By: Carolyn Tieger

October 8, 2021

While there’s been a tremendous amount of finger-pointing over who’s responsible for the grossly bungled Afghanistan departure, the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing clearly laid the blame with President Biden, as his top military advisers threw him under the tank.  

The consequences of his actions have been staggering.  Biden’s mismanagement of the exit cost the lives of thirteen service members, left hundreds, if not thousands of Americans and Afghan allies behind, armed the Taliban with a deserted war chest of weapons and equipment, sullied our country’s reputation and trustworthiness worldwide and has left us vulnerable to another attack on our own soil.   

The reckless exit and now testimony this was a solo decision by Biden have also escalated the debate over whether our commander-in-chief is indeed up to the job.  In recent weeks, he’s been called weak, inept, a disgrace, disconnected from reality and much worse, as his poll numbers drop like a rock.  The judgement of Democratic party leadership and the 80 million people who voted for Biden has also been called into question for putting him in office in the first place.

There is one person who seems to have escaped any scrutiny or finger-pointing for Biden’s judgement or elevation to the highest office in the land.  And that is his wife, Jill.  

As the wife and primary caregiver of a husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s, I can assure you a wife always knows, especially one who is educated and has had a long and loving relationship with her husband.  I knew from the beginning my wonderful, kind and intelligent husband was slipping.  I watched him lose things, forget names, repeat the same stories, make some stories up, be short tempered, make notes to reinforce his memory, rely on me to help with the simplest of tasks, and just sleep a lot.   Sound familiar?

While my husband has shown these symptoms in our home where he is loved and protected, our President has shown similar signs, but on the world stage.  I actually have some empathy and compassion for Joe Biden.   He is not entirely responsible for being catapulted into a job for which he does not have the stamina and sadly, the mental capacity.  He was manipulated, propped up, spoon fed, and likely lied to as he sought the Presidency.  The question is not “did Biden want to be President” but“was he aware of his limitations when running for the office?”  Many living with dementia have no clue there is something wrong.

More importantly, why did Jill Biden not protect him when she had to have known his state of mind?  You may think this is a harsh allegation, but I believe a “good wife”, or any “good husband” for that matter, would have done just that.  I now wonder if she has regrets after seeing him heckled at 9/11 services and football games, as his poll numbers plummet.

She has told Joe where to go, where to stand, and I am sure behind closed doors told him how to behave.  His journey to the Presidency began with small faux pas like not being able to remember a word (not the same as stuttering) to losing his cool with voters to not remembering which state he was in.  

Sadly, his symptoms have worsened since then and led to one of the major indicators of cognitive impairment, a decline in executive functioning that can seriously affect one’s judgement…case in point, the Afghanistan exit.  Biden’s apparent lack of empathy for those he left behind and our murdered service members and their families, as he obsessively checked his watch as the coffins rolled off the plane, was appalling and abnormal behavior.  His almost delusional emphasis on the success of the Afghanistan pull-out and his misplaced anger at those who would disagree are equally alarming.

His mental decline is progressing.  It’s not something he can control.  One does not have to be a neurologist or psychiatrist to see what is happening.  Based on my personal experience with my husband, I had given Biden six months before a disastrous mistake or decision would cause huge problems for our country.  I was off by two months.  Rest assured there will be more.  Dementia is a horrible disease that strips its victims of their dignity, abilities, and personality.

Perhaps Jill Biden was naïve or in denial about her husband’s symptoms.  Perhaps she got caught up in the idea of being First Lady.  But, rest assured, she knew.  She can still show her love and protect him by simply asking him to step down before the next shoe drops. 

Carolyn Tieger worked in Washington, D.C. for more than 40 years, including serving for three years in the Reagan White House.