President Joe Biden has a long history of appearing to inappropriately touch women and children in ways that appear to make some react with awkwardness and visible discomfort.
Yet another such instance occurred Monday when the president visited a Washington D.C. middle school and appeared to stroke the face of an awkwardly smiling student seated at a desk in front of him, according to the Western Journal.
It is just the latest in a lengthy series of such odd moments that have been caught on camera over the years and have prompted questions about Biden's behavior with children that the White House would definitely prefer to never address.
The Hill reported that President Biden and first lady Jill paid a visit to Eliot-Hine Middle School in northeast D.C. on Monday to meet with seventh- and eighth-grade students on their first day of the new school year.
During the visit, the Bidens spoke in front of an eighth-grade math class and then went around the room to greet some of the students individually while seated at their desks, all while pictures were being snapped by the media.
One of those pictures showed the president leaning down and appearing to stroke the face of a black student wearing a hoodie with the back of his hand.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 28, 2023
The New York Post reported on President Biden's visit to the D.C. middle school and the "mixed reception" he received from students, including from a "less enthusiastic" student who pulled their hoodie up over their head and appeared as if they were napping while Biden spoke -- almost certainly the same student seen in the photo.
Biden walked over to that student at one point and "wiggled his fingers in front of their face to wake them," whispered something inaudible to them, then "seemed to tap their cheek before moving around the room," per the report.
The Post further reported that while President Biden was speaking to the eighth-grade students in the math class, he said, "The hardest thing is to come back after three months of not doing any work, not doing any homework, and all of a sudden you got a lot to make -- everybody has a lot to catch up from the end of last year."
That commentary was notable and ironic in light of the fact that Biden has himself spent nearly the entire month of August on vacation, save for a few days here and there in Washington D.C. in between a series of getaways.
On July 28, Biden left D.C. for his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and did not return until August 7, only to then leave once again for his beachfront home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from August 11-14.
He then spent part of the next week at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland before heading out to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on August 21 for a week-long stay at a luxurious waterfront mansion owned by billionaire investor and climate activist Tom Steyer -- though that vacation was interrupted by a half-day visit to Maui to observe the deadly destruction caused by wildfires.
Biden only just returned to the White House on Saturday but will only be in town for less than a week as he is scheduled to return to his Rehoboth Beach home on Friday for an extended stay over the Labor Day weekend.