What type of doctor is Jill Biden? Fishnet controversy isn't the first time FLOTUS has faced flak
'Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr’ before your name? ‘Dr Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic'
First lady Dr Jill Biden recently wore a pair of playfully patterned, fishnet tights while deplaning Air Force One in Washington, DC. The attire left many on social media divided, subsequently becoming a talking point for fashion-based political scandals, misogyny and more.
This, of course, is not the first time Dr Biden has become the center of controversy. In December 2020, shortly after Joe Biden was declared President-elect, a Wall Street Journal column became the eye of a storm. The column written by Joseph Epstein was titled, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.”
What kind of doctor is Jill Biden?
In the column, Epstein wrote, “Madame First Lady — Mrs Biden — Jill — kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr’ before your name? ‘Dr Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
Following the column and the subsequent Twitter storm it caused, Dr Biden commented on the issue. “That was such a surprise," she said in an interview alongside her husband on ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’. "It was really the tone of it that I think that — you know, he called me kiddo. And one of the things I'm most proud of is my doctorate. I mean I worked so hard for it."
Dr Biden has been an educator for more than three decades. Prior to moving to Washington DC, she taught English at a community college in Delaware, at a public high school, and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. She earned her doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in January of 2007. Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges. Her dissertation was titled: ‘Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs’. She also has two masters degrees.
President Joe Biden — then president-elect — had also expressed displeasure about the op-ed, telling Colbert, “I got to hand her doctorate on the stage of the University of Delaware, she had two Masters degrees, she kept going to school all the time while teaching at night, and then what happened was I said Jill why don't you get a doctorate and make us some real money. She gets the doctorate and gets a $2,000 raise.”
From 1993 through 2008, she taught English composition at the Stanton/Wilmington campus of Delaware Technical & Community College. Dr Biden, speaking about getting her PhD at the age of 55, explained: “I feel like I can make a greater difference in their lives. I just love that population. It just feels really comfortable to me. I love the women who are coming back to school and getting their degrees because they're so focused.”