Trump’s — is a genuine issue.
Biden is not just in a bubble — he’s in bubble wrap. Cosseting and closeting Uncle Joe all the way to the end — eschewing town halls and the Super Bowl interview — are just not going to work. Going on defense, when Trump is on offense, is not going to work. Counting on Trump’s vileness to secure the win, as Hillary did, is not going to work.
Democrats should grab their smelling salts for a long case of the vapors. It’s going to be a most virulent, violent year.’