Joe Biden, America’s oldest sitting president, despite personally acknowledging that he could “drop dead tomorrow” and conceding that it is “legitimate” for voters to wonder how mentally and physically equipped he is to carry out his duties, has, nevertheless, indicated he “intends” to run for office again in 2024.
Its official, Joe Biden is an octogenarian POTUS, as he turns 80 this Sunday (20 November 2022.
And while the Democratic president may smile defiantly and challenge sceptics to look closer to see if he is “slowing up,” the age of America’s oldest Commander in Chief has always been the “elephant in the room.”
Despite the Democratic party, his aides and supporters choosing to dismiss concerns and insisting Joe Biden is fit for the country’s highest office, questions have been swirling ever since his inauguration at the age of 78 years and 61 days. From the outset, Joe Biden has put on a meme-inspiring display of word salad, downright fabrications, teetering and stumbling incidents and bizarre behaviour. Here are some of the gaffe-meister’s memorable moments.
Even months into his presidency, Joe Biden struggled to recall what job exactly he had taken on, on occasion referring to himself by his previous title of senator, as in one instance when he introduced himself to those assembled at a White House gathering to mark the end of Ramadan.
On numerous occasions President Biden referred to his second-in-command, Vice President Kamala Harris, as POTUS. It all started in 2021, as Biden delivered a White House speech on COVID-19 vaccines. He subsequently went on to repeat this gaffe time and again.
What’s In a Name?
Remembering or pronouncing names has been extremely challenging for Joe Biden. Six weeks into his presidency, Biden floundered when trying to recall the name of his Secretary of Defense, Army General Lloyd Austin, at a White House ceremony.
“And I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general,” Biden said.
“I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there,” he added.
Another name blunder came along when Joe Biden was speaking about the new AUKUS defense pact with the UK and Australia. The then Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s name appeared to stubbornly elude him.
“And I want to thank, er … that fella Down Under,” Biden faltered, indicating Morrison. “Thank you very much, pal. Appreciate it, Mr. Prime Minister.”
Joe Biden recently mispronounced the name of new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, calling the 42-year-old “Rashee Sanook”.
Some of Joe Biden’s gaffes came close to setting off a dangerous course of events, like was the case when he appeared to explicitly call for the overthrow of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden exclaimed, referencing Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. The remarks were made during a visit to Warsaw, Poland, in the course of his three-day Eastern Europe tour. The White House was left scrambling to undo the damage, saying thet Biden didn’t really mean it.
“He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” an aide said.
Similarly diplomatically-fraught verbal slip-ups have been made by Biden with respect to Taiwan, when he pledged to defend the island that China sees as its renegade province. His words drew China’s flak and left the White House red-faced.
The current US President has been known to regularly lash out or snap at reporters, in a ‘short fuse’ display. This is typically the case when Biden is confronted with unwelcome questions. When reporters asked why Biden was “so confident” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “change his behavior” after their 2021 summit in Geneva, Switzerland, Biden lost his temper, shouting:
“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior!” he shouted, jabbing his finger for emphasis. “What the hell? What do you do all of the time? When did I say I was confident?”
Biden has failed to keep a lid on his temper on numerous other occasions. He couldn’t keep it together when an NBC journalist asked him about a newly announced vaccine mandate at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA): “You’re such a pain in my neck”, the president told veteran reporter Kelly O’Donnell.
Vague on Geography
When still a Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made a new slip of the tongue mistaking Iran for Iraq during a speech in Tampa, Florida.
“US troops died in Iran and Afghanistan, 6,000, as of today, 923”, he said. “Not roughly 6,900 — 923, because every one of these fallen angels left behind a family, left behind a community.”
More recently, Biden gave a train wreck of a speech in Florida in October, claiming the US had among the lowest inflation rates in the world and saying his son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015, lost his life in Iraq.
He was also roasted by Internet users questioning his cognitive abilities after a press conference where, speculating on recent developments in the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s strategic decision to partially exit Kherson, announced on November 9, Biden said:”I think the context is that whether or not they’re pulling back from Fallujah, and…I mean from the City of Kherson.”
Calling the Dead
One of Biden’s most memorable verbal misfires of late was when he appeared to loo for Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski at a White House conference eight weeks after her death in a car crash.
“Representative Jackie — are you here? Where’s Jackie?” the president asked from the podium, adding, “I think she was going to be here.”
“Bless his heart for trying,” Walorski’s brother Keith Walorski told The Post. “He’s forgetful. I don’t think anybody would look at the things that he’s done and said and say that his mind is as sharp as it used to be.”
The president added to his growing number of missteps recently when he accidentally fell off his bike, getting caught on the pedals.
Before that, the US President had a less than graceful walk up the Air Force One stairs on his way to Los Angeles to attend the Summit of the Americas. The feat was not novel as Biden fell three times attempting to board Air Force One on his way to Atlanta in March 2021.
Chatting to Ghosts
US President Joe Biden appeared to have extended his hand for a handshake to nowhere after finishing a speech in the city of Seattle, Washington. As he said goodbye to the audience, he turned around with his hand out for what looked like a handshake. To his sadness, there was no one behind. The president then made another little turn, and apparently again extended his hand to the void. A similar episode happened before that, when Biden wrapped up a speech in the state of North Carolina on infrastructure reform.
As he turned his back on the stage and held out his hand for an alleged handshake, there was no one near him.
In another recent incident of the bizarre behavior patterns increasingly characteristic of Joe Biden, the president appeared to lose his way to the White House following a tree-planting event on the South Lawn.
Navigating stages at speaking events has also presented a problem for Biden, as was the case at a rally in Pittsburgh in October.
In the recent midterm elections, held on November 8, national exit polling revealed that 67 percent of the voters are against another Joe Biden run for the Oval Office, furthermore, close to 40 percent of those people were self-identified Democrats. Throughout the year, there have been reports of ‘chatter’ about growing concern over the current president’s age and perceived acumen decline, with even top Democratic donors and long-time Biden supporters allegedly displaying restlessness and unease over the prospect of him running again in 2024.
In another survey by the Marquette Law School in September, 72 percent of Americans frowned on the idea of Biden throwing his hat in the ring again, with 48 percent of Democrats sharing that opinion.
However, in the face of a growing number of Americans revealing they were opposed to him running for reelection in 2024, all Joe Biden had to say post-midterms was, “Watch me”.