President Joe Biden confused listeners during a speech he gave last week at the National Safer Communities Summit in Connecticut when he concluded his speech with “Alright? God save the Queen, man.”
Biden was speaking to gun safety advocates and gun violence survivors at the University of Hartford when he mentioned saving the Queen. No one was exactly sure who or what exactly Biden was referring to when he proposed saving the Queen.
Decoding Joe Biden’s Utterance
“Many were questioning whether Biden referenced Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who died in September” USA Today reported. That’s as logical a guess as any, but who knows.
“God Save The Queen” began trending on social media soon afterwards as people tried to figure out what Biden meant.
Todd Gillman, the White House correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, speculated in a dispatch. “Several of you have asked me why [Biden] might have said that. I have no idea. Other poolers likewise have no idea.”
The context of the speech – gun violence – made the Queen remark especially baffling. Biden had been lamenting that there is gun violence “every damn day in America” while pushing gun control reforms like universal background checks and AR-15 bans. “A lot of you are tired. You’re tired. No, I get it. Try being 110 and doing it again,” Biden said. “Whether you’re Democrat or Republican we all want families to be safe. We all want to drop them off at a house of worship, a mall, a movie, a school door, without worrying that’s the last time we’ll ever see them.”
Yoni Appelbaum, an editor at The Atlantic, seems to have the most coherent answer for what Biden meant. Applebaum tweeted: “Biden has the extremely odd habit of ending his remarks with cryptic phrases whose significance is mostly legible only to him. “God save the queen” is also what he said right after certifying Trump’s election in 2017. He seems to use it to mean something like, “God help us all.””
That makes more sense.
The Real Concern on Joe Biden
All presidents has each utterance pored over, scrutinized under a microscope.
It comes with the territory.
Presidents can manipulate the stock market or the geopolitical landscape with just a sentence. But Biden is getting a little extra special attention. A little extra scrutiny when he says something where the meaning is not immediately obvious.
Why? Because the general public is concerned that Biden may be suffering from cognitive decline.
Biden is 80-years-old. He’s the oldest president ever. And he’s just announced that he will be seeking a second term despite concerns raised amongst his constituency. The problem isn’t so much Biden’s numeric age as much as the problem is Biden’s perceived decline in mental acuity. People are worried that Biden is going soft between the ears, that he may lack the ability to do his job.
Accordingly, people are watching Biden’s words and actions with a hawk-like focus.
So, when Biden says a sentence that doesn’t quite align with the preceding sentence, like “God save the queen, man” at the end of a gun violence speech, people make a bigger deal out of it than they normally would.
Other politicians, for example, would get more leeway. They might get the benefit of the doubt. But not Biden.
Biden has the world watching to make sure he can still do the job.
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.