by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Top White House aides set up a “wall” to shield President Biden from unscripted events and long interviews amid fears of the president’s testiness and habit of mangling statements, according to a new book.
“Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa cited a number of incidents from the gaffe-prone president in the early days of his administration, including a back-and-forth with a CNN reporter for which he later apologized.
“That side of Biden — his tendency to at times be testy or mangle statements — was still with him and now part of his presidency,” the book says.
In turn, a number of Biden aides told the reporters that Chief of Staff Ronald Klain and then-White House advisor Anita Dunn worked to prevent such incidents by keeping him away from “unscripted events or long interviews.”
“They called the effect ‘the wall,’ a cocooning of the president,” they wrote.
However, the authors note that those incidents still kept appearing, despite that protective bubble.
The book says that the White House had to go into damage control mode after Biden announced he had struck a major bipartisan infrastructure deal, but then said it was contingent on a more liberal spending package being passed.
It reportedly surprised Democrats, who saw them as separate, and angered Republicans who were unhappy about the caveat. It led to officials working the phones to repair the damage, and Biden issuing a lengthy statement to clarify his position.
If true, this information raises more questions about who’s pulling the president’s strings.
If you want to understand President Joe Biden’s motives, look no further than White House chief of staff Ron Klain’s Twitter feed.
Less than an hour after Biden ordered his Labor Department to issue a nationwide vaccine mandate in the workplace, Klain tweeted, “What leadership looks like,” over a picture of the New York Times’s coverage of Biden’s speech.
That was the whole point of the speech — to show Biden acting like a leader on an issue important to New York Times readers. It had nothing to do with convincing the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. We can tell by Biden’s rhetoric.
Biden blamed the unvaccinated for taking up hospital beds for vaccinated cancer and heart attack patients. He outright accused them of killing other unvaccinated Americans.