President Joe Biden speaks Tuesday during a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in McLean, Virginia. Biden used the occasion to flub a line about how long ago he became a senator. (Susan Walsh / AP)
Jacob Gurney July 28, 2021 at 5:36am
President Joe Biden has been on a roll of especially embarrassing gaffes lately, and he just added one more to the list.
In his latest flub, Biden was speaking Tuesday at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in McLean, Virginia. He referred to when he was sworn into the Senate, which he stated was “three-and-a-half decades” ago, according to a White House transcript.
The problem is that Biden was sworn into office as a United States senator in January of 1973.
.@JoeBiden reminisces about when he first became a U.S. Senator “three-and-a-half decades ago.”
He was sworn into office in 1973.
We’ll let you do the math. pic.twitter.com/Q3u3qgP4uh
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) July 27, 2021
This typically would not be that notable; however, Biden has had so many gaffes lately it feels wrong not to point out yet another one.
I don’t particularly like or enjoy calling out the faults of older people. I was raised to always respect my elders no matter what, and I think how many people treat our oldest generation nowadays can be quite disgraceful at times.
However, in the case of Biden, it is important to highlight that the close attention given to his misspoken words and actions are not made out of ill-willed ageism for most, but out of genuine concern for the cognitive capabilities of the leader of our country.
Messing up how long ago he was sworn in as a senator normally wouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe he was thinking of how long he served as a senator — 36 years — instead of how long ago he was sworn in. Who knows?
Do you think President Biden’s recurring gaffes are a result of cognitive decline?
That being said, being off by 13 years is a lot different from missing the mark by a couple years or so (particularly when eight of the years in question involve serving as vice president of the United States). More than that, it seems that Biden has been having a constant battle with getting his thoughts and words straight lately.
His gaffes seem to be occurring at almost a daily rate now.
At a recent CNN town hall, the president was asked how he would rectify the distrust in the medical system, particularly vaccine hesitancy. Biden’s answer rambled on from “restoring faith in the government” to asking town hall moderator and CNN host Don Lemon if he was vaccinated. Then came this beauty of a quote:
“Think of the people, if your kid wanted to find out whether or not there were — there’s a man on the moon or whatever, you know, something, or, you know, whether those aliens are here or not, you know, who are the people they talk to beyond the kids who love talking about it?”
In another recent gaffe, a Daily Caller reporter asked Biden if there were Democrats who desire to defund police departments. Biden’s response?
“Are there people in the Republican Party who think we’re sucking the blood out of kids?”
Yet another incident came when a reporter asked Biden about immigration and, though a helicopter made it difficult to hear, his first response was gibberish that sounded to many like he’d said, “My butt’s been wiped.” He then went on to answer the question, while apparently saying “immigration” when he meant “reconciliation.”
Then there was the White House Rose Garden ceremony on Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The president forgot a congressman’s name and then, after becoming confused, asked, “Where’s Mom? Mom?”
It is one thing to constantly harp on a person’s flaws and deterioration from aging. It is something else altogether to point out a pattern of cognitive decline that we all seem to be witnessing in the man who’s supposed to be the leader of the free world.
I agree with Dr. Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, who recently said that Biden needs to take a cognitive exam and make the results public.
If Biden really does have something wrong with him, I think most Americans would be sympathetic to that fact and not deride him for something he has no control over.
However, I also think that most Americans would agree that somebody going through that should not be the person in charge of our country’s government, have access to the nuclear codes, or be making decisions on behalf of 333 million-plus people.
The gaffes are sure to continue. The scrutiny and questioning about the president’s capabilities will continue to rightfully intensify. All we can do is wait and see what the breaking point is.
For the country’s sake, I hope something is done sooner rather than later.