by Frank Holmes, reporter
Some of the most historic moments have come when the president speaks to the nation on live TV from the Oval Office.
Sitting behind the desk where he signs and vetoes the bills that will become national law, the president informs the American people about major world events, like the Challenger explosion or the Cuban missile crisis, or he tells us his most important views on what’s happening in the world.
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But for someone who’s wanted to be president all his life, Joe Biden hasn’t had much to say from that historic setting.
In fact, Biden has spoken from the Oval Office about half as often as Donald Trump did.
Instead, Biden prefers to give his remarks from a phony set that looks just like the White House.
Fox News reported that the Biden administration built the set “across from the White House in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building” specifically “for video conferences and events broadcast online.”
Conservatives made fun of Biden running a “Truman Show Presidency,” but now the reason for the arrangement has come out: Biden needs that set so he can read his prepared remarks off a teleprompter that won’t fit into the White House.
Politico reported that Biden “has largely abandoned using the Oval Office for press events in part because it can’t be permanently equipped with a teleprompter.” The president and his “aides prefer the fake White House stage built in the Old Executive Office Building next door for events, sacrificing some of the power of the historic backdrop in favor of an otherwise sterile room that was outfitted with an easily read teleprompter screen.”
Biden won’t speak from the same spot as other presidents because he needs a screen.
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That shouldn’t be too big a surprise: The nation’s oldest president refused to hit the campaign trail like a normal candidate in 2020. And when he bothered to speak, “Basement Joe” froze in the middle of a speech, then appeared to give a signal to somebody to move the teleprompter up to the next line.
But Biden’s dependence on cue cards is even more ironic, since he made fun of Barack Obama’s reliance on a teleprompter shortly after he took the vice president’s office.
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Biden gave the commencement address to graduating cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 2009, when the winds blew his teleprompter over mid-speech.
“What am I gonna tell the president? Tell him his teleprompter is broken?” Biden joked around, off-the-cuff. “What will he do then?”
“Biden makes fun of Obama after teleprompter falls over,” reported the Christian Science Monitor at the time.
Public radio said the joke landed, because everyone knew “Obama relies on electronic crutches and carefully crafted remarks, unlike Biden who can ramble and run on with no prompting at all.”
At that time, a much younger Biden “recovered easily and thanked the cadets for the service to their country that they are about to embark on and reminded them how much America needs them,” reported Fox News at the time.
It’s hard to imagine Biden “recovering” at all. Now, the 79-year-old can hardly make it through his short, scripted remarks with a an electronic screen.
“Joe Biden when the teleprompter stops working is a train wreck,” wrote Caleb Hull.
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But Joe Biden with a teleprompter isn’t much better.
He once read the notes on his teleprompter out loud, saying, “End of quote.”
Another time, his speech writers told him to praise the “LGBTQ+ community,” but he misread the speech and called it the “LGBTQ-L community.” That was definitely an L for Joe.
Another time, Biden got into a sticky situation by telling people to get vaccinated by going to the website “vaccines dot gum.”
After a certain number of gaffes, you realize the problem isn’t the teleprompter.
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The nation needs a real president in the real Oval Office.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”