Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Tuesday that former primary rival and California Sen. Kamala Harris had been chosen as his 2020 running mate, officially proving the former vice president has no business making executive decisions on behalf of the United States.
The selection of Harris, however, was far from the worst of things, as Biden somehow made a public relations nightmare out of a moment that traditionally has been known to reinvigorate stagnant campaigns stepping into the general election season.
Posting to Instagram a photograph of himself virtually extending the vice presidential offer to Harris, Biden drew harsh criticism from sharp-eyed social media users such as Turning Point USA Chief Creative Officer Benny Johnson, who was quick to point out that the moment captured was anything but presidential.
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I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate. Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.
1. On Script.
Before moving into the weeds on every detail of this “Where’s Waldo” of stupidity, most people who saw the image were quick to highlight the most egregious element of the photograph: What seemed to be a typed script laid out in front of Biden for the conversation.
Included in the script were several simple reminders, such as the words “I’m calling you today because,” which seemingly were left to ensure that Biden did not forget the purpose of the conversation, along with prepared talking points detailing the reasons Harris had been selected.
“I think you’re entitled to know why I chose you, there are three reasons,” the script read in one location.
Apparently, the candidate could not be bothered to remember those reasons for himself — a likely consequence of Harris being chosen in large part at the discretion of aides far more lucid than Biden.
2. Out of Touch.
Another point of focus for keen eyes across the social media sphere was the way Biden was holding his cellphone while extending the offer to Harris.
It was upside down in the former vice president’s hands, with the speaker pointed away from him and toward the computer screen where live video appeared of Harris on the other end of the line.
Now, to be fair, perhaps Biden isn’t so technologically inept that he doesn’t know where the speaker and microphone appear on an iPhone. Perhaps campaign staffers placed Biden on a video call with Harris via computer, and a third party was being added to the call via cellphone.
But this would hardly come as an excuse.
The year is 2020. We have the technology to conduct small-group and large-scale conference calls.
If Biden’s closest aides were unaware of this — or simply did not care about the optics of jerry-rigging a phone to a computer for a three-way conference call — that does not bode well for America.
Not only would we have a potentially senile man one step away from the presidency, but a senile man with inept and uncaring handlers one step away from the presidency.
3. Plagued with Existential Dread?
If this, plus Biden’s laundry list of other embarrassing moments from a year on the trail, weren’t enough to convince you the man is mentally unfit for the presidency, only one thing could: a subliminal cry for help buried in the vice presidential announcement images.
Of course, you know that I’m referring to the framed comic strip front-and-center on Biden’s desk.
The strange desk ornament, elevated and perfectly lit behind Biden’s computer, seems to be a series of frames from Dik Browne’s popular gag-a-day newspaper cartoon “Hägar the Horrible.”
Hard to make out in the images provided, but no less visible, the particular strip that was present depicts the titular cartoon viking shouting to the heavens in a show of frustration at the horrible weather around him.
“WHY ME?!” Hägar’s speech bubble reads.
Yeesh, if that isn’t clear evidence of existential dread rising within the longtime Democratic politician as the campaign season drags on, I don’t know what is.
OK. So maybe that’s an overstatement.
But you have to acknowledge, for a man so clearly steeped in mental disarray, the cartoon is a bad look — just like pretty much everything else Biden does in public.
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