Conservative columnist and political commentator Mona Charen is putting lie to a narrative about Joe Biden that Democrats themselves have had a hard time disabusing. Charen assesses the public evidence of Biden’s mental acuity and says he checks all the necessary boxes. Biden is old, Charen admits, and that’s not ideal. But it isn’t catastrophic either, as worried Democrats seem to think.
Charen says aloud what’s plain to any Biden observer who isn’t looking to satisfy a confirmation bias about the President’s so-called cognitive decline. Charen asserts that anyone who listened to the President speak in Hanoi during his G20 summit, and then watched as he took live questions from reporters in the room, could reasonably conclude only one thing about the mental capacity of a President whose seniority is often recast as his senility. As Charen puts it unequivocally: “His brain is working fine.”
There is just no way to watch Biden’s Hanoi press conference and not recognize that his brain is working fine. He responds to questions in appropriate fashion. His words are diplomatically chosen, and his thoughts follow in logical order. He remembers what he just said a few minutes ago and doesn’t repeat himself (or not more than the average politician).
Below is the performance she references, a virtual 26-minute test, taken live, that Charen says Biden aces from a mental standpoint:
Charen’s defense of Biden isn’t the kneejerk or wishful result of her political background guiding her senses either. Though she is against Trump and what she characterizes as his GOP enablers, Charen has her Republican bona fides firmly in place — she worked in the Reagan White House and has spoken at CPAC, though her best-known talk there got boos from a rapidly changing GOP morphing into MAGA.
[NOTE: Charen claimed to be glad about the CPAC boos, hearing them as a sign that her message and intent were clearly understood: “My views on Trump, Roy Moore and Steve Bannon are no secret,” she wrote. “I knew the crowd would be hostile.”]
About the boos and the changing of the CPAC guard, Charen wrote in 2018: “we’ve let disgust and dismay lead us to withdraw while bad actors take control of the direction of our movement. I know how encouraged I feel whenever someone simply states the truth…”
The truth, in the case of Biden as she sees it, is that he is functioning mentally at the level needed, even if she and the President are worlds apart on policy.