WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Do Bidens owe the public a more thorough explanation of Beau's medical status?

You've seen or heard the stories: Delaware Attorney-General Beau Biden underwent an unspecified "successful procedure" at that Texas cancer center.

From Wednesday's Vice Presidential statement: "He is in great shape"...

Really? One assumes you don't undergo a procedure at what many regard as the nation's top cancer center and subsequently can be pronounced in "great shape".

Bottom-line question: The Bidens - by choice - are public figures. Don't they owe the public a more complete explanation?

(In fairness, perhaps they don't know the final results of tests and have no desire to put out incomplete information.)

But certainly within the context of the operations of the office of Delaware Attorney General - plus Beau's presumed interest in seeking higher office (Governor? Senator?) - don't Delawareans deserve to know more?

As upstate talk-show host Al Mascitti declared this morning, if you don't want to make your private medical details public, don't become a public official.

Furthermore, Beau Biden has been absent from his office before - not only for the prior "minor stroke" - but also his military service in southwest Asia as a member of the Army National Guard. (It was unfortunately during that period that the A.G.'s office arguably dropped the ball on a couple of high-profile cases.)

We should be told the nature of his medical condition, and the conceivable impact on his office. Or do you disagree, since cancer - if that's what it is - carries such psychological baggage and people might mistakenly read too much into it?

Posted at 2:53pm on August 22, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 3:12pm
It would seem to me that Beau's spokeperson, should hold a press conference in Wilmington to update the public on Beau's condition. Essentially for now, saying something like: Beau and his wife Hallie and VP Biden and Dr. Jill all wish to thank members of the public for their prayers, best wishes, and concern for Beau and our family during this trial.

Beau's operation was a success; they removed a tumor [or whatever they did]. The doctors are doing a biopsy on it to determine if it is cancerous [or they did a biopsy and it is, or isn't, cancerous]. Beau will need chemo, etc. Or as it wasn't cancerous, Beau will should recover fairly quickly and will be back at work in [how ever long they guess it would take for him to heal and recover, etc].

We will update the press when we have more definite information.

So to answer your question, YES, Beau Biden is our Attorney General and we do need to know if he's fit to finish his term. Also for future offices for which he might want to run.

Al Mascitti is correct, if you don't want the public to know, then don't be a public servant.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 3:41pm
So far, the A.G.'s spokesman has been consistently behind the curve!

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 7:12pm
Slow news day again?

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 8:04am
"... at that Texas cancer center."

What's "that" about? If Allan Loudell had studied journalism in college, he would have learned always to mention the specific name.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 9:16am
I do not believe we are owed an explanation. The public is curious, of course. But we are not entitled. News people are paid to pry into lives. And they are helped by those needy souls who feel the need to make even the most minute aspect of their lives public 24/7.

Delaware is small. Word will spread if he is too ill to perform his job. Only then is it our concern. The only exception would be if his disease has been caused by chemicals, drugs, etc.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 11:34am
I'll have to argue against the notion that public servants have to bare all, put all their lives on 24/7 public view because: "they are public servants".. We got rid of servants with the Civil War. They are public employees. We hired them to do a job for us. That's all. Does your employer have the right to get upset for you not eating your broccoli. Most of us would say sorry, that is our business. Does your employer have to immediately know of every single blemish, medical condition you have, or are you one of those like the rest of us, a normal human being who puts on their bravest front, trudges forward with a smile, even on days when things aren't going their best and people never even suspect?

This concept that we "own" people because they work for us, is bizarre. crazy, ridiculous. Chit-chat revealing our concept of "owning" celebrities because we follow them, or politicians because we favor them, or public employees because we pay taxes, or check-out clerks because we patronize their businesses, or waitresses because they serve us, reveals tremendous flaws in our own character, both as individuals and as a nation.

Bottom line is we hired Beau Biden for two contracted engagements. He finished the first, he is in his second. We don't have the right to know anything, except whether he is doing his job. There are only a handful of people on this planet who have been there and even know what a Delaware Attorney General is supposed to do. My guess the Department of Justice is functioning as well today, as it was Wednesday, Tuesday, last week, last year. So it is really none of our business.

Instead, we should be appreciative that the Bidens are such great people, who know how much their well-being concerns us, and how upset we become when anything of consequence happens to them, that they understand and go out of their way to share information to us in regard to items all of us would choose to keep private from our employers... What they told us was a gift. Not a right.

Any person who insists it is a "right", is a self-centered, introspective buffoon. No offense if this applies to you. That is just how the world is laid out.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 1:24pm
JimH and Kavips: I agree that we don't need to know every thing about someone. Whether or not Mr. Biden eats his vegies, or smokes, isn't my business. In this case though, an elected official who may not be able to continue to do their job IS something that we as their "employers" DO have a right and need to know, just as each of our employers would want to know that info. Also in terms of when Beau possibly would decide to run for another term or another office.

My wife and I have been watching The West Wing on Netflix and fictious President Barlett has MS and he and his doctor wife, along with his chief of staff, kept this info from the rest of his staff as well as the nation when running for the first time. It comes out later and a big stink insues.

