The New York Times laboriously tries to paint Biden as a deliberative “Socratic” thinker who demands lots of details. Except the picture that emerges is of a guy who is out of his depth, mentally not quite there, erratic and indecisive, incapable of actually reaching a decision.
Mr. Biden had already spent the first two months of his presidency debating how to respond to Mr. Putin, and despite his acknowledgment in March that he needed to act quickly, his deliberations were far from over. He convened another meeting in the Situation Room that stretched for two and a half hours, and called yet another session there a week later.
Anyone familiar with corporate and government life knows that this is what leaders do when they can’t decide what to do, and so they keep shifting the burden onto their subordinates and demanding more information that they don’t understand or know how to process.
Before making up his mind, the president demands hours of detail-laden debate from scores of policy experts, taking everyone around him on what some in the West Wing refer to as his Socratic “journey” before arriving at a conclusion.
Socratic is a polite way of putting it. Especially when there’s no decision
On policy issues, Mr. Biden, 78, takes days or weeks to make up his mind as he examines and second-guesses himself and others.
I like how the New York Times throws in “78” in there.
And right on cue…
Those trips are often difficult for his advisers, who are peppered with sometimes obscure questions. Avoiding Mr. Biden’s ire during one of his decision-making seminars means not only going beyond the vague talking points that he will reject, but also steering clear of responses laced with acronyms or too much policy minutiae, which will prompt an outburst of frustration, often laced with profanity.
Biden has spent nearly half a century in government. It’s his job to understand this stuff. And just as clearly, he doesn’t.
During the Obama administration, Biden became infamous for launching into long random anecdotes that had no point and sidetracked the conversation. Now there’s absolutely no one to stop him from spouting off whatever’s on his mind.
All of this is theater because Biden isn’t really mentally functional and he’s struggling with that reality.
Mr. Biden is gripped by a sense of urgency that leaves him prone to flares of impatience, according to numerous people who regularly interact with him.
The paper describes Biden as urgent and yet deliberative. The two don’t really go together.
Biden is frustrated because he’s unable to come to grips with the decisions he’s supposed to be making because he’s mentally not there. And he blames his subordinates for the growing gap in his own capabilities.
That’s natural for a guy who even in his prime lied about his record and plagiarized like mad. The arrogant hack challenging a reporter to an IQ contest when running for the Senate is not about to admit that he can’t handle the workload.
For as much as Mr. Biden projects an aura of ease — with his frequent backslapping, references to Irish poetry and liberal use of the phrase “c’mon, man” — his aides say it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to prepare him to project an assured demeanor.
It’s hard work being a puppeteer for a somewhat self-aware puppet.
Lots of work prepping Biden for his latest Weekend at Bernie’s gig.
Initially, the White House said that Mr. Biden would be making his first round of decisions in mid-April.
The president is already well past that deadline. On May 4, Ms. Psaki told reporters that the president would be evaluating nominees “soon.”
Asked to define “soon” — Days? Months? Weeks? — Ms. Psaki said out loud what many of the president’s aides were no doubt thinking.
“Well,” she said, “I think it depends on when the president makes some decisions.”
He made one important decision though.
The staff was told not to serve leafy greens at events because Mr. Biden did not want to be photographed with any leaves in his teeth, Mr. Freeman said.
No salads for President Hairpiece. Biden may not be able to make a decision, but he’s as vain as ever.