Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (2024)

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (1)

Former President Donald Trump leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after being found guilty in his hush money trial on May 30 in New York City.

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Trying to achieve moral virtue is not easy, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle taught. If you have to pick between two extremes, choose “the lesser of two evils,” because that’s likelier to bring you to the desired middle way.

That’s the approach President Joe Biden implies when he often quotes his father: “Don’t compare me to the Almighty.Compare me to the alternative.”

Yet, when first lady Jill Biden appeared on “The View” Wednesday, the choice was painted in much starker terms: “I believe Americans are going to choose good over evil.”

She predicted that the polls showing her husband trailing former President Donald Trump “are going to turn … as time goes on as, as people start to focus a little bit more about what’s at stake and start to become educated on the issues and the differences between them…”

A day later, Jill and Joe Biden got the biggest piece of evidence they can cite in hopes of moving the polls in his favor: A Manhattan jury returned a swift verdict of guilty against Trump on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (2)

Yet the former president didn’t miss a beat in his relentless effort to brand the trial and his conviction as “rigged,” falsely arguing that the outcome was orchestrated by the Biden campaign and using it to ramp up his fundraising.

And Republicans, particularly those seeking to become Trump’s vice president pick, flocked to condemn the verdict. “Republicans have been lining up more quickly than kids at an ice cream truck to discredit the judicial process and declare their support for Trump,” Julian Zelizer noted.

Trump’s trial is over but America’s is still in its early stages. The voters are being tested by the politics of bitter division and will be asked to choose sides this fall between two deeply unpopular major party candidates.

“We’ve never had a trial of a president before,” observed legal analyst Norm Eisen, who penned a daily diary from the courtroom for CNN Opinion. “And yet, the trial was about one of the oldest American ideals: that no one is above the law.We overthrew a British king and put a constitution in his place. And with all of our ups and down as a nation, we have ever kept that idea alive. Having a president subject to the same laws, rules and procedures as any other American is a powerful reaffirmation of that idea.

As president, Trump was acquitted in two impeachment trials in the US Senate, and he has so far fended off trials in three other criminal cases. But in New York Thursday, “the enormity of Trump being finally held accountable by a jury of his peers after so many allegations resonates across the nation and around the world,” Eisen observed.

“The ranks of the anti-Trump #Resistance haven’t celebrated this hardsinceNovember 7, 2020,” Patrick T. Brown pointed out. “Whatever the polls have said up until Thursday about the odds this November, progressives might tell themselves, being found guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying business records could be the silver bullet that prevents a second Trump term.”

“But let’s think about that logic: Trump’s personal eccentricities and baggage have been well-known for years. The act for which hush money was proffered — allegedlycheating on his postpartum wife with an adult film actress — has been known since2018. Are there really that many voters whose view of Trump as a man, or politician, could be altered by bookkeeping irregularities? How many would-be Trump voters will be swayed against him because of miscategorized business expenses?”

And SE Cupp wrote, “Will his voters care now that they’re about to elect a convicted felon? Probably not. But how this will impact swing and undecided voters is the looming question — they might not be so forgiving.”

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (3)

As legal analyst Joey Jackson noted, the Trump defense trained its fire on star prosecution witness Michael Cohen, an admitted liar and convict. “Team Trump called Cohen the ‘Greatest Liar of All Time’ (the ‘GLOAT’ for short) in addition to being a biased witness that hated Trumpand had a huge axe to grind. The defense lambasted him, asserting that the jury could not convict based upon his word.”

“With the first note that the jury sent to Judge Juan Merchan, it became apparent that they did not disregard Cohen’s testimony at all…”

Political strategist Paul Begala wrote that Biden’s team should resist the temptation to center their election pitch around Trump’s felony conviction.

Democrats should focus on voters’ lives, not Trump’s criminality. Democrats should put Trump ‘on trial’ forsuggesting he was open to cuttingSocial Security, Medicare and Medicaid;for wanting to kick millions of Americans off Obamacare; forpromising to roll back environmental rules and policiesif oil executives raised $1 billion to return him to the White House; for stacking the Supreme Court with right-wing partisans who overturned Roe v. Wade and might come after gay marriage and contraception next. They should hammer Trump for tanking the strongest border security bill in decades; for kowtowing to the Russian dictatorVladimir Putin, and for wanting to cut taxes for his fellow billionaires,” Begala advised.

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (4)

De Niro’s moment

Biden’s campaign had been content to let Trump stew in his role as criminal defendant without getting involved. That changed Tuesday when the president’s team trotted out actor Robert De Niro and two police officers injured at the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot to face the press outside the criminal courthouse where Trump was on trial.

