'Dementia Joe' Strikes Again: Forgets Entire Question; Forgets Name of FEMA Director During Emergency Brief


The New York Post really missed an opportunity with its front-page headline for President Joe Biden’s Friday media briefing on Afghanistan.

During the news conference, Biden promised that the United States is “going to do everything, everything we can to provide safe evacuation” to any U.S. citizen who wanted to come home from the Taliban-controlled country, according to a transcript of the event.

All the while, however, he fumbled questions — particularly on whether Americans could make it to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport — and provided no reasonable explanation about how this “safe evacuation” was going to happen.

The Post, known for its pithy headlines, went with this as its front-page take on Saturday: “Dumkirk.” That’s pretty good, but this was an opportunity ripe for a callback to the paper’s most famous headline, “Headless Body in Topless Bar.”

How about “Mindless President in Headless Administration?”

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One supposes that’s less specific than “Dumkirk,” particularly when you’re dealing with mass evacuations (the Post headline writer was alluding, of course, to the famous extrication of British and allied soldiers from Dunkirk, France, in 1940).

The good news is that “Mindless President” can be used after other Biden gaffe-fests, as well. It would have worked well, for instance, for the media briefing Biden gave Sunday, which was so bad that it had “Dementia Joe” trending on Twitter.

During the briefing, which included questions about the Afghanistan withdrawal and the potential fallout from Tropical Storm Henri, Biden struggled to remember the name of his director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration just as he was saying she was exactly the woman to lead the response to the storm.

The gaffe came during scripted remarks as he was talking about the impact the storm would have on the Northeast.

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“We have been closely monitoring Henri’s progress and making the necessary preparations. Fortunately, it’s no longer a hurricane; it’s been downgraded to a tropical storm. And we are taking it seriously, though, because of the size and the storm’s surge and the rainfall it’s producing. It’s also — it’s also impacting an area of the country that has already experienced heavy rainfall over the past several days,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript.

“And while New Englanders are used to dealing with some tough weather, this storm has the potential for widespread consequences across the region, with significant flooding and power outages that could affect hundreds of thousands of people.”

Thankfully, he has the right person in charge — if only he could remember her name.

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“There’s no one better to lead this operation than … than …. umm … uh … Deanne … uh … Criswell,” Biden said.

And if there really were someone better to lead the operation, he probably just forgot that name entirely.

This was during prepared remarks, mind you, and it raised a number of eyebrows. Here’s managing editor Spencer Brown:

At this point, let’s just put together the senior administration officials whose names President Joe Biden remembers. It’s probably shorter. Remember, this is the guy who once called Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “the guy who runs that outfit over there.” (“That outfit” referred to the Pentagon.)

And remember — these are prepared remarks. On Friday, during the “Dumkirk” news conference, he managed to sound even more diminished when he forgot an question from a reporter.

Zeke Miller of The Associated Press had noted that Biden promised he would “usher in an era where the world can count on America to live up to its promises,” according to the transcript. Then he posed two questions.

The first had to do with his promises to the Afghans who had helped the United States during our time in the country. The second question had to do with Biden’s “message to America’s partners around the world who have criticized not the withdrawal, but the conduct of that withdrawal and made them question America’s credibility on the world stage.”

Biden was perfectly happy to discourse on the second question, albeit in a thoroughly disingenuous way.

To sum it up, Biden began by saying “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.”

Really? Both houses of U.K. parliament had officially held Biden in contempt by then. The Jerusalem Post, one of Israel’s most prominent newspapers of one of the United States’ most important allies, had run run articles openly questioning whether the administration would stand by the Jewish state.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t mention Biden by name, according to Yahoo News, but had called the consequences of Biden’s actions “bitter, dramatic and awful.” Her likely successor as chancellor, Armin Laschet, went even further, describing it as “the greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation.”

If Biden hadn’t seen questions about American credibility, he wasn’t looking.

He rambled on about this, however — and segued by saying, “The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now.”

When reminded, Biden assured everyone he would get our Afghan helpers out: “There were translators. They went into battle with us,” Biden said, according to the transcript. “They were part of the operation as well as we’re also trying to get out as many NGOs, non-government organizations, women’s organizations, et cetera, we’re doing all we can.”

Just don’t expect him to elaborate on that.

And yet again, the one question that dogs Joe Biden’s administration asks itself again: Are we supposed to ignore what we’re seeing in front of our eyes?

It’s not funny anymore. We’re not in the “ho ho, he kept on calling New Mexico ‘Mexico!'” phase of Biden gaffery.

There are people so desperate to leave a country that has collapsed into ruin because of Biden’s ineptitude that they’re holding onto C-17s departing Kabul airport until they fall to their death.

The Taliban have target lists and control checkpoints leading into the airport, the only way out of the country. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress on Friday that Americans have been beaten by Taliban fighters while attempting to evacuate Afghanistan, according to the New York Post.

Earlier last week, Biden gave a news conference where he seemed so confused about the situation on the ground that he seemed to believe anyone who wanted to could get to the Kabul airport, almost as if it were like taking an Uber to LaGuardia.

That kind of cognitive decline isn’t funny in a situation like this — especially when you factor in Biden is the man the Americans and Afghan allies trapped in Afghanistan are relying on to get out.

They need this doddering man to facilitate their escape, the same way they needed him to keep the country from falling into Taliban hands in the first place.

And in the middle of a major storm hitting the East Coast, Biden reassures us that he has just the FEMA director in place to take care of it. If only he could remember her name — a brain freeze during scripted remarks in the midst of the biggest crisis of his presidency, one where he desperately needs to reassure Americans he’s competent enough to hold his position.

He’s not exactly convincing people, considering “Dementia Joe” was trending on hyper-liberal Twitter:

As the U.K. Daily Mail reported Saturday, a Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters taken Aug. 18-19 found 52 percent didn’t think Biden was up to being president, either mentally or physically, and 51 percent thought there was someone pulling the strings behind the scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania.

If there is a master puppeteer at work, they’re doing a wretched job of it. As it is, the White House appears to be thoroughly adrift under the 78-year-old Biden’s command. It looks very much like my proposed headline: “Mindless President in Headless Administration.”

Still yours to use, New York Post. My guess is that, unfortunately, it’ll come in handy numerous times over the next three-and-a-half years.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture