by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In and of itself, President Joe Biden’s crib sheet isn’t a big deal. Politicians often need written cues to remind them to stress certain angles, especially when it comes to statistics or achievements. What makes Biden’s cue-card kerfuffle a bit scary is that the text reads as if was written for a recently graduated communications major on his first day at the State Department. We’re talking about the most perilous world event in a while, and Biden, who has “more foreign policy experience than any president who has ever held this office,” needs a paper to remind him to say things like, “No. NATO has never been more united.” This is literally the talking point that every Democrat has been repeating unceasingly since Russia invaded Ukraine — as if keeping Western Europe united in the face of a Putin invasion is a major accomplishment.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” was the spontaneous conclusion of the president’s speech in Poland last week. “I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the actions of this man. I was not advocating a change in policy,” read the cue card. This is the walk back. Presidents, it must be stressed, should not make major impromptu foreign-policy announcements simply because their ire is up — in this case, also because no such policy is in place, and, even if it were, a Putin successor might well be worse. Nor should the president of the United States need crib notes to spell out the nation’s most basic position on Russia. …
… You can whatabout this incompetence all you like. The president — and there is only one of them at a time — has a history of substituting emotional outbursts for arguments when he’s frustrated.