Jill Biden traveling to NC as husband struggles with worsening crisis in Middle East

By Sarah May on
 April 14, 2024

Though she has taken an unusually active role in her husband's administration, the current first lady is poised to leave D.C. amid a worsening global crisis that could leave the president reeling.

In what some might suggest is rather bad timing for President Joe Biden, his wife, Jill, who many believe is a driving force behind the decisions he makes, is poised to travel to North Carolina to tout educational initiatives, as the Charlotte Observer reports.

Jill Biden takes her leave

Heading to the Tar Heel state on Monday, Mrs. Biden will first stop at Pitt Community College in Winterville to laud programming a press release said is “transforming the high school experience and unlocking new pathways to career opportunities for students.”

From there, the first lady will head to Greensboro for a visit to Guilford Technical Community College for a roundtable talk with area educators, students, and leaders.

Notably, Montgomery County Schools was awarded $1.4 million through a Biden administration program that aimed to invest $25 million in career-connected learning initiatives nationwide, something his wife is certain to mention on Monday.

Unfortunate timing

Though Mrs. Biden's trip is surely viewed as a critical part of her husband's campaign outreach to the state of North Carolina, it comes at a time of intense pressure on the administration and one in which the president may wish to have his closest confidante nearby.

Spiraling tensions in the Middle East between Israel and Iran reached such a fever pitch over the weekend that President Biden was forced to cut short his weekend beach getaway in Delaware and return to the White House for emergency meetings, as the Daily Mail reported.

As reports of Tehran's plans to launch missiles toward Israel began to grow more serious, Biden departed for D.C. in order to hold meetings with his national security team as well as with officials in Tel Aviv.

True to its warnings, Iran proceeded with plans to launch drone and missile attacks toward Israel, most of which were successfully intercepted by the Israeli military and its allies, as NBC News noted.

Escalation just beginning?

Though Washington assuredly breathed a collective sigh of relief that the attack did not inflict significant damage or casualties, that is not to say that the danger of a perilous escalation of hostilities has passed.

As NBC News noted separately, many top officials inside the administration are concerned that Israel may initiate a harsh and hasty response to Iranian aggression that could prompt a widespread expansion of the conflict.

A senior administration official told NBC News that the president made it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his country should not launch a retaliatory strike on Iran and that if it did so, the United States would not be offering support.

Even so, one Israeli official told the outlet, “Israel is going to consult with all its partners but ultimately, it's Israels' decision as to what the response will be. Israel cannot allow such a large attack over Israel without some kind of response, be it small or large. It's up to the war cabinet to decide now.”

Given what some suggest are his rapidly declining cognitive and decision-making skills, this appears to be precisely the sort of scenario when Joe Biden most relies on his wife, and her absence – albeit a short one – could add to the tension currently gripping the Oval Office.

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