It is well documented Joe Biden suffers from a stutter – and I clearly have sympathy for that; we all should, as it is not easy.
However, let us put that aside for a minute and focus on his communication capabilities overall as President. Could this be his biggest weakness?
Joe Biden Has Had Public Speaking Troubles
Last November, public speaking professional Rick Pozniak published an op-ed in the Boston Globe arguing that Joe Biden needed a speech coach.
“In the world of politics, perception is reality and the perception of President Biden as an underperforming and aging leader is now a harsh reality according to public opinion polls,” Pozniak wrote.
Part of the problem reinforcing the public perception of Biden? His public speaking ability. Or lack thereof.
“The ability to communicate with polished verbal and non-verbal public speaking skills is paramount to how an audience perceives you and if you are ineffective at delivering a message, the perception is more negative than positive,” Pozniak wrote.
And according to Pozniak, Biden is not an effective communicator.
In Pozniak’s professional opinion, Biden too often mumbles or garbles his words, and too often utters nonsense or grandpa-like colloquialisms.
The effect has been confused messaging on important, timely issues like COVID, Taiwan, and Biden’s own reelection.
“The time has come for Biden to course correct, especially with two years left in his presidency and a possible re-election campaign on the horizon,” Pozniak wrote. “Biden needs a public speaking coach to help him become a more polished and effective communicator.”
Biden’s staff, according to Pozniak, is not capable of providing the requisite speech training, and should instead rely on an outside expert – someone with a proven track record of helping top-level CEOs become more “polished, convincing, and relatable speakers.”
Biden will need to tighten for reelection
Biden’s public speaking abilities will become even more relevant as he presumably will be spending more time in public, touting his message, as he is now officially running for president.
And Biden’s public appearances, his performance specifically, will be especially important.
Presently, voters are concerned with Biden’s age and mental acuity – so much so that voters don’t want Biden to run again. If Biden bumbles from one campaign stop to another, mumbling and reminiscing, it will reinforce the idea that Biden is too old to be president.
Alternatively, if Biden can tighten things up, and speak coherently, and consistently, it will pacific critics and bolster Biden’s reelection chances.
Joe Biden will cruise to the Democratic nomination, but he’ll likely face a staunch challenger from the GOP – whoever survives what is shaping up to be a gauntlet of a primary. Trump and DeSantis are the two front runners currently.
Biden has already defeated Trump in a presidential election, and Trump is not especially articulate himself, which would give Biden a margin of error. The rest of the prospective GOP challengers are generally more articulate than Biden or Trump.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.