“The stated goal was to highlight Trump’s trespasses on democracy and general unfitness for office,” wrote David Axelrod, “but the scene quickly devolved into a shouting match between De Niroand a small crowd of hecklers who roasted him as he roasted Trump. Great fodder for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but notnecessarily the campaign.”

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“Fingers were pointed between De Niro and the Trump-loving hecklers. F-bombs flew. And those images and De Niro’s impulse to plunge into the legal fray hours before the case would go to the jury became the story.”

Axelrod added, “It’s also a little bewildering why Team Biden,struggling with younger voters, cast De Niro as itspoint man here. After all, nothing speaks to Gen Z more than yet another octogenarian.”

“Who thought this was a good idea?”

In the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove also questioned the strategy of enlisting De Niro, who said Trump “wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and eventually he can destroy the world.”

“It might’ve been convincing if Mr. De Niro argued that Mr. Trump’s policies would hurt the city, the country or even the planet. But what voter not already in the Biden camp would believe that Mr. Trump is a cartoonish supervillain bent on obliterating the globe?” Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are offering equally unhinged statements, Rove argued.

“The campaign that figures out how to attack based on appeals to substance and reason rather than bluster and bombast will likely be November’s winner,” Rove observed.

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (5)

For more:

Arick Wierson: Dear American voter, you should care what the rest of the world thinks

Dean Obeidallah: What the Libertarians are warning us all about Trump

Mark Mellman: Would a conviction hurt Trump on Election Day?

Women in the lead

The frontrunners in Mexico’s election Sunday are both women, as Alice Driver wrote. It’s “a stark contrast to the United States, which has never elected a woman to the highest office and has seen its Supreme Court overturn a ruling that established a national right for women to choose abortion.”

“This is not to say that Mexico’s candidates are perfect because women are as complex and fallible as anyone else. For example,(Claudia) Sheinbaum is a staunch supporter of current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has called women’s rights activists‘pseudo-feminists.’… in Mexico, many debate whether Sheinbaum, who leads the race, will be a feminist leader or even a great president.”

Still, Driver observed that in Mexico, “whereat least 10 women and girls are murdered per day, electing a woman to lead the country is beyond symbolic. Whether Sheinbaum or (Xóchitl) Gálvez wins, Mexican citizens will spend the next six years watching a woman lead the country.” Driver added that Susan Segal, CEO of the Americas Society, cited studies showing that“women are more likely to build consensus and advocate for a socially inclusive agenda.”

Netanyahu’s hold on power

Frida Ghitis posed a question that many have asked since “Hamas breached Israel’s border with Gaza on October 7, brutally massacringmore than 1,000people, kidnapping hundreds,sexually assaultingcountless women, and triggering a horrific war in Gaza.” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “was in charge on the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Andheis now the prime minister on whose watch Israel is enduring a massive international backlash over its campaign to uproot Hamas that has resulted in unimaginable suffering in Gaza, a wave of global isolation,slanderous accusationsagainst Israel in international courtsand a dangerous split in support in the United States.”

“How is he still in power?”

On Friday, Biden announced the terms of an Israeli peace proposal. Peter Bergen argued that Hamas and Israel should seize the opportunity to stop the war. “While there are clearly many ‘what ifs’ in this plan, and it may not satisfy spoilers like the right-wingers in Netanyahu’s government or some of the hard core of Hamas, the enemy of the perfect deal is not the reasonably OK deal. And this is a sufficiently OK deal for both sides. Otherwise, the war will rage on without end with all that implies for the people of Gaza and, ultimately, for the state of Israel.

Melinda French Gates

Jill Filipovic wrote that “there is something irrefutably broken about a global system in which a small number of people are able to amass staggering amounts of wealth, a huge number struggle to simply survive (and many don’t) and then we applaud those among the uber-wealthy who bestow some of their largess on the suffering masses.” But “some billionaires are behaving much more generously and ethically than others. And their work should stand in contrast to those who simply accrue more toys or watch their net worth go infinitely up.”

She called out Melinda French Gates for committing $1 billion over the next two years to fund efforts to protect women’s and girls’ rights, and said MacKenzie Scott has helped forge a path for women billionaires to set a powerful example on the importance of philanthropy.

Bennifer II

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (6)

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2024.

After an unhappy first marriage, a second one is the “triumph of hope over experience,” the English writer Samuel Johnson famously said. That goes doubly for a second relationship between two people.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s “first romance collapsed in 2003 under theweight of media attention, justdays before their wedding,” Holly Thomas wrote. “Now, with analbum,filmanddocumentarythemed around their second act, Lopez has invited that scrutiny backagain, despite her beloved’s obvious reluctance. In the context of the last few weeks ofbreakup rumors,itlooks like a catastrophic misjudgment.”

