The Branding of Jill Biden

In the wake of President Biden’s train wreck of a debate last week, we’ve found our scapegoat: First Lady Jill Biden.

Apparently, she’s the mastermind behind it all, pushing her husband to stay in the race. Really? 

This sexist trope is getting really old. 

Jill Biden is no political novice. She’s a powerhouse with her own impressive resume. But here we are, watching the media brand her as the overbearing spouse. The idea that she’s pulling the strings not only undermines her abilities but frankly reeks of outdated gender roles.

To wit, The Washington Post:

“You know what, I have no idea whether and when Joe Biden fully grasped how bad that was, but in watching Jill Biden on that stage—a vibrant, energetic woman with a doctorate as well as two working ears—I bet she knew. And I hope to God she is talking to her husband.”. 

This, and a deluge of comments like it in recent days, create a twisted narrative, with Dr. Biden as the ultimate puppet master. 

She’s being branded as the cleanup crew for her husband’s blunders.

As Frank Bruni wrote in This Is Not Jill Biden’s Problem to Solve

“Jill Biden should have prevented this. I’ve been hearing or reading versions of that since President Biden’s alarming performance during Thursday night’s debate, as if it had been the first lady’s job to decide and tell him that he wasn’t up to running for a second term, as if it fell on her to persuade him to step aside.”

Branding is powerful, and right now, the media is in overdrive, shaping Jill Biden’s brand into something far from reality. It’s not just lazy journalism; it’s a reflection of deep-seated biases. This branding paints her as “too influential” and “too powerful,” reducing her to a sexist stereotype rather than recognizing her as a force in her own right.

Blaming Jill Biden is a window into our own biases. It’s time we demand a new narrative. 

Whether it’s Dr. Biden or the roster of political spouses dating back to the beginning of time, it’s high time we recognized the real dynamics of political partnerships and celebrated the true, authentic Jill Biden brand: a strong, intelligent, and dedicated public servant.

For more on this, check out the New York Times article here. And here.