President Joe Biden, whose administration vowed to bring “transparency” to the White House, has shattered a century-old record for consecutive days without facing reporters alone or holding a solo news conference.
That information was first widely reported by CNN White House report Kevin Liptak, who noted that within the last 100 years, no other American president has gone longer than 33 days after an inauguration without a formal media briefing.
CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted Wednesday, using Liptak as his source, that “an analysis of the past 100 years shows President Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors all held a formal solo press conference within 33 days of taking office. Biden has not and it’s day 42.”
.@Kevinliptakcnn notes that an analysis of the past 100 years shows President Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors all held a formal solo press conference within 33 days of taking office. Biden has not and it’s day 42.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 3, 2021
Liptak shared his network colleague’s tweet and noted that the information came from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project.
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) March 3, 2021
It’s reassuring to know someone is keeping track of such records.
As of Thursday, Biden has extended the humiliating record for an American president hiding from reporters and behind his press secretary, the often ill-prepared and illusive Jen Psaki, to 43 days.
Psaki, in her first news conference on Jan. 20, vowed transparency in a statement that seemed like a shot at former President Donald Trump and his administration. She declared that “trust and transparency” were “back to the briefing room.”
Citing the “power of the podium,” Psaki said she would work on “rebuilding trust with the American people” while her boss, Biden, would bring “transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”
Pressed on how she views her role as new WH press secretary, Jen Psaki says she has “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 21, 2021
The people haven’t heard much at all from Biden since then, unless you count these video snippets as truth that is “hard to hear.”
“What am I doing here?”
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) February 27, 2021
BIDEN: “I’m happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do,” followed by White House feed cut. pic.twitter.com/F2Nahqrzeo
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) March 4, 2021
Joe Biden is wrong.
I’ve been to the southern border many times and I have witnessed the crisis firsthand. pic.twitter.com/vOCbqdMTa2
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 3, 2021
Shame on Joe Biden’s family for doing this to him.
(Video from live feed moments ago)
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 24, 2021
Some of that was absolutely hard to hear — not because it was for the faint of heart, but because it was difficult to comprehend what Biden was trying to communicate.
Compare Biden to Trump, who offered the media arguably too much access, and it’s difficult to see how Psaki’s statements about “transparency” were in any way justified. Trump was nearly always out front and center, and he was relentlessly hectored by many of the same reporters who are waiting patiently to throw softballs at Biden.
Biden, if you hadn’t noticed, has yet to offer his first State of the Union address, and here we are in the second week of March. Is the 78-year-old capable of delivering such an address? Sadly, due to his media inaccessibility and speculation about his cognitive health, we don’t know the answer to that question.
We certainly shouldn’t expect a clear answer on it, that much is certain.
Will Biden ever face the Democrat-friendly media? According to Psaki, he was planning on getting around to speaking to the White House media pool a week ago.
“He will hold a solo press conference, but I don’t have a date for you at this point in time,” she said during a news briefing on Feb. 22.
Neither Biden nor Psaki has circled back on that subject since.
Americans, no matter their political leanings, tend to like to hear from their leaders — even if they don’t like what they have to say. Former President Barack Obama held his first media briefing in 2009 after 20 days. Trump, in 2017, held his first briefing after 27 days, according to the Washington Examiner.
But Biden thus far is a no-show.
His lack of leadership on the issues is already alarming. Couple that with the fact that we don’t know if he’s willing or able to answer a few softball questions by himself, and those who suspect Biden is lost, feckless and weak are having their arguments bolstered with each passing day.
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