“It’s little wonder so many of us are invested in Bennifer…The first time they got together,they represented the epitome of early 2000s glamor. Every public sighting channeled ostentatious devotion, from Affleck’s appearance in Lopez’s 2002 “Jenny From The Block”music videoto the$2.5 million dollar pink diamondin her engagement ring. They evenpioneeredthe cloying portmanteau nickname.”

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Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (7)

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AND…

Josh Gibson

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (8)

Josh Gibson, a catcher in the Negro Leagues, now holds the record for single season batting average.

At least since 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first Black player in Major League Baseball, fans have wondered “whether it was just or even accurate to say that White baseball greats of the early 20th century — from Walter Johnson to Babe Ruth to Lou Gehrig to Joe DiMaggio — were greater players than (Josh) Gibson, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Buck Leonard and other Negro Legends whose gifts have received greater acknowledgment since integration took effect,” wrote Gene Seymour.

Now the debate can take place on a more level playing field: MLB announced Tuesday that player stats from the Negro Leagues are being incorporated into baseball’s record books.

To take one standout example: Josh Gibson, a catcher, now owns the baseball record for best single season batting average (.466) and career slugging percentage (.718), Seymour noted.

“For generations of baseball aficionados, especially African Americans, it’s somewhat breathtaking to wake up in a world where Gibson, whose untimely death at 35 from a stroke was also attributed by friends and colleagues to a heart broken from being prohibited by racism from showing what he could do in the big leagues, could now be officially considered the Best Ever To Play The Game.”

Opinion: Jill Biden’s prophecy | CNN (2024)

FAQs

What degree does Jill Biden have? ›

Biden has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and master's degrees in education and English from West Chester University and Villanova University, and returned to the University of Delaware for a doctoral degree in education.

What subject does Jill Biden teach? ›

While serving as First Lady, Dr. Biden continued teaching English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has been a professor since 2009. She is the first presidential spouse to maintain an independent career outside of the White House.

How many people watched the CNN presidential debate in 2024? ›

47.9 million viewers tuned in to CNN's presidential debate with Biden and Trump. Guests at the Old Town Pour House watch the debate between President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee former President Donald Trump on June 27, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.

How old is Joe Biden? ›

On Thursday night in Atlanta, President Joe Biden, 81, and presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump, 78, will become the oldest U.S. presidential candidates to ever spar in a debate.

Who is Jill's ex-husband? ›

What is the difference between a PhD and a doctorate? ›

A PhD is an academic degree focused on original research, data analysis, and the evaluation of theory. A professional doctorate focuses on applying research to practical problems, formulating solutions to complex issues, and designing effective professional practices within your field.

What is Jill Biden's salary? ›

The annual salary of a president is $400,000, and Jill Biden works as a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, from which she made $85,985.

Where did Natalie Biden go to college? ›

What nationality is Jill Biden? ›

What was the first ever TV presidential debate? ›

Nixon and Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy. The first-ever televised debate between presidential candidates was held on September 26, 1960. An estimated total of sixty to seventy million viewers watched the first and the successive debates, which came to be known as “the Great Debates.”

What are the ratings for the presidential debate? ›

The much-anticipated debate on Thursday night between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump drew an estimated 51.27 million viewers to the CNN presentation, Nielsen and CNN reported on Friday.

What is the presidential debate for? ›

Candidate debates are not constitutionally mandated, but they are now considered an intrinsic part of the election process. The debates are targeted mainly at undecided voters; those who tend not to be partial to any political ideology or party.

Who was the oldest president? ›

The oldest president at the end of his tenure was Ronald Reagan at 77; this distinction will eventually fall upon Joe Biden, who is currently 81.

How old was Obama when he became president? ›

Age at inauguration: 47 years, 5 months

Barack Obama presented a new way “forward,” not only as one of the nation's youngest presidents, but also as its first Black president.

Who takes over from Biden? ›

Vice-president Kamala Harris would automatically take Mr Biden's place if he were to step down during his presidential term.

What is the difference between EdD and PhD? ›

The EdD is focused on individuals who want to apply their knowledge to practice, while the PhD is more focused on research. However, learning more about the distinction between the two can help you find the program that most closely aligns with your goals.

When did Jill Biden attend college? ›

Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey. Growing up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Upper Moreland High School in 1969. She attended the University of Delaware, receiving a bachelor's degree in English in 1975.

How many biological children does Joe Biden have? ›

Children. Joe Biden fathered four children from two marriages. His firstborn daughter and third child, Naomi Christina Biden, died in December 1972, in the same car accident as her mother. His firstborn son and first child, Joseph "Beau" R. Biden III, died in May 2015 from brain cancer.

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