Hail to the Punter in Chief
Making Sense By Michael Reagan
He may not be the fastest president on his feet we’ve ever had.
He may bore you to death compared to the last president.
But I will tell you, if anyone in the NFL is looking for a punter, Joe Biden is your man.
The president didn’t blow up or melt down at his first, much-anticipated and ultimately embarrassing formal presidential press conference.
But on Thursday he proved one thing with a doubt - he’s not America’s quarterback in chief.
He’s our punter in chief.
For a little over an hour President Biden ducked the mostly friendly questions of ten cherry-picked journalists and read large chunks of his answers on foreign policy from a briefing book.
He gave vague, garbled or outrageous answers about immigration, Afghanistan, China, voting rights and the filibuster that generated zero tough follow-ups from the liberal White House press corps.
He punted on how he was going to fix the immigration crisis he’s caused at the border.
He punted on what the United States should do about the economic and military threat of China and when he was going to get America out Afghanistan.
He punted on when his administration will allow the media and their cameras to get access to the overcrowded border facilities in Texas where thousands of illegal immigrants and unaccompanied migrant children await processing.
The only thing President Biden didn’t really punt on was killing the filibuster.
The “relic of the Jim Crow era” as he and its new enemies now call it, is the same parliamentary tool he supported for 40 years when he was a Senator.
It’s the same weapon his party used aggressively and often in the Senate during the Trump years when it was in the minority.
Chuck Schumer used it to - among many other things - block construction of the Wall, change the Cares Act and halt Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill.
But now “Wide-awoke” Joe and Schumer want to get rid of the filibuster so their party can ram “progressive” legislation through Congress that will change the United States forever.
No member of the White House press cheerleading squad had the courage to remind Biden about that eulogy he gave for his beloved colleague, Sen. Robert Byrd, the former KKK member who was a star on the Democrat Party’s team of racist Southern senators who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights bill.
Meanwhile, talk about softballs tossed underhand by little league journalists.
PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor prefaced her blatant pitch for ending the filibuster by referring to Biden as “a moral and decent” man.
There were no questions at all about the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccines or gun control.
And though Biden left many openings for follow-up questions by saying looney-tune things like President Trump sent migrant families back to Mexico to starve and a majority of Republicans support him, they were not asked.
Say whatever bad you want about Trump, he always called on his nemesis Jim Acosta of CNN and he wasn’t afraid to take questions from anyone.
And where Biden seemed to need a briefing book to answer many of the questions, none of his predecessors - Trump, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama - never did.
Besides punting whenever he was in doubt, Biden took half a dozen cheap shots at President Trump (he was among friends, so he knew he was safe).
Based on their friendly questions, the White House press corps showed that they haven’t exactly been working on their fastballs while President Biden was hiding from them for two months.
For instance, it should have made big headlines and sparked lots of follow-up questions when Biden went back on his campaign promise and said he expects to run again in 2024, but it didn’t.
The bottom line is, with those briefing books and basic punting skills, everyone who watched Biden’s press conference could have done the press conference too.
Copyright 2021 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.” He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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