Lloyd Billingsley, Profiles in presidential puppetry. “The perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors.”
That was PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor at Joe Biden’s March 25 press conference. The event was really a worship service, conducted by house hagiographers and lacking only mandatory timed applause. Still, the proceedings did prove informative in a different way.
Biden needed a cheat sheet and marked photos of approved reporters. The Delaware Democrat is utterly captive to his handlers, a condition previously showcased by America’s 32nd president.
Many Americans, and people around the world, 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 President Roosevelt being lifted, carried or pushed in his chair.
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 the FDR to appear to “walk” from his car into a building without undue effort.
During the 1944 campaign in New York City, Roosevelt rode in an open car for more than four hours, seemingly as 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.”
The problem wasn’t all physical. 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.”
As his conditioned worsened, FDR outsourced more of his views to the pro-Stalin Harry Hopkins, a social worker and New Deal boss who actually lived at the White House.
FDR was on record that “If I give him [Stalin] everything I possibly can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” It didn’t quite turn out that way.
FDR died on April 12, 1945 at the age of 63. Joe Biden, 78, can walk unaided but less than a week before his press conference, the Delaware Democrat fell three times while boarding Air Force One. On March 25, any legitimate reporter would have asked Biden about the falls, if he was taking any medications, if he had ever been diagnosed with dementia, if he was going to make public his medical records, and so forth.
Biden’s handlers weren’t going to allow anything like that, and no questions about the African Americans who “ain’t black” if they fail to support him, or what he meant when he called a female college student “a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.” And so on. Biden’s handlers must resort to emergency measures.
“They give him a big fat shot in the ass and he comes out, and for two hours he’s better than ever before,” said President Trump before a presidential debate last year. On March 25, they doubtless gave Biden several big fat shots, and he was not better than before – not that he ever set much of a standard. For all but the willfully blind, it’s hard to see how the addled Biden can build himself back better.
Like FDR in his waning days, Joe Biden is a pathetic puppet of the Democrats’ Harry Hopkins squad. These leftist Green New Dealers want Biden to give America’s adversaries everything they want, asking little or nothing in return.
Joe Biden is running for president in 2024, when he’ll be 82. So far he’s performing well as the nation’s undertaker-in-chief.