Five Quick Things: Boy, How About That Press Conference, Huh? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: Boy, How About That Press Conference, Huh?

Thursday, on Hugh Hewitt’s show, Sen. Rand Paul summed up the Joe Biden one-year anniversary press gaggle accurately.

Paul said that putting Biden out in public is now dangerous. It signals weakness to our enemies and it’s provocative.

He’s right, you know. That press conference was awful in ways that shouldn’t be possible for the elected leader of the world’s indispensable nation.

How bad was it? Well …

1. Drooling on the war drums

In my Tuesday column this week I talked about how we’re coming to the point where Biden’s widening, deepening vortex requires a war to dragoon the American people into supporting the regime. And then Biden all but invited one in his press conference.

Ellie Gardey had it right yesterday here at The American Spectator when she talked about the “minor incursion” gaffe:

He might as well have said, “Please! If you only launch a small-scale attack, we’ll be divided amongst ourselves and let you get away with it. We will only enact minor sanctions. Please don’t go all the way to the Dnieper. Just take some territory in the east.”

The reaction to that abject lesson in how to project weakness was immediate, forcing Press Secretary Jen Psaki to issue a correction about one hour after the press conference.

“President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies,” she said.

Meanwhile in Moscow, Putin was surely loving to hear of fissures in the West and flighty American resolve.

My theory on where the next war will come isn’t in Ukraine, and it isn’t in Taiwan, either, though I wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong. I still think it’ll be Venezuela, which needs a war even worse than Biden does, attacking Guyana, and there will be some stupid chain of events that draws us into that conflict.

But Biden is undoubtedly a bad fifth-generation Xerox copy of the 1970s-80s-90s political establishment, and it’s hard not to remember how the Bush 41 administration inadvertently (maybe?) started the first Gulf War. Some State Department clown let slip a hint — or at least it was interpreted that way — that if Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait we wouldn’t consider it a casus belli, so he did. And we got to show off our military dominance as a result.

There is a school of thought that says this wasn’t an accident. I’m not going there. But what I will say is that with Biden things that might have been clever and devious at some point are now clunky and busted. And Biden didn’t just mouth off about “minor incursions,” he then said that Putin “has to do something.” That kinda gives the game away, no?

I have another theory, or maybe it’s more of a prediction. Rather than invade Ukraine, Putin is going to torture those people with threats of invasion, cyberattacks, economic warfare, and other destabilizing aggressions until he can stage a coup and put a pro-Russian regime in place there. He has plenty of time to do that. And my theory goes that when the Russian puppets are back in charge in Kyiv, they’re going to release all kinds of dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden and other Americans who’ve been playing the “humanitarian aid” money-laundering game in Ukraine. My guess is Biden knows this, or at least his handlers can see it coming.

And that’s dangerous, because if that’s an accurate guess they might actually want to get us in some kind of fight with Putin in order to discredit what revelations may come.

OK, that’s frightening and depressing. Let’s move on to other things, which are … also frightening and depressing.

2. Pre-slandering the 2022 election

Remember when the legacy media repeatedly erupted in paroxysms of contempt back in 2020 and in 2016 when Donald Trump would openly complain about rigged elections? That was unacceptable, they said, even though much of Trump’s motivation for trashing the sanctity of our balloting was trolling the Democrats about their own refusal to accept losing (as in 2000 and 2004, for example).

It turns out that Joe Biden is as bad as they accused Trump of being. In one of the lowlights of the speech, Biden attacked the legitimacy of the 2022 midterms in which his party is due to suffer a legendary rout. The latest Trafalgar poll has the generic congressional ballot in uncharted territory — 55.7 percent R, 42.2 percent D.

Amid this, Biden says that if the Senate won’t kill the filibuster and give him his Banana Republic Vote Fraud Bill, then the 2022 midterm elections are bogus:

Oh, yeah, I think it could easily be illegitimate…. The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in proportion to not being able to get these reforms passed.


Remember when this doddering, determined-wrecking Abject Bum claimed he was out to unite America? How’s that project coming along?

That one stung so many nostrils that his press flack, Jen “Circleback Girl” Psaki had to show up with a fire extinguisher on Twitter afterward:

Lets be clear:

@potus was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election. He was making the opposite point: In 2020, a record number of voters turned out in the face of a pandemic, and election officials made sure they could vote and have those votes counted.

Yeah, OK, Circleback Girl. That’s exactly what he said. Whatever, baby.

3. Overpromises, overpromises

Asked if Biden thought, given his administration’s disastrous first year, whether maybe he’d like to admit he oversold himself, the president delivered an answer so bad as to give good reason to Paul’s judgment of his fitness to appear in public.

“Why are you such an optimist?” he asked the questioner, more than a bit inappropriately given the question. “Look, I didn’t overpromise, and I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen.”

Dude, no.

The Civiqs tracking poll of Biden’s approval as of January 18 sits at 34 percent approval, 56 percent disapproval. He’s at 22 percent with independents, 2 percent with Republicans, and 72 percent with his own party. The 18-34 crowd gives him 25 percent. He’s at 38 percent with women. Just 27 percent with white respondents. Barely above water, 46-42, with Hispanics (39-48 underwater with Hispanics in Texas, though). Only 62 percent with blacks.

