“She likes power. She wants to stay” Jill Biden’s Influence Tipped the Scales for President Joe Biden’s Reelection Bid

Jill Biden
PHOTO: EPA-EFE

In a recent interview on CBS News’s “Face, The Nation,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley provided insight into the motivations behind President Joe Biden’s decision to seek re-election, attributing a significant influence to First Lady Jill Biden. Brinkley, the esteemed author of “The Unfinished Presidency,” drew a contrast between Jill Biden’s stance and the historical precedents set by the spouses of former Presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson. Unlike Bess Truman and Lady Bird Johnson, who played pivotal roles in their husbands’ decisions not to pursue second terms in office, Jill Biden appears to embrace the continuation of her husband’s presidency.

Brinkley highlighted Jill Biden’s unique position among first ladies, noting her apparent affinity for the influence and responsibilities that come with her role within the White House. He suggested that Jill Biden’s desire to retain this position of power and her commitment to her work, including her role as a teacher at a Virginia community college, contribute to a sense of belonging and purpose in the political sphere. Brinkley pointed out the challenges and criticisms the Bidens have faced during their tenure, implying that these adversities have only strengthened Jill Biden’s resolve to remain in the political arena, reported by The Daily Wire.

“She is the vital part. Dr. Jill Biden is it,” he said. “You know, if you go back to 1952, Harry Truman could have run, and he didn’t. Why? Well, the Korean War and, you know, other reasons. But — but Bess wanted to go back to Independence [Missouri] — she didn’t like it in Washington.”

“If you cut to ’68, Lyndon Johnson was – quit in March of ’68 and people will say because of Walter Cronkite. No,” he continued. “The big thing was his health was bad, he had a bad heart, he was smoking, high blood pressure, tension, and Lady Bird Johnson didn’t want to stay in. And she wanted – let’s go back to Texas and convince Johnson to step down.”

The historian’s comments shed light on the dynamics of presidential decision-making and the significant impact that first ladies can have on the political careers of their spouses. By comparing Jill Biden’s approach to that of her predecessors, Brinkley underscores the evolving role of first ladies in American politics and their potential to influence the course of presidential administrations.

“That’s not the case with Jill Biden. She likes power. She wants to stay. She wants some sense of revenge,” he continued. “She teaches at Virginia Community College. This milieu around our building here, this is her home. And the idea of relinquishing it all after you’ve taken the slings and arrows of the last years of attacks, and at the last minute, just when you get all the delegates you’re going to say, I’m going to open it up to a bunch of people — it’s very childish when you read those kind of reports.”

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