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On Ukraine and the unfair elections, Biden undermines his own marathon message

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On Ukraine and the unfair elections, Biden undermines his own marathon message

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A nearly two-hour press conference may be a sign of presidential stamina, but leaves much to criticize in terms of mistakes and missteps.

Joe Biden would have been wise to end the thing at least half an hour early because by the end he was clearly tired and lost his train of thought at times. I feel like he was determined to show the White House press that he could stand there and take his pictures until all questions were exhausted. alongside the president.

President Biden meets with members of the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force to discuss the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.
(Associated Press)

To be fair, some of Biden’s earlier responses were focused and forceful. He clearly showed mastery of a range of complex issues. He wasn’t very convincing when he denied the over-promises and under-deliveries, but made the best case he could muster given his string of setbacks.

But a few blunders may dominate postgame coverage at a time when far more people are seeing the clips online — and the perpetual pundit — than watching an afternoon presser.

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And that’s what happened with Ukraine.

Biden chose his words so carefully to describe Vladimir Putin’s threat to the former Soviet state, so I was stunned when he started freelancing — and suggested the United States might not meet a limited military force.

“It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up arguing about what to do and what not to do, etc.,” Biden said.

And moments later: “I guess he’s going to move in. He has to do something.”

Here is the President of the United States predicting a Russian invasion, and even worse, saying that all NATO countries might not agree on how to respond. It was “aisle two cleanup” time.

Half an hour after the presser, Jen Psaki issued a statement to clarify that any military incursion would be met with “a swift, severe and united response from the United States and our allies.”

And on Thursday, Biden used an infrastructure task force meeting to backtrack on his own remarks: “If assembled Russian units cross the Ukrainian border, that’s an invasion.”

It was a stunning blunder from a president who prides himself on knowing many world leaders and has a long history on the international stage.

On Ukraine and the unfair elections, Biden undermines his own marathon message

 | Local News

President Biden speaks during a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 19, 2022.
(Getty Pictures)

The other error was more nuanced. Biden was talking about the Democratic suffrage bills, which the Senate was defeating, as everyone expected, at the press conference.

A reporter asked that if the bills fail, “do you still believe that the next election will be conducted fairly and its results will be legitimate?”

And Biden dithered: “Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that part of this is put in place to try to alter the outcome of the election.”

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Even sympathetic experts thought it crossed a line. After more than a year of Donald Trump insisting the 2020 election was rigged, Biden was questioning the legitimacy of the 2022 election. And his critics said he was setting the stage to explain a Democratic annihilation mid -journey.

On Ukraine and the unfair elections, Biden undermines his own marathon message

 | Local News

President Biden answers questions during a press conference in the East Room of the White House on January 19, 2022 in Washington. (Getty Pictures)

Now, from Biden’s perspective, he was decrying Republican efforts to tighten voting restrictions in a number of states, which he sees as a partisan threat to democracy. Therefore, he would think it fair to say that we cannot be assured of any improper election interference unless my bill is passed. (Except those bills include Liberal wishlist items like making Election Day a holiday and mandating early voting.)

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But he was deaf in not realizing he was issuing what sounded like a Trumpian warning to voters on the other side, save for a Democratic president.

It may be unfair to judge a press conference by a few bad moments, but it’s always been that way — especially when the issue wasn’t a mangled fact but a potential foreign policy fiasco.

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Still, it was fine for Biden to be seen as engaging with all kinds of journalists. I hope he does more – although his staff would no doubt prefer them to be a bit shorter.

On Ukraine and the unfair elections, Biden undermines his own marathon message

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