And I thought the “good historic economic place” spin last night on CNN from Karine Jean-Pierre had reached Centrifuge Level. This part from the same Don Lemon interview falls more under the Micturating On Our Heads And Calling It Precipitation level of spin.
Watch Lemon’s non-reaction to Jean-Pierre’s answer, which clearly didn’t seem to impress him much — especially the lecture on asking the question in the first place (via Twitchy):
Lemon: “Does the president has the stamina, physically and mentally, do you think to continue on even after 2024?”
Jean-Pierre: “I can’t even keep up with him… That is not a question that we should be even asking. Just look at the work that he does.”pic.twitter.com/jZJz0LG6O3
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 14, 2022
LEMON: Does the president has the stamina physically and mentally do you think to continue on even after 2024?
JEAN-PIERRE: Don, you’re asking me this question. My gosh, he’s the president of the United States. You know, he — I can’t even keep up with him. We just got back from New Mexico, we just got back from California. That is — I’ve — that is not a question that we should be even asking. Just look at the work that he does. Look how he’s delivering for the American public.
Look, that was — that article that we’re talking about is hearsay, it’s salacious. That’s not what we care about. We care about how are we going to deliver for the American people? How are we going to make their lives better? That’s the president talks about. That is his focus and that’s what we’re going to continue to focus on.
Er … we shouldn’t be asking about the stamina of a man five months away from becoming an octogenarian in a high-pressure, 24/7 job? Why shouldn’t we be asking that question, especially when it comes to a second term starting when Biden turns 82? Lemon didn’t ask Jean-Pierre whether Biden should get removed now via a 25th Amendment exercise over incompetence or an inability to do the job, after all, but about having enough left in the tank for another presidential run two years from now.
As the Bard put it when Biden was a young man … Methinks the lady doth protest too much. And the look on Lemon’s face tells us that he’s unconvinced that the 44-year-old Jean-Pierre has trouble keeping up with 79-year-old Biden, especially given that she’s going live at nearly 11 pm ET from the White House briefing room while Biden’s lid is almost always in the late afternoon.
This isn’t spin; it’s an outright lie, and even more shabby because Biden’s showing his age literally every time he steps in front of a camera. Jean-Pierre’s ridiculous claim that she can’t keep up with Biden doesn’t even fly with fellow Democrats, who are watching this debacle and planning furiously for a succession:
To nearly all the Democrats interviewed, the president’s age — 79 now, 82 by the time the winner of the 2024 election is inaugurated — is a deep concern about his political viability. They have watched as a commander in chief who built a reputation for gaffes has repeatedly rattled global diplomacy with unexpected remarks that were later walked back by his White House staff, and as he has sat for fewer interviews than any of his recent predecessors.
“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,” said David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s two winning presidential campaigns.
Not even an attempt to belay those worries with a pretaped appearance on ABC’s late-night show worked to allay those concerns, Rich Lowry argued on Friday. Biden looked every inch “an old man overwhelmed by events,” so much so that Kimmel had to bail him out by going to a break:
The president rambled, occasionally mixed up words, trailed off awkwardly once or twice, and looked gaunt. The worst moment was when he wanted to say that he hasn’t been able to communicate his purported accomplishment effectively but couldn’t come up with the best way to put it. “Well, see,” noted a sympathetic Jimmy Kimmel, “that’s kind of perfect. You haven’t been able to communicate it.
The vibe of the interview was that of an appearance by a president emeritus, an elder statesman whose stumbles could be forgiven and who was commenting mostly amiably, if not very compellingly, on the country’s state of affairs. …
Wishful anonymous comments to reporters aside, the White House gives every indication of realizing that what should be its main weapon, POTUS himself, is a flawed vessel. Whenever Biden is on the stage, even reading a teleprompter speech, there’s the possibility of a gaffe, and not a trifle like forgetting a name or what city he might be in — no, an international-incident-type gaffe that will reverberate in foreign capitals.
Biden might bristle at getting corrected by his staff, but what are they supposed to do? Leave the impression that the U.S. seeks regime change in Russia and is committed to fighting China over Taiwan? If Biden wants to make these positions into U.S. policy, it is in his power to do so. Instead, he went along with the clean-up operations because they were appropriate and necessary.
The more people see of Biden, the more obvious it becomes that he’s too old for the job — and too incompetent, which long predated Biden’s age issues. About the only way that Jean-Pierre and the White House can avoid this question is to create a kind of social lèse-majesté penalty for bringing it up. That’s precisely what Jean-Pierre tried to do with Lemon, and failed miserably.