The Biden team has an effort underway to try to make Joe Biden and his administration look more palatable to Americans. Last week they complained about treatment by the media — about the media treating Biden worse than President Donald Trump, which is a demonstrable untruth. But then they got some positive media coverage after those complaints.
We also are seeing an effort underway to make with the fluffy interviews. Joe Biden did an ‘interview’ on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and now, Jill Biden has done one with CBS’s Rita Braver. Both were softball and friendly in the extreme, seemingly designed to make them look good.
Kamala Harris also gave an interview to the San Francisco Chronicle to try to help her image and explain away the problems with her staff, which my colleague Jeff Charles covered. I don’t think they’ll be successful with this gambit, but they are trying.
But I want to talk more about the Jill Biden interview since I covered some of it the other day when they released an early clip. If you thought that the Fallon interview was softball, the Braver interview was so treacly I thought I was going to go into sugar shock and gag with how much they were trying to sell us. The fawning was more than a bit much about “how seriously she takes her role,” “her energy never seems to flag,” and the Bidens are so concerned about unity (despite Biden attacking Republicans and those who disagree with him at every possible opportunity). Even her Christmas decorations get “rave reviews,” according to Braver.
“No matter where I travel across this country,” Jill Biden claimed, “A lot of people say to me, ‘Jill, I feel like I can breathe again. Thank you. Please tell the president thank you for what he’s doing.'”
Do they think people buy this? This is just straight-up propaganda and the Republicans should be entitled to equal time on the network for this one. Of course, this is the same network that falsely claimed last year that Jill Biden got a Ph.D. when in fact she got an Ed.D.
We touched on part of the interview already — with the part where Jill Biden blew off Americans’ concerns about Joe’s mental fitness. But there’s a greater context of the question immediately prior to the mental fitness one… because we can see that one is a piece of fantasy as well.
Braver asked Jill Biden:
“You’ve seen the president’s poll numbers drop. Does that bother you?”
“You know, I look at it a little differently, Rita: During the campaign, Joe made certain promises, things that he would do. And we were going through a pandemic, which no one could have anticipated.
“So, he did come in and rescue America with the American Rescue Plan, and millions of families got money because they were desperate. We have vaccines for kids ages five and up. And now with the infrastructure plan, we’re going to have better roads, and better buildings that don’t have asbestos, better drinking water.”
“So, do you figure once the public kind of comprehends this, things will turn around?”
“I do, I do,” she said.
“And one more question on that, on the polls: because there have been some recent polls that show that quite a few Americans have some questions about the president’s current mental fitness – as somebody who spends … I can see you shaking your head!”
“So, what’s your response to that?”
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Jill Biden replied.
Joe Biden rescued America? Really? When did that happen? I must have missed that. How did his “American Rescue Plan” rescue America? In fact, Joe Biden admitted it may have contributed to the inflation that we are now suffering. Rescuing America is just pure fantasy, but this is what she’s trying to sell here.
But that bill was passed in March. If she doesn’t think Americans are appreciating that now, but they will, exactly when does she think that’s going to happen? I’m thinking there isn’t anyone who believes that Joe Biden “rescued America” with that. Not when they’re facing the highest inflation surge in 39 years.
CBS also asks @FLOTUS about the polls with voters concerned about the president’s “current mental fitness”
“I think that’s ridiculous” pic.twitter.com/v9OsHoOyLp
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) December 12, 2021
As I said, she isn’t at all concerned that most Americans have questions about Joe’s mental fitness; she just dismissed that out of hand as not even worthy of her consideration. So, are we just supposed to pretend we don’t see what we see or hear what we hear with Joe because she dismisses it? As I said, it perhaps says a lot that we seem to care more than she does.
Joe Biden himself did step into the interview with Braver for a few remarks. Braver asked him if the “criticism got to [him].”
“And doesn’t that criticism get to you? And how does Dr. B help you through that?”
“Well, you know, I guess it should get to me more,” Mr. Biden said. “But look: one of the things we did decide, and I mean this, my word as a Biden, I know what I’m willing to lose over. If we walk away from the middle class, if we walk away from trying to unify people, if we start to engage in the same kind of politics that the last four years has done? I’m willing to lose over that.”
“You mean, you’re willing to lose your presidency?”
“My presidency, that’s right. Because I’m gonna stick with it. There’s certain things that are just, like for example Afghanistan. Well, I’ve been against that war in Afghanistan from the very beginning. We were spending $300 million a week in Afghanistan, over 20 years. Now, everybody says, ‘You could have gotten out without anybody being hurt.’ No one’s come up with a way to ever indicate to me how that happens.
“And so, there are certain things that are just so important.”
Here they go again with this falsehood that he’s constantly working to unify people, when he’s always attacking his opponents at virtually every opportunity. Indeed, he does it right there, in the very next sentence, saying “if we start to engage in the same politics as “the last four years has done.” He can’t even last one sentence without the lie blowing up on him.
But he’s still pushing how ‘right’ he was about Afghanistan? Incredible. Yes, Joe, there are ways that you could have gotten out that were infinitely better than what you did. He makes it clear again, he just wanted to get out — no matter who it hurt — with 13 dead, hundreds wounded, and the thousands left behind. And yes, that failure and the poor judgment he showed the world did cost him mightily in public opinion. That’s when his polls did start to crater badly because people saw how bad he was in real-time.
So, it may ultimately cost him his occupancy in the White House. And it should, perhaps more than any of the other things that he has done — because that’s where he truly abandoned Americans and our obligations to our allies.
They are going all-in trying to improve Joe’s image. But it isn’t working.