February 11, 2024

Hillary Clinton weighs in on Biden's cognitive state, advancing age

The release last week of special counsel Robert Hur's report on Joe Biden's handling of classified materials unleashed a torrent of controversy, as it made explicit reference to the president's advanced age and memory issues, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently weighed in with her own diagnosis of the situation, as Fox News reports.

While Hur declined to recommend criminal prosecution of Biden for his conduct in relation to sensitive government materials, he did make note of the “significant limitations” that plagued the president's powers of recall, noting his “poor memory” and its potential impact on a putative jury.

Clinton holds forth

The attention Hur paid to Biden's mental state in his report spurred substantial debate and even prompted some to call on Cabinet members to utilize the 25th Amendment to facilitate his removal from the Oval Office.

Those startling events came close on the heels of a chat Clinton had with MSNBC's Alex Wagner in which the elephant in the room, namely, Biden's cognitive health and octogenarian status, could not be avoided.

With regard to Biden's age, Clinton said, “I talk to people in the White House all the time, and you know, they know it's an issue, but as I like to say, 'look, it's a legitimate issue.'”

At the same time, however, she suggested that the age concerns are not unique to the incumbent Democrat, considering that his likely general election competitor was born just a few years earlier.

Clinton stated, “It's a legitimate issue for [former President Donald] Trump who's only three years younger, right? So, it's an issue.”

All in for Joe

Having said all of that, Clinton reiterated her support for Biden's re-election bid, stating that she is focused on what she feels are the high stakes of the 2024 contest.

“And I'm for Joe Biden because of the merits,” Clinton said. “I think he has done a really good job as president.”

As far as advice for Biden, Clinton said that he ought to make light of his age and “lean into the fact that he's experienced, and that experience is not just in the political arena. It's like, the stuff of, you know, human experience.”

Not amused

However, not everyone had the same jocular attitude about the situation exhibited by Clinton, as Biden's personal lawyers Bob Bauer and Richard Sauber angrily took aim at Hur's report and its comments about the president's memory, saying that they were not “accurate or appropriate.”

Vice President Kamala Harris was similarly aggravated, stating that Hur's portrayal “could not be more wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated,” but try as they might, Biden's backers will have a tough time overcoming presidential performances such as his belligerent Thursday night press conference, which only served to reinforce Hur's take, not counter it.

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