by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Biden moves more slowly than when he was vice president under former President Barack Obama. He squints slightly when looking at the teleprompter and sometimes misspeaks anyway.
Before taking office, Biden suffered a minor injury in a fall (the transition office said at the time that he tripped while playing with his dog). Since then, he has yet to hold a solo press conference. Reporters are sometimes shooed away at his public events, where his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, or aides can be seen pointing him in the right direction.
In a recent speech, Biden appeared confused about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s name. “I want to thank Sec- … the former general … I keep calling him ‘General,’” the president said of the retired Army four-star officer. “My … The guy who runs that outfit over there.” It was reminiscent of Biden’s election-year flub of the Declaration of Independence. …
… Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years and was vice president for eight, has been known for verbal miscues for decades. Aides often point out that he had a speech impediment, overcoming a childhood stuttering problem. But at 78, he is also the oldest man to ever serve as president, beating out Ronald Reagan, whose second term ended a couple of weeks before his 78th birthday. …
… Nor have the whispers gone away since Biden assumed the presidency, especially after Harris has conducted solo telephone calls with multiple world leaders. “I pray for the president’s health and hope that he is in complete control of his faculties,” said Republican strategist John Feehery. “I worry that he may not be, and I am worried that his successor would be a disaster were he forced to abdicate his throne. I think the public is already aware of it and most likely shares my concerns.”