President Joe Biden’s long political career has been dominated by a stream of gaffes, inappropriate jokes, and unintelligible word salads.
The frequency of such misstatements has apparently increased in recent years, however, as evidenced by his remarks during a signing ceremony this week.
“No, I’m joking”
As he signed into law a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday, he appeared to insinuate that first lady Jill Biden was involved in an inappropriate relationship with second gentleman Doug Emhoff.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden’s bizarre attempt at a joke came shortly after he delivered a speech on the South Lawn of the White House.
He expressed gratitude for several individuals who played key roles in pushing the spending legislation through Congress.
“I want to thank everyone who helped make this happen: Vice President [Kamala] Harris, my Cabinet members, my White House team, Jill, Doug, our first lady and our — first lady and our second husband,” he said. “No, I’m joking.”
Taking the apparent flub even further, the president doubled down, declaring: “These guys travel all over the country together. I’m getting worried, you know. And Doug is one hell of a lawyer besides.”
“I forgot my mask”
His remarks continued with a few dubious or exaggerated claims about the size and scope of the infrastructure package.
The gaffes continued as he attempted to end the speech and moved toward a desk near the podium before exclaiming: “My mask, I forgot my mask.”
His missing mask was not recovered and after a few seconds of rummaging around, he gave up and returned to the small table without his face covered. At that point, he was surrounded by several other maskless politicians from Congress and his Cabinet.
Biden appeared to mumble something about distributing commemorative pens to those in attendance. Upon attempting to give one to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), she gave it back and whispered something in his ear.
All of these anecdotes are particularly noteworthy amid growing concerns on both sides of the aisle about the cognitive abilities of the 78-year-old president. His performance on Monday did nothing to reassure skeptical Americans.