‘It’s Only Gotten Worse’: Psychiatrist Analyzes Biden’s Folksy Fibs, From Football Stardom To Civil Rights Battles
President Biden has an odd habit.
He likes to relate to his audience, but that’s a common trait among politicians. What’s strange about Biden’s folksy “charm” is that he seems to appropriate the experiences of whatever demographic his audience is that day.
If we listen to Biden, he’s a devout Irish Catholic who’s also Jewish and went to synagogue, who’s also Greek, who sometimes wished he were Polish, who was raised by Puerto Ricans and also the black community. He’s also a former truck driver who was part of the civil rights movement, was offered a Naval Academy football sponsorship, was arrested in South Africa with Nelson Mandela, and whose dad was cool with gay men kissing in public in 1950s Scranton.
It’s all very well for a politician to get folksy with his audience, but Biden goes beyond that. He sometimes crosses the line into fiction. His ever-growing collection of anecdotes about his apparently incredibly varied life experiences seem to contradict each other as well as beg belief.
Last week, Biden told the Polish president that he grew up near a lot of Polish people in Wilmington, Delaware, and was “self-conscious my name didn’t end in an ‘s-k-i’ or an ‘o.’”
Biden added “all kidding aside,” but he often tags a “not a joke” onto the end of his outlandish stories.
“I probably went to shul more than many of you did. You all think I’m kidding,” Biden said in September at a Jewish new year celebration.
“I’m a practicing Catholic, but I’d go to services on Saturday and on Sunday,” he said. As the audience laughed, he repeated, “You all think I’m kidding. I’m not.”
At least one psychiatrist is suggesting that Biden’s exaggerated stories may be connected to mental decline.
“One would assume that it has been pointed out to Biden by people in his circle, that he has been embellishing half-truths or even telling tall tales,” said Dr. Carole Lieberman, M.D., a forensic psychiatrist who has provided expert witness testimony in several high-profile cases.
“Biden doesn’t seem able to stop himself. Indeed, it has only gotten worse, as have other symptoms of his dementia,” Lieberman told The Daily Wire.
Concerns about Biden’s cognition are not new.
During his presidential campaign, Biden’s physician assured that the former vice president was a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old.” However, critics have expressed serious concerns about his mental capacity.
Biden’s exaggerations may be more frequent now, but they stretch back to before his old age.
In a 1987 clip, Biden boasted that he graduated “in the top half of my class” at Syracuse University College of Law. Later he admitted that he graduated 76th in his class of 85 students.
Lieberman said another reason Biden exaggerates is that he wants to be liked, especially leading up to 2024, so he is attempting to appeal to all people, Polish, Jewish, black, or LGBT.
“He tells these stories as a way to try to cement his likability in whatever audience he’s in front of — especially because he knows he’s making gaffes and needs the audience to feel connection and compassion towards him,” Lieberman said.
“I’m an honorary Greek, not only today but every day!” Biden said in 2009 at a Greek Independence Day celebration.
“I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically,” Biden said in October, speaking to a group of Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Fiona.
“I come out of a black community, in terms of my support,” Biden said in November 2019 during a primary debate.
That comment raised eyebrows, and a few months later, he attempted to clarify.
“I’m not saying, ‘I am black.’ But I want to tell you something — I have spent my whole career with the black community,” Biden said.
Biden has also claimed he was active in the civil rights movement.
In January, he claimed to have attended a historic black church — on top of Mass and synagogue — to help organize anti-segregation protests.
“Let’s lay one thing to rest. I may be a practicing Catholic, but [I] used to go to 7:30 Mass every morning in high school and then in college before I went to the black church,” Biden said during remarks celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Longtime congregants have said they do not remember Biden ever attending.
“I used to drive an 18-wheeler, man,” Biden said in July 2021 while visiting a Mack Truck facility in Pennsylvania. The White House eventually pointed to a December 1973 article from the Wilmington Evening Journal saying Biden once rode in an 18-wheeler truck.
In May, Biden boasted that he almost attended the U.S. Naval Academy, which requires a congressional nomination. No records have been found to back up that claim.
In July while speaking to athletes in Israel, Biden claimed he almost tried out as a walk-on in the NFL.
In 2020, Biden walked back one of his most famous questionable claims, that he was arrested in South Africa while trying to visit Nelson Mandela.
One of Biden’s most unbelievable claims is that his Catholic father had no problem with two gay men kissing in public on the streets of 1950s Scranton.
“Joey, it’s simple. They love each other,” Biden claims his dad told him. Yet even with such a staggeringly progressive father, Biden still opposed gay marriage for another six decades.
Whether Biden’s stories are honest mistakes, deliberate exaggerations, or a symptom of an aging mind, the president seems as eager as ever to tell them.
“He’s hoping for the sympathy vote,” Lieberman said.