Will Joe Biden’s Gaffes and Memory Issues be a Campaign Issue? – 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 at the time, 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.
Fit for Duty?
The White House doctor has said that Joe 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.
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.
Joe Biden: 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.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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