Joe Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Is That Fair?

Republicans and Democrats may be swayed by media that reinforces their beliefs. Such questions, I believe, are largely a proxy for whether you like and agree with Biden or dislike and distrust him.

Joe Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Is That Fair? - SurgeZirc US
Joe Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Is That Fair?

Joe Biden is perfectly capable of engaging in lengthy discussions about the specifics of legislative proposals and is well-versed in the subject, but the President who turns 79 this week, occasionally stumbles, loses his place, or mispronounces words.

That’s not surprising coming from a long-winded politician who was a self-described gaffe machine even in his prime. Of course, he’s slipped a step or two.

But I’ve never understood why some Republicans and conservative pundits try to portray the president as a doddering fool whose White House is run by others.

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Given the country’s mounting problems inflation, supply shortages, border crisis, and the ongoing Covid in the aftermath of the Afghanistan debacle, why wouldn’t it be in the opposition’s interest to point the finger at the man at the top?

They could also argue that, aside from Biden’s undeniable infrastructure victory, he ran as a moderate Democrat but is now promoting a Bernie agenda. With the president attempting to push through nearly $2 trillion more in spending following the trillion-dollar bipartisan bill, he may be portrayed as a captive of the party’s left-wing.

But not as someone who is clueless about what’s going on.

Politico has now given these is-Biden-senile attacks new mainstream credibility in the form of a poll. That is a safe way of saying, “Hey, we’re just sampling public opinion,” except that news organizations make editorial decisions about which questions to include.

According to the Morning Consult poll, voters have “increasing doubts” about Biden’s health and mental fitness.

Indeed, 48 percent of those polled believe Biden is not “mentally fit” to be president, while 46 percent believe he is. Despite this, voters thought he was a good fit by a 21-point margin in October.

In a related question, half of those polled disagree that Biden is in good health, while 40% believe he is. In that regard, I don’t believe his frequent bouts of coughing have helped.

But here’s the catch: 78 percent of Democrats agree that Biden is mentally fit, either strongly or somewhat. And 86 percent of Republicans, with 76 percent strongly agreeing, believe the president is not mentally fit. (A troubling sign for the White House: 47 percent of independents believe he is unfit.)

As a result, this is being driven by the same deep partisan divide that we see in almost every poll. Most Democrats give Biden the benefit of the doubt, while the vast majority of Republicans do not.

Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Even More - SurgeZirc US
Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Even More

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has worked for Biden, attempted to blame the results on conservative media and social media, telling Politico: “They’re running a very aggressive campaign on this, and it’s starting to permeate the mainstream. People who believe this are either Trump supporters or have been exposed to the right-wing disinformation machine.”

Which is held responsible for everything. However, no right-wing “machine” was able to prevent Biden from winning the election or achieving approval ratings in the 50s earlier this year.

Republicans and Democrats may be swayed by media that reinforces their beliefs. Such questions, I believe, are largely a proxy for whether you like and agree with Biden or dislike and distrust him.

Joe Biden’s Mental Fitness Drawing Media Scrutiny, Is That Fair? - SurgeZirc US
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a conference call on climate change on September 17, 2021, in Washington, DC.

But the thing about the fitness question is that it allows all Americans to make their own decisions. Unlike complex issues such as climate change or supply-chain disruption, people can trust their instincts about whether a political leader is up to the task. That is not a medical diagnosis; it is purely subjective.

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And they don’t see much of Joe Biden outside of set-piece speeches in which he repeats the same one-liners (don’t bet against America) and anecdotes (the day his father lost his job).

He doesn’t interact with reporters very much. If he did this more often, he might be able to persuade some people. Even though Anderson Cooper’s questions were soft, Joe Biden handled the CNN host and audience with ease at a recent town hall, albeit with a few stumbles.

As a result, the White House may be giving the impression that the president’s own staff wishes to limit his public exposure. One poll doesn’t prove Biden has medical issues, but the perception isn’t helping him as he tries to climb out of a political quagmire.

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