President Joe Biden likely delivered the most consequential speech of his presidency Saturday. In Warsaw, he was afforded optics even the most creative producer couldn’t conjure up. It was extremely coherent, well written and contained very few stumbles by the man himself.
He ran through the barbaric history of Soviet aggression, took a not-to-subtle victory lap for his role in uniting NATO and made clear the commitment the United States has made on behalf of Ukraine and democracy.
His stern warning to Putin was music to the ears of neoconservatives. It probably reminded the Green New Deal crowd why they don’t like him, but maybe this time they won’t complain out of respect for world harmony.
Referring to Putin, he made news in classic Biden dialect with this line:
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
And while NATO members assuredly celebrated with shots of Aquavit, the White House walked back his direct words in a tweet:
“@POTUS’S point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
Many questions now emerge. Were those words on his teleprompter? Was he adlibbing? What does he really mean? Is China emboldened in light of a monumental waffle on the world stage? Did our allies regurgitate their shots?
The only lens through which to view this episode is through executive incompetence, and we only have one executive. That same incompetence has come to define the Biden administration. Virtually nothing has gone as planned for a man who was largely elected by virtue of perceived competence.
It’s been one forced error after another. They mismanaged the Afghan exit. Now the Taliban is in charge, and girls over a certain age are not permitted to go to school. America surrendered its energy independence, so when the war on Ukraine got heated, Biden was forced to make Faustian bargains with pariah states.
Rather than seeing unbridled growth as promised, we’ve been asked to accept unbridled inflation. The average cost of a gallon of gas averages more than that of a draft American beer. Shoppers audibly gasp when informed of the price of their groceries.
Now his own White House is disavowing a bold and Churchillian threat. Seems the smooth cohesion of NATO and others could be jeopardized when the president announces a worthy moral aim and the White House dumbs it down.
If that wasn’t Biden’s most consequential speech, either democracy is doomed or we are all rushing toward utopia. Let’s pray for “most consequential.” This clown act makes one wonder when we’ll start referring to the White House as the White Home.
Michael J. Hudome is a Republican media consultant whose clients have included John McCain for President, all four national committees and several current and former members of the House and Senate.