President Joe Biden has become infamous both here at home and on the world stage for being gaffe-prone during public appearances where cringe-inducing moments are standard fare, including the times when Biden makes up stories out of whole cloth, utters extremely inappropriate comments that no one can explain, seems to forget what he's supposed to say and/or forgets the names of world leaders as they're listening to him speak.
In many instances, his handlers have had to step in and take over, aggressively herding the media away like cattle during a roundup, awkwardly upstaging the leader of the free world at a time when this country needs a confident leader who can at the very least give off the appearance of being coherent, capable, and in control of his own thoughts when he appears before the cameras.
Occasionally, however, the puppet masters behind the scenes fret that being able to intervene on Biden's behalf when things get weird isn't nearly enough, and that's typically when we see the basement or “Hideout Plan” activated, the plan where instead of holding formal pressers like he's supposed to his handlers set conditions that severely limit press interaction to avoid situations that will further embarrass the Biden White House.
Such has been the case this week, where the so-called traditional “Three Amigos” press conference with Biden, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – which originally was scheduled for tomorrow in DC, per White House press secretary Jen Psaki last week – has been scrapped because Biden made a series of blunders in the span of 24-hours Tuesday that have staffers behind the scenes struggling to correct the record. Instead, there will be “pool sprays,” which as we've seen in the past often consist of Biden pretending not to hear a shouted question as he walks out of the room:
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is known for going off-script and on Tuesday made imprecise remarks on Taiwan, the 2020 Olympics and his selection of a Federal Reserve chairman, forcing a mop-up operation by his spokespeople.
Justin Sink, a reporter for Bloomberg News, pressed [White House deputy press secretary Chris] Meagher on the reason for the change of plans. Pool sprays sometimes — but not always — feature questions from reporters. For example, Biden declined to take questions at a September pool spray in the Oval Office with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, even though the visiting leader chose to answer queries.
“If Jen said that this is going to happen and there's long-standing precedent of this happening and the most recent data point is yesterday where you guys had to clean up not only this Olympic comment, but his comment on the timing for the Fed and his Taiwan comment, is the worry that you don't want the president taking questions? And if not, I think the best way to satisfy that would be to have the president out there tomorrow,” Sink said.
Meagher deflected, saying “the president often takes questions throughout the course of the day.”
Making one bumble on a daily basis is bad enough, but three separate and distinct instances yesterday? And then canceling a traditional, scheduled presser with world leaders over it to avoid a possible repeat?
I'm sorry, but this is just pathetic and, sadly, there appears to be no end in sight. It's no wonder that 48% of the American people are questioning Biden's mental fitness to lead, including a sizable number who aren't Republicans, much to the left's dismay.
Biden just never appears to have it together, and though it's understandable from a political perspective why his handlers would want to hide him from the press and the public as much as they can to avoid catastrophic interactions, from a governing and leadership perspective it's just downright terrifying. Needless to say, this is not how any of this is supposed to work.
As I said earlier, Democrats are reaching “flashing red lights” territory going into the 2022 midterms campaign season thanks in large part to Biden and his inability to effectively lead. But what's the country supposed to do in the meantime while he's still at the helm and putting on pretenses of steering the ship while senior administration officials are crouched behind him desperately tugging the strings this way and that?