As the November election approaches, Joe Biden emerges from his basement isolation ward only for carefully scripted events, and the former vice president, 77, takes no questions. Puzzled voters might wonder if any American political figure has ever been such a captive of his handlers. They might take a look back at America’s 32nd president.
Many Americans still believe Franklin Delano Roosevelt was fully able-bodied and a tower of strength during World War II. In 1985, Hugh Gregory Gallagher challenged that perception in FDR’s Splendid Deception: The moving story of Roosevelt’s massive disability – and the intense efforts to conceal it from the public.
In 1920, FDR was the Democrat candidate for vice president under James Cox. The next year, he suffered an attack of polio, and as Gallagher notes, FDR was “anxious that press should not know how severely paralyzed he had become.” FDR associate Louis Howe “constantly misled reporters” and worked out “a scheme to transfer Roosevelt without reporters discovering just how ill he really was.”
As Gallagher recalled, “FDR had made it a rule, during his first campaign for governor, that photographers were not to take pictures of him looking crippled or helpless.” During his entire career, reporters obeyed with startling fidelity.
Not a single newsreel showed Roosevelt being lifted, carried or pushed in his chair. “No movies of me getting out of the machine, boys,” FDR used to tell the cameramen. If a photographer broke the rules, the Secret Service would seize the camera and expose the film.
The Secret Service built ramps for the president, sometimes raising an entire street to the level of the building entrance with wooden trestles and scaffolding. These extensive measures allowed FDR to appear to “walk” from his car into a building without undue effort.
As World War II played out, FDR showed “a curious indecision” and “distinct difficulty in organizing his thoughts.” He would stare into space, slack-jawed, and took no briefings. During 16 months of decline, “only a very few persons on his immediate staff were aware of how marked it had become,” Gallagher explains. “And they were reluctant to admit, even to themselves, how serious it was.”
During the 1944 campaign in New York City, Roosevelt rode in an open car for more than four hours, seemingly strong and resilient as ever. The press and the public had no clue what was happening behind the scenes.
The Secret Service commandeered garage space, and as Gallagher recalled, “the president’s car was turned out of the parade into the warmth of the heated building. Secret Service agents quickly lifted the president from the car and stretched him out full length on blankets laid on the floor. They removed his clothes down to the skin. He was toweled dry and given a rubdown. He was redressed in dry clothes, brandy was poured down his throat, and he was lifted back into the car. The pit stop was quickly done and the president was soon back in the cavalcade.”
FDR died on April 12, 1945, after only 80 days of his fourth term. Forty years later, Gallagher wrote, biographers “simply accept the image of Roosevelt as he presented it to the public.” Jump ahead to 2019, when former vice president Joe Biden attempts to answer a debate question.
“It’s crazy,” Biden said. “The teachers are—I’m married to a teacher, my deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have to make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school—school, not day care, school. We bring social workers into homes with parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help; they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television— excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the phone—make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school—a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.”
As Olson Johnson (Dave Huddleston) said after Gabby Johnson’s speech in Blazing Saddles, “who can argue with that?” And when college student Madison Moore asked Biden about his poor finish in Iowa, he called her a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.” At this point, Biden is beyond satire, so every move, every word, is carefully scripted by handlers. Establishment media show little curiosity, but if voters caught a whiff of “Obama’s narrator” David Axelrod it would be hard to blame them.
“I’ve been tested, I’m constantly tested,” Biden recently told reporters. “Look, all you’ve got to do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.” In reality, there’s no need to wait.
Reporters can simply compare transcripts of Joe Biden’s debate performance with any lengthy speech by President Trump. Check for the number of hesitation words, garbled syntax, and utterly baffling content. And remember, if Joe Biden is elected, the Democrats will get rid of him, by any means necessary, and his far-left VP will become president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world.
The election takes place on November 3. As president Trump says, we’ll have to see what happens.
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