The Corner

Politics & Policy

Really? This Is the New, More Verbally-Disciplined Joe Biden?

President Joe Biden announces changes to the main coronavirus aid program for small businesses during brief remarks at the White House, February 22, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

It’s a little tough to get that excited about President Biden’s press conference today. The Los Angeles Times tries to hype it up: “A belated first news conference will test his new verbal discipline.”

Biden’s so-called “new verbal discipline” is mostly a matter of him staying away from television cameras and sticking to the teleprompter when he doesn’t. Even then, Biden generates his share of gaffes, such as his declaration that “it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office,” or that there is an “overwhelming consensus” among economists that “in order to grow the economy a year or two, three, and four down the line, we can’t spend too much.” No, there isn’t!

I mean, if Biden’s so-called “new verbal discipline” breaks down . . . how will we know? What’s Biden going to do, question whether an African- American reporter is black, or ask him if he’s a junkie? What, is Biden going to forget the name of his secretary of defense, say that his son was a senator, or refer to “President Harris”? Will he mix up Iraq and Iran?

Will he declare that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids”? Will he use terms like “Shylock” or “Orient”?

The allegedly verbally disciplined Biden we’ve seen lately only looks good by comparison.

Biden could go out and sound exactly like Dana Carvey’s strikingly good and funny impression of him, and a lot of the mainstream media would give him the benefit of the doubt, and it wouldn’t really change that much about the course of the Biden presidency.

If Biden goes out and has a terrible press conference . . . he’s still the president afterwards. We won’t hear too many people saying, “It’s time for him to step down and let Kamala Harris take over,” at least not for a while, because a spoken-out-loud conclusion that Biden is incapable of handling the duties, 63 days into his presidency, would be a de facto admission that all of the questions and concerns about Biden’s age and health last year were valid, and not some abominably unjustified display of ageism or partisan animus.

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