Joe Biden wants to present this image of himself as the congenial moderate who wants to unify everyone.
As we've seen so far, his first few months have been anything but.
It's apparently not great for the folks working with him behind the scenes either.
As we saw during the campaign, Biden lost his temper multiple times with voters and reporters, two groups you would think you'd be trying to court while you're running, not yell or scream at. He called one girl a “dog-faced pony soldier,” insulted another man with “Look, fat,” even challenged a voter to “go outside” and told him that he was “full of sh**.” He even put his hands on a reporter after the reporter kept pushing him on a question. Biden was always losing it when someone actually dared to challenge him. And that was even in public, with all kinds of reporters on him, watching his every move.
What must it be like in private, when he doesn't even have that stricture of being in public? Apparently not good.
There's a new report out from the New York Times about Joe Biden based upon talking with two dozen current and former Biden associates regarding Biden's demeanor.
The report describes Biden as having “scolded his aides in profanity-laced episodes.” The interviews paint Biden as having “a short fuse.” It also says he needs “hours of debate” and that it “takes days or weeks to make up his mind as he examines and second-guesses himself and others” before he's able to come to decisions.
“Mr. Biden is gripped by a sense of urgency that leaves him prone to flares of impatience, according to numerous people who regularly interact with him,” the NYT wrote. “The president has said he expects to run for a second term, but aides say he understands the effect on his ability to advance his agenda if Republicans regain power in Congress next year.”
If the aides talk too much about “policy minutiae,” he's likely to lose it on them in “an outburst of frustration” that's “often laced with profanity.”
Biden has even cut people off in conversations and hung up on them when he gets frustrated with them.
“Three people who work closely with him said he even occasionally hangs up the phone on someone who he thinks is wasting his time. Most described Mr. Biden as having little patience for advisers who cannot field his many questions,” the NYT wrote.
“Let's talk plain English here, he will often snap,” the report admits.
This behavior described is completely consistent with the short fuse and incidents we saw during the campaign. He doesn't like being challenged and that's when he really loses it, as he showed when he went after the auto worker who knew more than he did about guns.
Warning for language:
Now, part of this has always been Biden, I think. He seems to have always had a short fuse and resorted to lying or getting disturbed when cornered or challenged. But we're also seeing some deeper form of coherence problem, so how much of this is also related to possible mental health issues is hard to know. But it's not sounding good.