June 2, 2022

President Op-Ed Speaks Again

Are we seeing a new communications strategy from a White House tired of all the cleanups?

It’s not often that presidents write newspaper op-eds to make the case for any particular policy, but Joe Biden did so twice this week. It seems that the White House is trying a new communications strategy in light of all those embarrassing episodes of “Cleanup on Aisle 46.”

Of course, Biden isn’t writing these op-eds himself. He has staffers for that. In fact, the staffers writing these may be the same ones complaining to the media about all the clarification they have to do after Biden makes some off-the-wall pronouncement that suddenly seems to change longstanding U.S. policy — like maybe advocating regime change in Russia or promising to go to war with China over Taiwan.

One day after a Wall Street Journal op-ed outlining his pathetic plan for inflation, Biden’s handlers took to the pages of The New York Times to explain “What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine.”

The op-ed itself is actually quite strong and generally lays out the right policies and objectives, including explaining how and why “a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression” serves U.S. national security interests. In fact, it reads as though it could have been written by any president of either party over the last few decades.

That it was written by Joseph R. Biden Jr., however, indicates the problem — it was only necessary because of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

As we’ve said more times than we can count since months before Vladimir Putin’s invasion, the Russian strongman was emboldened by his American counterpart’s weakness. Such an invasion did not and would not take place under Donald Trump, despite leftist attempts to paint the latter as a Putin stooge. The same did not/would not statement could be made about Biden’s disastrous surrender of Afghanistan, which played a huge role in the aforementioned emboldening of Putin.

Biden can have someone write an op-ed for him saying all the right things now, and promising all kinds of money and military weaponry to Ukraine for its defense, but none of it would have been necessary if he hadn’t been so feckless for his entire career. Putin’s brutal war on Ukrainian civilians was invited by Biden.

So, back to the reality of an administration constantly cleaning up after the president. On Monday, Biden told reporters at the White House, “We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia.” The very next day, his Times op-ed declared, “I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.” He did, however, caution: “We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”

Nevertheless, his apparent change of heart came after even former Obama officials hammered Biden for his refusal.

The other reversal came on regime change. “As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage,” he wrote, “the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow.” That’s a far cry from his declaration in March that Putin “cannot remain in power.” Biden did soon insist he was merely “expressing my moral outrage,” not changing U.S. policy, and his op-ed made this explicit.

Will we be seeing more op-eds from President Blabbermouth in the days ahead? That may be the way the White House janitorial staff chooses to cover for the fact that Biden avoids media interviews and other extemporaneous settings precisely to keep from having to mop up after his verbal spills.

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