I mean, it kind of is.
But if you already have misgivings about Grandpa Joe’s ability to do the job, you’re not going to feel reassured by his insistence that he’s still able to access the basics of his memories. The … “essence” of them, if you will.
This is not an office whose duties can be carried out effectively with anything less than total attention to detail. And by “total attention” I mean watching hours of “Fox & Friends” and sh*tposting on Twitter about personal enemies.
Biden’s obviously in no condition to handle a job as demanding as that.
Seriously, though, he doesn’t sound great here:
Based on the report, it seems like there were a few different stories that you may have combined into one, but there was a soldier —
“There was a soldier, that had to do with a humvee that had blown up. There was another story where a young man was in a forward-operating base where someone got shot and fell down a ravine, and the young man went down and picked that person up, carried him up and he died. I was asked by a commanding general, would I pin a medal on him? He didn’t want the medal either because he said he died even though he went down under fire and saved a man. They were the two stories.”
The reason why some people are looking at this story, even though it’s just about one story in New Hampshire that you told, is broader concerns about misstatements on the trail. Obviously folks have asked you about your age and you’ve said we should judge by your performance.
“I think it’s ridiculous. The essence — that there’s anything I said about that that wasn’t the essence of the story. The story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save and risked his life saving died. That’s the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you guys can take it and do what you want with it.”
Joe is still jumbled up on the details, which is why he resorted to the “essence of the story” bit near the end of the excerpt to try to wriggle out of it. The soldier who rappelled down the ravine was Kyle White; he received the Medal of Honor from Obama at the White House. Biden had nothing to do with it. Another soldier, Miles Foltz, rescued a comrade who was in trouble and under fire; Biden witnessed the ceremony in which Foltz received the Bronze Star during a trip to Afghanistan as a senator in 2008. The third soldier, Chad Workman, tried to save a buddy who was trapped in a burning vehicle; he was the one who received the Bronze Star from VP Biden in 2011 and who told Biden that he didn’t want the medal.
When the reporter asked him if he might be conflating details from separate stories, though, he answered, “No I don’t think so, but I haven’t seen the article.”
So he really is confused. He’s not just taking a little dramatic license by consolidating war stories to punch up a stump speech.
WaPo caught up to him on the trail this afternoon and also asked him for reaction. Quote:
In an interview with Washington Post opinion columnist Jonathan Capehart after the report was first published, Biden suggested he was telling Workman’s story in New Hampshire, although almost none of the details he offered matched what actually happened to Workman.
“I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we’ve lost,” he said. “I don’t know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?”
Is he pleading “fake but accurate”? (Or “larger truth!”, I suppose?) Or does he really not realize that he’s mixed up three different stories and people are wondering if that’s further evidence that his mind is … cloudy?
If he were prepared for these questions, he would have said he’s been touched by so many stories of courageous American soldiers behaving selflessly while in danger that he wanted to honor as many as he could by mentioning details from their different experiences when he talks about this. That would be tantamount to admitting to lying but under the circumstances a virtuous lie is better spin for him than “I get confused easily and have trouble remembering things now.” No one’s going to vote for Elizabeth Warren because garrulous Grandpa Joe took a little license by incorporating several true stories about U.S. troops risking their lives for comrades. They might vote for Elizabeth Warren, though, if they’re convinced his brain is turning to oatmeal.
Anyway, enjoy this while it lasts because questioning Biden’s mental fitness will be completely verboten by the media the moment he clinches the nomination.