Jill Biden on the front lines

(Washington) She was there to support him, literally, after his disastrous debate against Donald Trump, she was at his side the day after Joe Biden promised to “fight” again: Jill Biden is more than ever at the forefront of her husband’s campaign.


Published at 8:49 a.m.



Aurelia END

France Media Agency

“His opinion is certainly more important than any other (for the American president). Without his support, it would be impossible for him to stay in the race,” Tammy Vigil, professor of communication at Boston University, told AFP.

Monday, the magazine Vogue unveiled the cover of its August issue: Jill Biden, in a long white silk blazer dress by Ralph Lauren.

The photograph is from late April, and the magazine’s article draws on interviews and reporting from that period, well before Joe Biden broke down live on CNN against his Republican rival.

But in a note introducing the paper, the editors of Vogue said he spoke on the phone with the first lady shortly after the debate, amid growing calls for the 81-year-old Democrat to withdraw his candidacy.

” The right person ”

“There is no question of letting 90 minutes summarize what he did during four years as president,” said the 73-year-old university professor.

On Saturday, the woman who has shared the American president’s life for 47 years said: “Joe is not only the right person to do this job. He is the only person.”

On Thursday, at the end of the debate, the first lady took her husband’s arm to help him down, with difficulty, the few steps of the CNN studio.

PHOTO GERALD HERBERT, ARCHIVES ASSOCIATED PRESS

First Lady Jill Biden, right, stands with President Joe Biden following a presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee former President Donald Trump hosted by CNN, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta.

On Friday, she appeared alongside a rejuvenated Joe Biden at a rally in North Carolina, wearing a dress emblazoned with “Vote.”

When she married Joe Biden in 1977, he was a widower, after a car accident five years earlier had killed his first wife and their infant daughter, and which was survived by two boys, Beau and Hunter.

Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015. Hunter Biden struggled for years with a crack addiction.

Of this tried family, the first lady is today the center of gravity and it is obvious that without her support, the Democrat would not have set out in search of a second term.

After arriving at the White House, she continued to teach English at a university near Washington, something unheard of for a presidential wife.

“Abuse”

For the rest, she has slipped into the stereotypical and relatively self-effacing role of first lady, responsible for Christmas decorations and the menu for gala dinners, as well as consensual causes.

“A first lady today is supposed to be the ‘not-so-secret weapon’ who supports her husband by showcasing her personality and helping raise money. So Jill Biden is expected to be involved in the campaign,” Vigil said.

“But there are also implicit limits to this activity, which appear once a red line is crossed. If she defends her husband too energetically, she will be criticized,” assures the academic.

On social media, the first lady has been a favorite target for some of Donald Trump’s supporters since the debate, who portray her as an unscrupulous manipulator.

“What Jill Biden and the campaign team did tonight […]”This is elder abuse,” Wyoming conservative lawmaker Harriet Hageman responded in a message on X on Thursday evening.

But the criticism is not only coming from the right, as evidenced by this indignant comment about X from a former investment fund manager and Democratic donor, Whitney Tilson.

“Today, the almost universal feeling among the most loyal Democrats [comme moi] is that Biden and his inner circle [à commencer par Jill] try to us [faire croire que le président américain] is doing well when it is obvious that he is not,” he wrote on Monday.

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