“End of the quote. Repeat the line.” Such is the senescence of the 46th president of the United States that when he is not flat-out misspeaking, it is because he is reading the cues as he stumbles through the see-Jane-run prose of White House speechwriters. Like life at 79, the teleprompts come at you fast.
We must bear this in mind when assessing how consequential it may be when the putative leader of the free world misspeaks. We gasp, yes, but it is probably not as damaging as one might fear.
Alas, that realization induces as much pang of regret as sigh of relief. The bully pulpit is among the American presidency’s greatest assets when exploited with competent confidence. There was a time, not so long ago, when a president of such gravity called for the Berlin Wall to be razed, and it actually did come down in due course, along with the evil empire whose crumbling he’d had the vision to see coming. . .
As with nearly everything befalling his train wreck of a term (which has “just” 30 months to go!), Joe Biden is guilty more of accelerating a corrosive trend than of causing it. He entered office notorious for his gift of the gaffe, a thin-skinned lemming so dull that when one of his presidential bids was torpedoed by a plagiarism scandal, it turned out he had chosen another mediocrity — former British Labour leader Neil Kinnock — to steal from.
Through a half-century of rhetorical misadventure, Biden has never been taken seriously — including by President Barack Obama, who, confoundingly, plucked Biden from the scrap heap to be his running mate after serving with him in the Senate . . . and famously slipped an aide a “Shoot. Me. Now.” note he’d scribbled during one of Biden’s logorrheic discourses. (Obama discouraged Biden’s yen to succeed him in 2016 and did not back the 2020 presidential bid until Biden had the nomination sewn up, even then cautioning Democrats, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f- -k things up.”) (Read more from “A Gaffe-Ingstock: The Decline of Biden — And the Presidency” HERE)
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