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Joe Biden Is Slowly Losing It

Joe Biden probably is in cognitive decline. But wandering off before being cued to do so doesn’t suggest anything. The wander-off is something that could have happened to absolutely anyone.

President Joe Biden delivers a keynote address at the National Association of Counties Annual Legislative Conference, Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden delivers a keynote address at the National Association of Counties Annual Legislative Conference, Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Not all who wander are lost. President Biden wandered off-set during a live interview on MSNBC while the host was still speaking.

But the interview was clearly over.

It’s a minor gaffe.

And despite being amusing, it’s irrelevant.

Still, Fox and conservative media outlets are running with it further indicating that Biden is in cognitive decline.

Granted, Joe Biden probably is in cognitive decline. But wandering off before being cued to do so doesn’t suggest anything. The wander-off is something that could have happened to absolutely anyone.

Here’s what happened

It’s quite minor. Biden sat for MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace for an interview. At the end of the interview, Biden and Wallace thanked one another, said goodbye, shook hands, and then Biden got up and walked behind Wallace, and out of the shot while Wallace was still on-camera narrating the transition into the show’s next segment.

What was supposed to happen, I assume based on my previous media consumption, is that Joe Biden was supposed to sit tight while Wallace wrapped up the segment and then excuse himself and walk away once cameras stopped rolling.

But that’s not what happened and the internet is having a field day.

“WHAT ON EARTH IS JOE BIDEN DOING? It’s Live TV! Steve Guest wrote.

“YOU sit in the chair, YOU smile at the pretty lady, YOU stay until we come get you,” Jim Treacher wrote.

“The Biden Presidency in one clip,” Scott Walker, whose name sounds vaguely familiar, wrote in reference to Biden wandering off.

“Bathroom run?” Nicholas Fondacaro wrote. Okay, that’s pretty funny.

Bigger Picture on Joe Biden 

The significance of Biden’s wander-off is that the moment combines with other similarly awkward moments to form a tapestry of moments that conservatives believe illustrates concretely Biden’s lack of fitness.

I’m receptive to the idea that Biden is too old for office. I’ve spilled a lot of ink promoting the concept.

What seems clear to me, and is most concerning to me, is that Biden simply is not as sharp as he once was. Just reference Biden interviews from 2016 or 2012 or 2008 or 1978. He was a different guy back then. Much more articulate. Much more present. So, I don’t doubt that Biden is not who he used to be. I don’t doubt that he’s sundowning. And I believe, and would argue, that Biden is too old to serve a second term.

All that being said, I could not care less about Biden wandering off Wallace’s interview set before his cue to do so. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean he’s suffering from dementia. It’s a non-story outside of the fact that it’s an amusing whoopsie-daisy. It reminds me of Will Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby not knowing what to do with his hands during a live television interview. Amusing and awkward, yes, but in no way a reflection of a greater trend.

I made the same points about a week ago, when Biden raised – and then lowered – his hand during the Indian national anthem during an event to honor Indian PM Narendra Modi. Again, Ricky Bobby-vibes where Biden didn’t know what to do with his hands. But again, who cares?

And for those wishing to make the case that Biden’s mental fitness is not sufficient to serve as commander-in-chief, I recommend you avoid making a big deal of each and every television gaffe. It dilutes what could be a strong argument with superficial BS.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer 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 listens to Dokken.

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Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.