Throughout his campaign, President Joe Biden spent as little time in the public view as possible for a presidential candidate. Over a month into his tenure as president, he is continuing the same strategy.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Monday if Biden would hold his first solo news conference soon, and she said no plans have been made for the event.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 1, 2021
It is rather concerning that the leader of the free world seems to have no interest in formally addressing the American public. It is also a stark contrast to his predecessor.
As most people know, former President Donald Trump is not afraid of the spotlight. To that end, he held his first solo news conference on Feb. 16, 2017, less than a month after his inauguration, according to NBC News.
“We have made incredible progress,” he said at that presser. “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.”
Americans probably disagreed about whether or not that was true, but it was at least a reassuring statement from a new president that the country was in a good place. We have not seen any such reassurance from Biden.
During his campaign, Biden’s staffers assured Americans that his relative silence was part of his strategy. They even attempted to paint him as a sort of hero for staying home during the pandemic.
Here’s how Politico reporters Christopher Cadelago and Marc Caputo described it in a Sept. 25 piece:
“To Biden’s camp, it’s a continuation of the discredited criticism that the shelter-in-place phase of Biden’s campaign would hurt him and help Trump after the pandemic first hit. (Trump needled him endlessly for being ‘sleepy’ and staying in his basement, but Biden’s team has chuckled as he maintained his polling lead). A Biden adviser said it’s fine to let Trump hold big, dangerous rallies during a pandemic.”
The wording of that last sentence pretty clearly implies that Trump was the “bad guy” for actually campaigning, and Biden was the smart one for doing absolutely nothing.
It seems more likely that the real reason Biden has been hesitant to face reporters and the American public is because his team wants to keep him from saying something foolish. There are a couple reasons why this is the more likely scenario.
First, there are plenty of ways Biden could have safely addressed the public both then and now. He could have done interviews from his basement via video calls, but he instead chose to call a “lid” for many of the days leading up to the election.
Similarly, he could hold a socially distanced news conference at the White House now, just as many other politicians have done. Instead, he lets Psaki face reporters for him while he stays out of sight.
The second piece of evidence indicating that Biden’s team may be afraid of what blunders he will make in a solo news conference is his past performance. After constantly receiving criticism in regards to his cognitive capabilities during the campaign, Biden has not demonstrated any improvement since taking office.
On Friday, Biden spoke in Houston at a vaccination facility. He’d barely even started the speech before he started fumbling through the list of names he was supposed to mention, eventually questioning, “What am I doing here?”
The evidence indicates that Biden is increasingly unable to speak without becoming confused and disoriented. That is not a great quality for the leader of any country, especially the great United States, to have.
Most likely, Biden’s team knows how bad it looks when he cannot get through a simple speech. As such, they want to keep him out of situations where he faces reporters as much as they possibly can.
Any American who is paying attention should be at least a bit concerned about the cognitive state of our president.
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