Joe Biden, the former veep and suspected dementia sufferer, has once again tried to read a simple statement off of a teleprompter — and failed. This time is different however because his audience of one was none other than Barack Obama, who looked just as confused and bored as Punxutawney Joe looked confused and… more confused.
Before we get to Obama, we have to talk about Biden’s ongoing and readily apparent decline.
I’m sure Reuters thought they were helping the alleged Democratic presidential nominee with this story, but look at how they sold the headline with the accompanying photo:
The guy who can’t figure out how to effectively wear a mask — who happens to be in at least one COVID-19 risk group due to his age — is going to “attack Trump on healthcare.”
Here’s the clip I promised of Biden and Obama together:
🚨 THIS is why Obama told Biden he didn’t have to run and his staff keeps him hiding in the basement 🤦♂️pic.twitter.com/4ayTMqIEyR
— Marc Lotter – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@marc_lotter) June 23, 2020
As is my habit with these things, I’ll transcribe for you what Biden said. It isn’t easy to listen to dementia, but perhaps we can make more sense out of Biden’s words if we put them into print:
Mass migration, disruptive impacts of technologies, strengthen the global health security, stop, stop the cold… war… future that we’re talking about. We’re talking about a [stumble], a peaceful cold war [stumble]. What are we talkin’ about?
What are we talking about, indeed.
Having spent years as the guy on Biden’s side of the teleprompter, you have to be very, very good to fool me into thinking you aren’t reading off a prompter.
Biden isn’t good at all. Not just at the trying to fool you part, but at the simple act of reading.
In this case, he seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the script, which makes the way he reads it sound like the world’s worst game of One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other.
The first two things he mentions — mass migration and disruptive technologies — are negative externalities government (presumably) must address. “Global health security” is a positive to be achieved. Then there’s this “peaceful cold war,” whatever the hell that is, which is a thing we’re “talking about” but apparently not doing.
It’s a jumbled mess without any kind of segue moving the listener thoughtfully from one to the next.
If you’ve ever experienced the sheer awfulness of watching a friend or family member suffer any kind of dementia, then you know the drill. They have many things to say, often all at once. It’s your unpleasant duty to maintain a pleasant disposition while trying to pluck a coherent thought out of the jumble so you’ll have something, anything you can reply to.
It’s heartbreaking, as I learned decades ago with my great grandmother.
If I pick on Biden — and I do, ruthlessly — it isn’t without empathy for what looks to my eyes like fast-moving dementia. But Biden is also a public figure of the most corrupt and awful kind, who deserves whatever scorn we can heap upon him.
“Projectile word vomit” is what I’ve come to call Biden’s attempts to speak to the public in recent months. That’s because the standard pejorative — “word salad” — isn’t nearly descriptive or pejorative enough for the colorful effluence emitting from Biden’s mouth.
It didn’t use to be that way.
Don’t get me wrong: Biden was never a great public speaker. But he did at least make sense, even if what he was saying had little or no connection to reality as we know it.
In other words, Biden was a skilled teller of tall tales — a liar.
But he did so with a speed and grace unimaginable today.
Here’s an infamous example of just that:
(You need to watch only about the first minute.)
Damn near nothing in any of that was true. But Biden did at least make sense. And he was making sense off the cuff and in a room filled with reporters far less friendly than the ones he encounters in our current century.
Today, in his own comfortable home and presumably with plenty of rest, Biden struggles to form a coherent thought with an audience consisting of his former boss who hired him for his “gravitas.”
If you don’t mind, scroll back up and watch the Biden-Obama clip one more time, this time keeping your eye on Barack instead of Joe.
If Obama had any sympathy for his fellow man — in this case, his own veep — he might jump in to help a guy out. Instead, Obama is wearing his best “I’m Listening to You Intently” face.
(For whatever it’s worth, Obama never struck me as someone with much sympathy for his fellow man.)
So it would seem that Obama is either making a fool of himself by pretending to be thinking hard about what Slow Joe is saying, or he’s just as confused as Biden is and trying to his best to hide it.
Either way, it isn’t a good look for the former prez and that’s totally cool with me.