Nobody thinks Biden outperformed expectations, other than maybe Biden. It’s scary that he chose that line of BS to answer a question his team had to know was coming.

Of course, I’d say Biden has pretty much hit my expectations right on the mark. I knew he was a slimeball, a moron, and a wannabe tyrant and that his handlers were the worst of the worst of the incompetent Obama alumni, and I’ve taken no pleasure in being proved correct.

4. COVID-iocy

Here’s a fun quote: “the bottom line on COVID-19 … that we are in a better place than we’ve been and have been thus far, clearly better than a year ago.”


The Federalist’s Eddie Scarry did a nice job with this one:

That’s interesting. Here’s the latest from The New York Times’ COVID summary report: “The Omicron variant has pushed the country’s daily case reports to record levels, with more than 800,000 new infections being reported each day”; “[a]bout 150,000 coronavirus patients are hospitalized nationwide, more than at any previous point in the pandemic”; and, “[a]round 1,900 deaths are being announced each day, a 50 percent increase over the last two weeks.”

To the extent Biden is correct about COVID, it’s due pretty much solely to the fact that Omicron is basically a mild case of the flu for most people. But while Slow Joe pats himself on the back for having conquered the unconquerable, the Hill’s Kim Iversen absolutely murdered him on two questions we’ve been asking of our public health bureaucrats — what do you do if you have COVID and want to stay out of the hospital, and why aren’t you acknowledging natural immunity?

5. The participation trophy

Perhaps the best indication of just how bad this was came from Biden’s sycophants in the leftist media, who want you to know that he was Really Awesome, You Guys for the sheer length of the presser.

Rachel Maddow:

“With all the talk about Putin and him talking about … the question of whether Putin is going to invade Ukraine might … be decided by which side of the bed Putin wakes up on — and all this stuff about trying to get Putin’s head. One part of me wondered if he was trying to sort of ape Putin’s annual press conference thing where he does these sort of feats of strength. He does these feats of stamina showing how long that he can continue to go taking these questions. So that was part of it,” Maddow said.

Rachel Maddow is insane, of course, and peddles political ghost stories every night.

But this was the spin fed to the herd for dissemination. James Carville:

Carville said, “I thought today was a very good day. The best time to plant an oak tree was 25 years ago. The second-best time is right now. I think President Biden planted an oak tree. He decided that, ‘Hey, look, our political situation has deteriorated here, and I’m going to personally take charge of it.’ It is not a minor feat to stand there for an hour and 50 minutes, on your feet, answering every kind of questions that comes your way on every kind of different policy. So my hat is off to the president. It really is. He has taken matters into his own hands.”

He continued, “You can’t avoid land mines. No president can avoid land mines. You can try to figure out where they are and get around some of them, but they’re going to blow up on you. I think he realized that. He showed an element of toughness today that was encouraging if you’re a Democrat.”

Carville added, “I’m 77. I couldn’t do an hour-and-50-minute interview with you. All right? I wouldn’t have the stamina.”

Carville teaches college courses, so that’s an obvious and provable lie. They aren’t even trying anymore. Everything about the Left these days is a phone-in.

The Hill:

Biden spent almost two hours in the East Room, and even joked about the longevity of the event in its closing stages.

“How many more hours am I doing this? I’m happy to stick around,” he said.

There were pluses and minuses to the marathon approach.

On one hand, the briefing’s duration was proof of Biden’s stamina and mental acuity — a retort to conservative critics who suggest that, at 79, he is not up to the job.

In fact, that issue was explicitly — and somewhat pompously — brought up at the news conference by a reporter for Newsmax, and Biden swatted it aside.

He didn’t swat the question — which came from James Rosen, who’s at Newsmax now but is a well-respected journalist of long standing — aside. He more or less fell over it and broke his hip:

Rosen on Wednesday thanked Biden for the honor of taking his question about a “delicate subject” that he was posing “with the utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the high office you hold,” before citing a Politico/Morning Consult poll that found 49% of registered people disagree with the statement that “Joe Biden is mentally fit.”

“Not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement,” Rosen told Biden, who responded, “I’ll let you all make the judgment whether they’re correct.”

“The question I have for you, sir, if you’d let me finish, is why do you suppose such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness,” Rosen pressed on.

“I have no idea,” the president told him, before moving on to another reporter’s questions.

Half the country says he isn’t all there and all he has to say for himself is “I dunno?” You’re the president of the United States of America, for God’s sake. You don’t owe the people more than that?

And this is acceptable because he was able to stand there for almost two hours without keeling over or (visibly) wetting himself? This is the standard now?

Spinning an existential-disaster press conference as a success because the man stumbling through it didn’t stroke out and die before he left is a somewhat low bar, n’est-ce pas?

John Hayward summed this up best:

Biden’s handlers do not understand the psychological impact of dispatching his flacks to insist the senile old man didn’t say any of the things he clearly said in his dumpster fire press conference. They’re on the verge of turning low poll numbers into national panic.

And with that frightening and depressing flourish, we bid you all a wonderful weekend. Stay warm out there!

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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