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WATCH: Biden’s ‘Cheat Sheet’ Stifles Confidence in His Leadership

Is Presidential Preparedness a Mirage? Biden’s Script Reliance Raises Questions


A recent incident captured on camera has raised concerns among observers about the ability of President Joe Biden to effectively serve another full four-year term if circumstances require it. The occasion in question was Biden’s meeting with Mohammed Shia’a Al-Sudani, the Prime Minister of Iraq, in the Oval Office on Monday. A not-so-subtle ‘cheat sheet’ with pre-determined responses and cues was clearly observable, raising questions about the President’s preparedness for such important discussions, according to a report by the New York Post.

According to the New York Post, the ‘cheat sheet’, which seemed to be guiding Biden during his Oval Office meeting with the Iraq’s Prime Minister, contained meticulously scripted responses he was to deliver to the press. With Biden reaching the age of 81, it has revived concerns about his fitness to lead the nation, especially given the geopolitical tensions and international incidents which have been occurring.

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During his public address, which coincided with the aftermath of an audacious direct missile and drone attack on Israel by Iran, President Biden was observed repeatedly glancing at the script in front of him. His cues, written out in stark capital letters, guided him on when to pause for translations by an interpreter. This seemed contrary to the approach of Al-Sudani, who the New York Post indicated did not resort to any such prompts while addressing the press.

President Biden also had a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday wherein he underscored the firm support of the United States for Israel. He further extended the reach of his diplomacy on the subsequent day when he convened with leaders from the G7 nations to discuss their collaborative strategy. The New York Post was on hand to report on these developments.

In his brief comments on Monday, the President asserted his resolve for preserving peace, saying, ‘The United States is committed to Israel’s security. We are committed to a cease-fire that will bring the hostages home and prevent the conflict from spreading beyond what it already has.’ Even so, questions about his reliance on scripts persisted, given his history of doing so since the start of his presidency. His detractors speculate if this could be a sign of mental decline.

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Indeed, noted instances of script-usage from Biden have prompted questions about the state of his cognitive health. A case in point is his speech from March 2022, where he was criticized for seemingly relying on note cards to weave through his delivery and handle difficult queries. A photographed card from this event had been emblazoned with ‘Tough Putin Q & A Talking Points’, hinting at a pre-determined strategy of response to potential questions.

The preemptive preparation for questions was quite noticeable. An anticipated query listed on the card echoed, ‘If you weren’t advocating for regime change, what did you mean? Can you clarify?’ Prepared responses included, ‘I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards the actions of this man,’ and ‘I was not articulating a change in policy.’, seemingly hinting at a tightly controlled narrative.

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During the press conference, when Fox News reporter Peter Doocy delivered a question mirroring those anticipated, there appeared to be a diversion from the scripted path. Doocy probed about the likelihood of wavering faith in America’s renewed leadership amidst a trail of promises which were seen to be rescinded. Biden’s retort was simply, ‘What’s getting walked back?’

Doocy further expounded on his question, suggesting that Biden’s previous statements insinuated US troops being deployed to Ukraine, potential use of a chemical weapon by the US, and a call for regime change in Russia. To this, Biden categorically denied all three charges, stating, ‘None of the three occurred.’ However, contrary footage and supporting evidence seemed to indicate otherwise.

During April 2023, a similar cheat sheet was once again in the limelight when it appeared to forecast a response to a journalist’s question from the Los Angeles Times. This sheet allegedly contained the reporter’s picture, the correct pronunciation of her name, her anticipated question and previously prepared response, lending weight to the notion of these press events being orchestrated.

This series of incidents provide further ammunition for those who question President Biden’s capability to effectively lead, particularly as it relates to off-the-cuff problem solving and crisis management. The use of ‘cheat sheets’ raises troublesome questions about his reliance on predetermined scripts and the impact on his ability to adapt to changing circumstances and pressures.

While it’s not uncommon for leaders to prepare for press conferences, the extent of script-dependence displayed by Biden exceeds the norm. It’s crucial that leading figures can respond confidently and spontaneously to questions, and the perceived lack of this ability is concerning for both domestic observers and international partners alike.

The captured images of cheat sheets and the apparent reality of over-reliance on them have painted a disquieting portrayal of President Biden’s leadership approach. As his term progresses, it is hoped that such criticisms will be dispelled, but, for now, they remain a point of scepticism among many.

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