After watching decades of Joe Biden gaffes, at least we had some hope that cooler heads around him as president would prevent national embarrassments. For instance, Jill Biden has acted as an interview minder at times, rescuing her husband from potential fumbles. We’re safe, right? Country’s in the best of hands, and all that?
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) April 1, 2021
In this report from a local television station, the First Lady actually got it wrong twice. At another, earlier point in her appearance, she pronounced it sí se puade, without the second u effect as above (via The Blaze):
This led to an abundance of mirth and merriment on social media, aptly curated by our sister site Twitchy. Oddly, though, the station never mentions Jill Biden’s butchery of the phrase in its report. If that had been a local Republican fumbling a pander like this, would they have glossed over it as blithely? Er … what’s Spanish for no they can’t?
Does this have great significance? Not truly, but it demonstrates a weird sloppiness in the White House, and a strange kind of amnesia for the Bidens. Joe was Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008 when Obama co-opted Chavez’ ¡Sí se puede! rallying cry in his outreach to Hispanic voters (and translated it to his Yes We Can! main campaign slogan), and re-used it a bit less vigorously four years later. Most people today who know that phrase first heard it in the Obama-Biden campaign. Did Jill Biden sleep through the 2008 campaign and never hear that chant?
Even if that were the case, the Bidens should know better than to use someone else’s language and idioms without making sure they grasp the pronunciations. Failing to do so makes the pander even more cringeworthy, as in Look at the wealthy gringa trying to get down with the struggle cringeworthy. Did her staff even try to teach her to say this phrase correctly? Or did they just assume that the Bidens’ time with the Obamas would have made the correct pronunciation clear?
Looks like we’re in for at least another three years of cringing, and perhaps double the amount we expected.
Addendum: After I’d written this, we got another pandering bit of cringe. At least this one’s a bit more extemporaneous.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 1, 2021