by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Biden’s press conference was genuinely frightening. If there’s one thing you’d think an old political hand would know how to do, it’s say the appropriate things about a budding foreign-policy crisis and otherwise shut up. Biden was simply incapable of doing it. This wasn’t Biden losing his chain of thought or getting someone’s name wrong, mistakes that we all make and make more often as we get older. This was a president of the United States who flatly couldn’t be trusted to address a potential war in Europe. He seemed to say that Russia could get away with an incursion short of a major invasion, then, given the opportunity to clean it up, rambled on about internal differences in NATO. He also predicted that Putin would go in. It’s easy seeing Putin considering this a greenlight for the sort of hybrid attack he’s used before, and it seemed Biden had no idea that what he was saying was problematic and perhaps profoundly harmful. Of course, afterward, the White House came out with a statement saying that any invasion whatsoever will be met with a united NATO response. But there’s no clarifying or walking back what everyone witnessed at that press conference.
It’s just the latest bit of bad news for the president as he marks one year in his office.
During his speech advocating a suspension of filibuster rules to pass voting legislation Biden said: “So I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” …
… Republicans lambasted Biden’s speech, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who called it “profoundly, profoundly unpresidential.”