President Joe Biden clearly has a classified documents scandal that could plague him for months and even into the 2024 presidential race. But Biden has far more problems to deal with than just missing documents:
In September, President Joe Biden was mocked across social media for calling out “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? She must not be here.”
Biden was speaking at the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, and was no doubt attempting to highlight the bipartisan support from Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who was a strong advocate in the fight for nutrition security and health equity.
The issue was that nearly two months earlier, Rep. Walorsk was killed in a car accident following a ribbon-cutting event in her home state. At the conference, a video tribute was even played to honor the late congresswoman.
The White House tried to downplay Biden’s confusion, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating, “She was top of mind for the president.”
However, as CNN reported, it played into a caricature that Republicans have of Biden, who at 80 is now the oldest president in U.S. history.
Biden, who has described himself as a “gaffe” machine, has also been shown to forget the names of his cabinet members, while his daily schedule is reported to be less jam-packed than past presidents in the modern era.
Joe Biden: Fit for Duty?
The White House doctor has said that Biden “remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibility without any exemptions or accommodations.”
Yet, the issue of age will certainly come up as the 2024 election approaches.
Biden hasn’t officially announced, but all indications are that he’ll run.
Unlike former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced last fall that she would be handing over her leadership role to the next generation, Biden isn’t ready to pass the torch despite the feelings of Americans.
This may help explain why according to a Morning Consult poll conducted in the fall, 76 percent of voters said they felt Biden was “too old” to serve, while a New York Times survey found that among Democratic voters who do not want Biden to seek reelection, “too old” was the top reason at 34 percent.
By contrast, just 32 percent cited job performance. Moreover, an ABC News-Washington Post poll from the fall also found that just 35 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favored Biden for the nomination.
Gaffes vs. Lies
The truth is that Biden has always been a gaffe machine and that’s not new. As a senator and then as vice president, he routinely misspoke.
It may have gotten worse as he’s gotten older, but these gaffes will continue to haunt him – especially in the social media era, where video montages can be produced by literally anyone.
The other issue that Biden will have to get past is the fact that he is also a serial liar; one who has a penchant for telling tall tales.
Biden is the hero in every one of his stories, somehow an everyman who is a jack-of-all-trades.
He clearly loves being a storyteller, even when the fact checkers pounce.
The problem now is that the gaffes, lies, and other stumbles will live forever. It makes it hard to call out Trump for his lies, even if many are worse. Some liberals may say there is a false equivalency in comparing the lies of a stolen election to giving Uncle Frank a Purple Heart, but voters will – and arguably should – demand better from our officials.
A lie isn’t a mere gaffe.
But coupled together, one could question whether Joe Biden actually lives in reality. He can dismiss forgetting the fact that Walorski had been killed. But telling a story of awarding Uncle Frank with the Purple Heart years after the elder Biden would have died is either a bad lie to gain political favor, or it suggests the leader of the free world can’t keep his facts straight.
Either or both will hurt his chances in 2024.
Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.