On his way out of Washington, D.C. for yet another stay at his Wilmington, Delaware, home on Friday evening, President Joe Biden stopped to talk to the press, and it went just about as well as you might imagine.
Asked by one reporter if he was “planning to travel to East Palestine, Ohio,” where residents are still suffering from the toxic aftermath of a trail derailment, Biden attempted to explain why actually going to survey the devastation and meet with frightened, frustrated Americans wasn’t necessary.
After all, he did a… you know… video-talky Aretha Franklin thingy…
“Are you planning to travel to East Palestine, Ohio?” a reporter asked the leader of the free world.
“At this point, I’m not,” Biden answered. “I did a whole video, I mean, um, what the hell, on…”
And then his brain froze.
"Are you planning on traveling to East Palestine?"
BIDEN: "At this moment not. I was, I did a whole video, I mean, uh, you know, the uh, what the hell? On…"
BIDEN: "Zoom. All I can hear every time I think of Zoom is that song of my generation, 'Who's Zoomin' Who?'" pic.twitter.com/fBWAVar7Gm
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 24, 2023
“Zoom?” a helpful reporter suggested.
Zoom? Isn’t that an ’80s hit from the Queen of Soul?
“Zoom!” the president exclaimed. “All I can think of every time I think of Zoom is that song in my generation, ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?'”
Now, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Joe Biden is not GenX.
He can claim he is, at least in his heart, a black Puerto Rican Catholic Polish Jew, but he can’t claim that.
Born in 1942, Joe Biden is — ironically — part of what is known as “The Silent Generation.”
Aretha Franklin topped the charts with “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” in 1985.
So was it CornPopski all along? Biden now claims he grew up in a Polish neighborhoodhttps://t.co/CAJzP0dKeU
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) February 22, 2023
But, brain-farts and cultural appropriation aside, the point is, the president doesn’t have to breathe in East Palestine’s air or show support for those who do because he’s talked to some folks who have.
“Wait, wait, wait, let me answer the question,” he told the reporter. “The answer is that I’ve had a long meeting with my team and what they’re doing.”
“You know, we were there two hours after the train went down,” Biden bragged, though “we” doesn’t actually mean what he seems to think it does.
“Two hours,” he stressed. “I’ve spoken with every single major figure in both Pennsylvania and in Ohio. And so the idea that we’re not engaged is simply not there.”
He then explained that no one suggested that an unfolding environmental disaster on American soil was something worth postponing his surprise for Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, so he jetted off for Kyiv.
“And initially,” he said, “there was not a request for me to go out before I was heading over to Kyiv.”
“So, I’m keeping very close tabs on it,” he assured the media. “We’re doing all we can.”
Whoever is handling Biden’s Twitter account raced to prove his point.
Shortly after he stumbled his way through the reporter’s question, “Biden” tweeted about his super-engaged meeting with other super-engaged people, like FEMA and EPA officials and the never-around-when-you-need-him Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“We remain committed to supporting the people of East Palestine every step of the way,” the Biden Twitter account stated.
Earlier, I spoke with @SecretaryPete, @EPAMichaelRegan, @SecBecerra, and @FEMA_Deanne for the latest updates on our response to the train derailment in East Palestine, OH.
We remain committed to supporting the people of East Palestine every step of the way. pic.twitter.com/gmUjIxjUA0
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2023
To be fair, Buttigieg did don a hardhat for some inexplicable reason and made his way to East Palestine on Thursday, where he tried to pretend he wasn’t there because former President Donald Trump’s visit didn’t force him to be.
Former McKinsey consultant cosplays as construction worker, Transportation Secretary, shows up to wreckage latehttps://t.co/TLUlJ8g1oA
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) February 23, 2023
When asked if he waited too long to discuss the derailment — it took him 10 days to address it — Buttigieg replied, “The answer to your question is yes,” according to Fox News.
“I felt strongly about this and could have expressed that sooner…” he explained. “Again, I was taking pains to respect the role that I have and the role that I don’t have, but that should not have stopped me from weighing in about how I felt about what was happening to this community.”
Because that’s how Biden leaders roll.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect that Joe Biden is not a “Boomer” but is part of “The Silent Generation.”
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