The editors of the Chicago Tribune remark on President Biden’s Thursday of last week:
Reasonable Americans don’t see Biden as a malicious or nefarious man because he’s not. But they do see him as having some worrying cognitive issues because, well, that’s clear to everyone except perhaps the president himself. Even in the one news conference of his career where it was crucially important not to confuse one political leader or country for another, Biden was unable to pull that off. For those of us who have had difficult conversations with angry, elderly parents over driving or living circumstances, it was especially painful to watch.
That said, the report raised legitimate and troubling concerns about Biden’s careless and self-serving handling of those classified documents.
We were not fond of how Biden blamed staffers at his hastily arranged news conference. We think there is palpable hypocrisy in how Democrats amplified, and crowed about, Donald Trump’s trove of classified material sitting around at Mar-a-Lago when Biden clearly was doing much the same thing a few hundred miles to the north.
Sure, Biden cooperated with the special counsel whereas Trump huffed and puffed and obfuscated and obstructed, which is a material difference here. But that’s analogous to whether or not you cooperated with a police officer who pulled you over for speeding. It’s a good idea to do so, and will be taken into account, but it doesn’t mean you are innocent of the offense.
Clearly, Democrats have a problem with their nominee, which explains tweets like “Pritzker/ Whitmer ’24” showing up on Friday morning. The only solution is Biden vanquishing any and all doubts through his cognitive performance over the next few weeks. That won’t be easy for him. But only he can fix this situation.
Special Counsel Hur’s explanation of why he did not charge President Biden may well have had partisan motives. In the body of the editorial the editors describe it as “sly”, “brutally effective”, and “rhetorical masterpiece for the ages” but none of that is relevant to the basic question of the president’s mental acuity.
In his Washington Post column Marc Thiessen asks
If the president is “struggling to remember events” during his “painfully slow” interactions with others, how can he effectively conduct diplomacy or make decisions on matters of peace and security?
There are wars raging in Europe and the Middle East; U.S. forces are under attack in Iraq, Syria and the Red Sea; the risk of war in the Pacific is growing; and rising numbers of people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list are trying to slip into the United States by illegally crossing the southern border. And apparently the commander in chief dealing with these overlapping crises is a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
We’re now beyond concern about whether Biden is fit to serve a second term; we should be concerned about whether he is fit to finish his first.
while CNN quotes James Carville:
The fact that Biden isn’t doing the Super Bowl interview and probably won’t debate, says James Carville, “that’s a sign your staff doesn’t have much confidence in you.” And while it’s “never too late” to change candidates, “the later it gets the more confusing the process gets.”
I cite these not as proof of their truth but as corroboration of the point I have been making. Damage control by the president’s surrogates is unlikely to succeed and, as Mr. Carville also observes, the president’s age and mental acuity aren’t going to improve over the next four years. I can understand that President Biden was outraged by the, to the eyes of partisans, gratuitous remarks of the special counsel regarding his age and memory but he still should never have given Thursday’s snap press conference.