The point is, NO we don't need to know every single thing in a politicians life, but medical stuff that could affect their ability to perform their job, safely, and effectively IS important.

In 2016, if Chris Christie chooses to run for Prez, his weight will still be an issue [unless he loses a whole lot more weight between now and then]. Obviously he's taken steps to make that happen, but you get my point.

If FDR were alive and running today, his handicap probably would be an issue. Did the public know about JFK's back problems, etc, PRIOR to his first term?

So its from that prospective I believe we as voters in Delaware need to know of Beau's condition and will he be able to do his job now and later. THAT's not unreasonable, in my opinion.

We all assume the airline industry knows if their pilots are OK to fly [we have no way of knowing], but we'd like to think that if a pilot had the situation Beau Biden is now going through, the owners of the airline WOULD want to insure he's OK before allowing him to set foot again in an aircraft. This also could be said of any employer. If Beau could blank out, pass out, etc, at work he could get injured, thus the safety aspect of it too, for his protection.

So there are real reasons for wanting to know whether or not he's OK to resume his work, and if he's OK to run for higher office. It's not being nosy.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 2:05pm
I'd like to add one more point to this discussion. This year, my employer has asked each of us to affirm that we do not use any tobacco product. If we cannot do that, our health insurance is an extra $50 per month. We have to consent to a complete blood analysis. If we don't, its another $50 per month. I did the tobacco affirmation. But I will not submit to the blood test.

This is becoming more common as Obamacare nears. I pay the extra money because I will not give my employer so much information about my body.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 5:33pm
JimH: That is something folks used to warn about when we pay for each others healthcare bills. The non-smoker will say why should I subsidize his/ hers bad habit of smoking? The thin person says, why should I subsidize his/her unhealthy eating habits? Problem is most folks have issues. Human nature though is such that we want our poor health choices taken cared for, but don't think the "other guy" deserves the same break.

In the example you sited, it's not Obama, but your employer who's trying to save money by essentially delving into your personal life & charging you more if you don't let them test you.

As businesses more & more want to get out of supplying healthcare benefits more of this is going to happen.

My guess is, eventually most employers will drop their healthcare benefit & simply provide a cash amount for their employees to purchase their own coverage via those new healthcare exchanges that are starting later this year. That should probably save these corporations millions of dollars each year.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 7:03pm
MFD: The point here is that Jim's employer is gearing up for the soon-coming train wreck. Are you still too blind to see that the entire agenda of this Obama health care scheme is for government to pry further and further into our lives, and employers are being used as the pawns to set it up?

People are going to learn more and more over the next two years that Rush has been right all along.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 9:58pm
Mrpizza: this is an area where I don't agree with the GOP. I've been a fan of the Single Payer system for some time (Obamacare is a poor substitute, but better than nothing as it was originally a GOP idea). For those of us who have healthcare coverage via our employers we've been blessed. Even with the coverage meds, hospital stays, even out patient stuff is very expensive. I can not imagine how some one without healthcare can afford to get their meds much less an operation.

How can we, as a society, say to those without it too bad for you, I've got mine. Me & my kids get to survive & you & yours do not, but be blessed (that's not a Biblical attitude). Somehow that doesn't seem to me to be something Jesus would say.

So, for that reason, I believe that we need a system that covers everyone. Yep, that's a Socialistic thought, but so was the 1st Century Church where they shared & pooled their wealth to help each other. That's in the Bible as you know. Yet, too many Christians today have decided they don't want to follow the Red Letter parts of the Goepel. So on this issue the Dems are acting more like Jesus than the GOP.

Time for the GOP / TEA folks to re-read those actual words of Jesus (the red lettered parts). Then if they really want to be the so called "Christian Party" then they need to start governing in a way that represents what Jesus said to do & ignore those right wing talking heads on the radio (Rush, Beck, Hannity, and Jensen) who are not preaching grace, love, being the Good Samaritan of Christ. But instead are preaching selfishness, greed, & not giving a rip about anyone else as long as they got theirs. Sorry I don't see that attitude anywhere in the words Jesus spoke.

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 8:51am
Gee, sounds like you Tea Drinkers have given up on praying for Beau.
You don't get all the dish on his tumor, so to hell with him.

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 4:26pm
Actually as soon as Earl gives blood, they have his gene code. Whereas it may be nice for insurance companies and doctors to see what makes up a person, it could have deadly economic consequences if that information got into the hands of one's employer.

Will Earl be fired because in 5 years, he has an 80% chance of being out for 6 months? ABSOLUTELY!

Which shows one can occasionally trust the government. But never, never, trust your employer. (unless it is you, Mr. Self-Employed...:) )

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 4:30pm
And Pizza. Life with more government in it, is far superior to life where your whole life history gets tossed upside down as soon as a better offer to your corporate boss comes along.

Sun, Aug 25, 2013 4:03pm
Kavips: Wrong again. My corporate boss is not my source. GOD is my source.

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