Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to back President Joe Biden and vouch for Biden’s mental soundness early Sunday morning. The support comes after Special Counsel Robert Hur questioned the president’s memory in his report on the classified documents found in Biden’s garage.
Netanyahu’s support comes at an ideal time — though from a person far removed from mainstream American electoral politics — given that Special Counsel Ben Hur took one of our generation’s most gratuitous cheap shots at President Biden.
In so doing, Hur violated ethical rules within the DOJ that prevent the prosecutorial process from being used politically. It is Hur who used his prosecutorial powers to enter the political fray. We prefer to avoid the “weaponization” word, but this is a prime example.
Hur called the President a “well-meaning” elderly man with memory issues. The simple line led Republicans like Marco Rubio (R-FL) to suggest that Biden has dementia.
Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC) was a bit more magnanimous about Biden’s state, which may have made his remark more cutting:
“I’m not one who gets personal. But when it’s so profound, that you have a prosecutor take note of it, I think it’s something to pay attention to. I’m not trying to take a cheap shot…Let’s say that was the CEO of a company. What would their board of directors be asking for this evening?”
The Board of that company would review how the company has done under the CEO’s leadership and not particularly care what a rival with an agenda says. They would also have doctors’ reports (which I am nearly certain President Biden has) attesting to his fitness.
But Netanyahu is the closest thing Biden has to a neutral voice coming out in his favor. To be fair, Netanyahu and Trump have grown to despise each other. And yet, Netanyahu didn’t need to enter the fray.
Still, he did. In response to a question from Jonathan Karl of ABC News This Week about Biden’s fitness for office, the Israeli Prime Minister said, “Well, John, I’ve had more than a dozen phone conversations, extended phone conversations with President Biden.” (Video below)
And then the kicker — Netanyahu impressed upon the audience, “And I found him very clear and very focused. We managed to agree on the war aims and on many things.”
That is nice.
It is also likely true, too — especially given President Biden’s reaction to the Hur slap. Biden was sharp and crisp in his rebuke. It is best to recall that this is the President of the United States speaking about a former Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney when Biden said, “How in the hell dare he raise that?”
It is a good question, and it’s one that Biden’s team and the rest of the Democratic establishment must gather to fight. And they are going to fight it right on through election day in November.
Netanyahu’s comments are beneficial but nowhere near enough to repair the damage.
Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: