Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris might be the single worst pair of communicators to occupy the White House. Both Joe and Kamala are wedded to teleprompters because he has too much to say and she has nothing to say. Teleprompters are there to keep Joe Biden from telling wildly inappropriate stories about his leg hairs or announcing an impromptu surrender to China, but they’re also there because in her natural state Kamala is incapable of saying anything at all.
Presidents and their veeps are supposed to be a balance of strengths and weaknesses like a good marriage, but instead Biden and Kamala are a bad marriage in which their weaknesses are mirror opposites, but also so far apart that they’re incapable of balancing each other out.
Neither Joe or Kamala have any real skills. They both got to where they are as a combination of political accidents by men who were attracted to their weakness and incompetence.
Obama picked Biden because the failed presidential candidate was an old white man who would be too inept to build his own power base or function independently of his team. And Obama proved correct when Biden not only failed to declare his independence during eight years as his second banana, but even after Obama twice refused to endorse his presidential run is still dependent on Obama’s people to tell him what to do, where to go and what to say.
Kamala was handpicked by Willie Brown for her willingness to sleep with a much older man. And to represent Willie’s interests on various commissions. Despite no apparent skills or real track record, she advanced through the ranks because she was a hollow vessel. Having very little in the way of a mind of her own, she could be counted on to do what her bosses wanted.
Her latest boss picked her for the same reason. And because no one could want her in power.
No, at the pinnacle of their careers, Biden and Kamala are clueless and unpopular, incapable of doing their jobs or even coherently communicating their agenda to the American people.
Where Biden is a terrible communicator who believes he possesses ineffable campaign instincts, Kamala is the product of a Democrat political machine in a one-party state who never really had to campaign until her terrible performance in the presidential primaries.
Joe Biden spews word salads composed of anecdotes, misheard quotes from old movies, and the preexisting condition of his illiteracy. Biden has spent much of his career lying about his grades, academic achievements and even his IQ because of an obvious intellectual insecurity.
Kamala’s word salads are less exotic. Biden’s malapropisms and asides are unique, but Kamala isn’t likely to call someone a “lying dog-faced pony soldier”. Instead she speaks in the familiar argot of woke bureaucrats who mix “stakeholders”, “impactful”, “commitment”, “awareness” and “transformative” together in some random order and call it a sentence.
This language doesn’t have an official name, but the combination of academic constructs, business buzzwords, and ‘therapyspeak’ expressions has taken over the HRs of every major company and is the language in which the 99.9% of useless government bureaucrats speak internally. It’s natural that Kamala would have picked it up, but she never unlearned it, or learned any other language and so she is incapable of making herself understood to the people.
Like Orwell’s Newspeak, Kamala’s native language is meant to defeat communication. It’s impossible to express anything clearly and plainly in a tongue that consists of ambiguities that signal virtue rather than explain what they are after. Soon adjectives become verbs and verbs become adjectives. Untangling it is difficult enough when it’s written down, but a teleprompter recitation of strings of cliches tangled with general assertions that never add up to anything is impossible. Yet tens of thousands of such events are held everyday in which the participants are subjected to an hour of this nonsense which, no matter how many 10 AM whiskeys you’ve had, never start making any sense. And Kamala is a capable practitioner of this difficult language.
Unfortunately, while it’s an excellent way of killing an hour at a meeting or completely shutting out civilians who have come to speak about a proposal that affects their lives, Kamala’s linguistic skills are absolutely hopeless for communicating with ordinary human beings. That’s when Kamala ‘dumbs it down’ by stating general sentiments in simplistic language or repeating the same idea in the same words a few times. She’s not doing it because she’s stupid (even though she is) but because she thinks of everyone else as being too dumb to understand her.
Kamala’s incoherence isn’t unique. Her native state is dominated by political bureaucrats who have these same two modes, either ‘talking up’ to their own kind or ‘talking down’ to the locals. From Governor Newsom on down, California Democrats speak gibberish to each other or painfully condescend to the proles. But most of them can at least make some kind of sense.
The trouble is that Kamala has nothing to say and doesn’t know how to communicate. The woman one heartbeat away from running the country has never been anything other than an empty shell. There’s no discernible personality or characteristics to Kamala. Her interests and hobbies all appear to have been invented for a presidential campaign. Unlike Hillary, who developed a fake persona to humanize a nasty human being, Kamala is a ‘space alien’. The only thing her fake persona is hiding is that there’s nothing underneath except ambition.
Biden has too much personality, but she has too little. The daughter of a wealthy globe-trotting mother, she became a successful socialite, followed the herd through college, hooked up with Willie Brown and probably became the most successful person in her class. But unlike Joe Biden, who at least helped finance Hunter’s hooker and crack habits, has nothing to show for it.
Biden spent his political career compensating for obvious insecurities and living out his appetites. Kamala grew up rich and successful, pampered and pandered to, and if anything suffers from a lack of insecurities. That’s why she can’t reach people or empathize with them. Biden’s political instincts are bad, but Kamala doesn’t have any gut instincts. She doesn’t feel anything and has no ability to read a room, either a real one or the national one. She’s tone-deaf because she never needed to learn how to interact with people outside set social situations.
Kamala, the daughter of a researcher and an economist, is bright enough in her limited way. But her abilities are limited to learning a ruleset and then adopting it. That’s how she does everything from socializing to launching a political attack. Her manner seems even phonier than that of most politicians because it is wholly artificial. There’s nothing spontaneous about it because the only way she ever learns anything is didactically and then repeats it by rote.
Biden may read from a teleprompter, but Kamala is a human teleprompter. Forced to depart from a script, she doesn’t go off-script the way that her boss does, instead she tries to go back to the simplest scripts she knows or echoes her interviewer, and then starts to repeat herself. Biden can readily improvise, but shouldn’t, and his number two absolutely cannot improvise. To improvise is to draw on your talents and reserves, and Kamala’s well is dry and empty.
Never has someone so empty of everything come this close to running everything.