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Out of the mouth of babes, the saying goes, oft comes wisdom. Maybe we should have a few more of them at White House news briefings.
As it is, those in President Joe Biden’s administration tend to keep children away from the president for reasons that ought need no explanation. They try to keep the press away — or at least friendly — for a different set of reasons.
However, on Thursday, there was no escaping Biden being around children or the media because there was a Take Your Child to Work Day event at the White House.
At the top of his remarks, Biden thanked the Secret Service for bringing him out to the South Lawn, which should tell you all you need to know about the power dynamics at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
So, at one point in the speech, he was asked about having to leave the event. His answer was telling.
“And by the way, the one thing I thought when I got to be president, I’d get to give orders,” Biden said. “But I take more orders than I ever did.”
Indeed he’s right. As one Twitterer said in what might be the perfect response: “The most honest thing he’s said since taking office.”
The most honest thing he’s said since taking office 😂
— Zeke Zelle (@zekezelle) April 27, 2023
Now, this was in immediate response to a child who said, “Mr. President, I heard you had to get back to the Oval Office.”
“You’re right, babe,” Biden said. “What’s your name?”
“Kathleen,” she said.
“Kathleen, what a beautiful name,” the president said. “Kathleen is reminding me I’ve got to get back to the office. If I don’t go, they’re going to get the Secret Service working on me, so I’m going to be in trouble.”
I don’t know whether Kathleen was talking about this being the end of the event — because it would be odd that a child would know that — but yes, it was. And the timing was right: We had just been treated to what aficionados of the Biden gaffe probably refer to as “That Moment.”
You know “That Moment” when it comes: the moment when Space Cadet Biden, not necessarily in near-Earth orbit mentally as it is, finally loses the gravitational pull of reality entirely and drifts off into the oblivion of inchoate, incoherent answers.
And “That Moment” came when he was asked what his favorite movie was.
“My favorite movie was the new movie that was about that guy who flies jet planes,” the president responded. “You know who I’m talking about?”
The only way this would have been sadder or funnier was if he really meant that new Gerard Butler movie “Plane” — but, let’s face it, that’s nobody’s favorite movie.
This is the thing about Biden, though. Even in the fractured pop culture landscape of the 2020s, where most people haven’t even heard of half the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, much less watched them, “Top Gun: Maverick” was one of the few global phenomena that we all partook of, or at least knew about.
And here’s the leader of the free world asking a bunch of kids, say, what’s that movie with the jet planes we all watched and liked last year?
Fortunately for Biden, a child chimed in with “Top Gun,” and another kid said, “Oh, yeah, ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’”
The president then said, “Did you see — did you see ‘Top Gun: Maverick’? That’s been my favorite movie I’ve seen this year.”
BIDEN: “My favorite movie was the new movie that was about that guy who flies jet planes. You know who I’m talking about? Top Gun? Did you see Top One: Maverick?” pic.twitter.com/sDL9cxvHc4
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 27, 2023
But, yes, Biden’s statement that he takes more orders than he gives is confirmation of what many of us suspect — and the answer prior to that also seemed to indicate it was for the exact reason we suspected it. The motor may be barely running, but the so-called leader of the free world isn’t necessarily at the wheel.
Consider that this came one day after cameras caught a card with a reporter’s picture on it, her name (phonetic pronunciation of her last name included) and her question on it, as well:
Biden used a cheat sheet at today’s press conference — with a reporter’s question written on it pic.twitter.com/jfZu5JxKz5
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 26, 2023
What’s funny is that, despite the phonetic pronunciation, Biden didn’t even bother trying Courtney Subramanian’s last name when he called on her, referring to her as “Courtney Los Angeles Times.” I guess we should be thankful he hasn’t forgotten how to pronounce “Courtney.”
That said, this isn’t as bad as the infamous cheat sheet that was caught by cameras last June when the president was essentially walked through the sequence of an entire event with a note card.
👀 White House instructions to Biden: “YOU take YOUR seat.” pic.twitter.com/PyqN0zW3n8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 23, 2022
A president who has to be told these simple things is, one can easily deduce, a man who takes orders more than he gives them — or is at least very liable to be swayed.
He’s hidden from the media most of the time, he surrounds himself with his inner circle and he pushes policies far to the left of where he was either in the Senate or as vice president during Barack Obama’s administration.
Why? Because those policies were crafted for him, if one is to be charitable with one’s language, by those in his administration. Not that he ever has to answer for them, because the only time we usually get to hear him answer questions is when they’re shouted to him on the White House lawn.
Maybe we can make every day at the White House Bring Your Child to Work Day. At least that way, we’d get some questions answered — and, at the very least, the president would eventually learn the title of his favorite film, “the new movie that was about that guy who flies jet planes.”
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