Is Jill Biden an Eleanor Roosevelt or Lady Bird Johnson?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The question is whether or not President Biden leaves the presidential race. The only people who can answer that question are Joe Biden and Jill Biden.

It doesn't take going too far out on a limb to state that as long as Jilly from Philly is in charge (and she is) Joe Biden will remain in the race. She is determined to convince the world that her husband has a very successful presidency and deserves four more years. 


Add to the mix Hunter Biden, who is now reportedly sitting in on meetings at the White House. He wants his father in power as long as possible. The Biden Crime Family needs the Big Guy's political position to peddle to the highest bidders. 

Right now Jill is very angry about the Democrats coming forward and saying for the good of the country and for success in November up and down the ballot, Biden needs to step aside. That presumes that Joe and Jill care about anyone else on the ballot. They don't. Just Joe.

The Biden family has circled Joe to protect him from the slings and arrows of criticism. They are putting the blame on staff for Biden's horrible debate performance. 

'I believe the family has witnessed blunder after blunder by key staff personnel and the debate is likely the straw that broke the camel's back,' one of 13 sources close to the president told NBC.

'Post-debate, the supposed loyal staff, instead of taking responsibility, pointed the finger back at the president and said: 'His fault.' I can think of no other singular action that would agitate the Biden family more.' 

Aides in turn believe the president's family is blinded to the political realities by emotion and likened their 'unhelpful' meddling to a Shakespearean drama.

'The debate fiasco has opened up a lane for the family to surpass staff and start helping out their father and brother who they love dearly,' another insider said.


So, the family is looking to settle scores and pushing staff aside to take control. What could go wrong? 

There is an interesting piece in The Atlantic online today that recognizes Jill as She Who Must be Obeyed. Joe will listen to her above everyone else. The question is whether Jill will be Eleanor Roosevelt or Lady Bird Johnson as she advises him going forward. 

Spoiler alert - Jill is Eleanor.

In Vogue's slobbering interview with Jill that came out earlier this week, Jill was compared to Eleanor. I noted that surely Hillary Clinton would be pissed about that because she worked hard to convince everyone that she was the incarnation of Eleanor. Democrat women love Eleanor. 

The Atlantic piece said that Jill has a momentous choice to make. Does she think of her husband's well-being or does she push forward? 

Biden isn’t the only first lady to face a choice like this one. As their wartime husbands undertook reelection campaigns, both Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson faced difficult decisions, and they came to very different conclusions. Roosevelt supported her husband’s candidacy in 1944 without reservation, although she believed that he might not survive the term in office that followed. Johnson, on the other hand, was the leading voice in her husband’s inner circle calling for him not to run in 1968 for a second full term.

Eleanor thought the job was more important than FDR's health. He ended up dying six months after his last election. 


Franklin D. Roosevelt was gravely ill by the spring of 1944. He had severe, long-untreated hypertension, which resulted in an enlarged heart as well as difficulty breathing, sleeping, and concentrating during the day. He may also have had cancer that metastasized to his stomach. His doctors were cagey, underplaying his diagnosis and his recommended treatment. Regardless, the president, his closest advisers, and his family members knew for the entirety of the election year that his health was subpar.

At the time she told a friend, “If he can accomplish what he set out to do, and then he dies, it will have been worth it.” Wow. 

Lady Bird Johnson was LBJ's most cherished adviser. She made his health a priority. He had heart issues and suffered a massive heart attack while he was Senate Majority Leader. LBJ also suffered from chronic depression. 

Lady Bird wrote a memo to her husband outlining a timeline for his presidency, in May 1964. 

Lady Bird proposed a timeline for his presidency, specifically casting ahead to “February or March of 1968” as the right moment for him to announce that he would not run for a second term. He was only five months into his post-assassination presidency, and already pressure to escalate in Vietnam and a Senate filibuster on civil rights signaled to both him and his wife that LBJ might not be able to hold on to the goodwill of the country over the next eight years.


Lady Bird was a realist and she loved her husband. She knew it was up to her to guide him in his exit from the White House. 

Fast-forward to October 1967, when Lady Bird began her private campaign to find the right time to persuade LBJ to make her strategy public, and when Lyndon himself began to discuss the prospect with two more confidants. By 1968, now a doting grandfather and the father-in-law of two men bound for service in Vietnam, he was speaking often with Lady Bird about how to survive Washington long enough for their growing family to thrive in their post-presidency. On March 31, 1968, when Lyndon surprised even his closest staff in announcing that he would not run for a second term, his statement—tucked into a speech about Vietnam—was an amalgam of drafts, including two that Lady Bird had written herself.

Given the contrast in past Democrat first ladies, it is clear to see that Jill is an Eleanor. 

Joe Biden will not survive another four years in the White House. He is barely holding on right now. This is elder abuse. Jill has to love her country more than she loves the power and perks of being first lady. If the message from the campaign is that Joe is saving democracy, his staying in the race is the exact opposite. He isn't running his administration. Unelected officials and family members are doing his job. This is a constitutional crisis.

The Atlantic offers a suggestion. It pats Joe and Jill on the back for a successful run in the White House (!) but says it's time to go.


Jill Biden is dealing with a very different president. Historians may quibble, but Joe Biden’s quest for the presidency, however, the narrative has been shaped by Biden's staff and family members, reads as a straight line of ambition and effort, thwarted at turns, and finally manifest. His wife has been central to this success. But now her legacy rides on leading him out of his historically successful presidency—not just for her sake or for his, but for that of American democracy.

Biden's problems aren't the fault of his staff. It is dementia. It is his old age. For the good of the country, he should step aside. He won't but he should.

Note: I wrongly identified LBJ as a former Speaker of the House. He was Senate Majority Leader. Please excuse my mistake. - Karen

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