For months leading up to his recent overseas trip, Joe Biden’s staff and their stenographers in the press insisted this trip would be a reset of Biden’s poor showing on the international stage, notably in the Middle East. We were assured Biden would restore healthy relations with America’s traditional allies in Israel and the Sunni Arab world (notably in Saudi Arabia, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a perennial target of the American Left’s outrage machine).
In typical Biden fashion, the overhyped trip landed with a thud.
Realizing that Biden’s trip would require him to shake hands with Middle Eastern leaders the Left hates, Biden’s handlers forbade 46 from shaking hands out of an abundance of COVID caution. Or so we were told. Naturally, the first thing Biden did when he reached the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport was shake hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (another object of the Left’s abject hatred).
Biden further infuriated his left-wing base by effectively standing with Israel rather than condemning its policies toward the terrorist-run Palestinian Authority. Biden didn’t win any friends on the Right, either, because his pathetic showing in the Middle East came in the context of his greater desire to restore the ill-fated Obama-era Iran nuclear weapons deal.
After blundering in Israel, Biden hopped on his plane and jetted over to Saudi Arabia. Unlike past presidential trips from Israel to the Sunni Arab world, though, Biden was allowed to fly directly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh. The historic moment could not be acknowledged publicly, however. To do so would have meant acknowledging the accomplishment of Biden’s much-maligned Republican predecessor, whose visionary Abraham Accords set the conditions for these historic changes between Israel and the Sunni Arab world.
Once in Saudi Arabia, it was fist bumps all around. The crisis of Joe Biden shaking hands with MBS—a man the Western press and Democratic Party holds in as much contempt as they do former President Trump—was averted. Mission accomplished, Ron Klain!
Sadly, an entirely new disaster unfolded shortly thereafter. While burbling out a speech to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, one could not help but notice that Biden’s audience was . . . well, sleepy. Most of the Arab leaders looked away from the American president with a combination of resignation and annoyance. Other Arab leaders glanced down at their cellphones. Even Biden’s own advisers arrayed behind him looked bored as he stammered on about U.S.-Arab relations. Brett McGurk, Biden’s Mideast adviser and architect of the trip, appeared nonplussed at best during the president’s slurred speech.
Compare Biden’s pathetic showing in Saudi Arabia with former President Donald Trump’s showing at the same venue a few years earlier. That meeting was probably the most important conference in the Arab world attended by an American leader since 9/11. It set the stage for Trump’s Abraham Accords and brought the United States, Israel, and the Sunni Arab states closer than they had ever been, united against the rise of a nuclear Islamist Iran and the ongoing threat of Jihadist terrorism from within the Sunni Arab world.
Whereas Biden’s shambolic tour of the region raised more questions about the U.S. role in the world than it answered, Trump’s had solidified America’s position. Biden offered no vision. He didn’t even offer a handshake! And while Biden was on his meandering trip to nowhere, his vice president was back in the White House meeting with California Governor Gavin Newsom. When the old cat is away, the younger cats plot his downfall, evidently.
To make matters worse for Biden, he gave a bizarre speech in Delaware last Wednesday in which he appeared to say he has cancer. A panicked White House Press Office issued an immediate “clarification.” Considering Biden was dumping on Big Oil at the time, he may have been exaggerating for effect. It’s just as likely, given his outward signs of senility, he got confused and misspoke. Either way, the caustic response from the otherwise sympathetic press and social media was brutal.
The very next day, news broke that Biden had tested positive for COVID-19. Just like that, scathing assessments of Biden’s failed Mideast trip disappeared, along with his bizarre cancer claim. In their place were the sullen faces of Biden team members doing everything in their power to manage the public perception of Biden’s illness. It was reminiscent of a scene from “House of Cards,” when Francis Underwood advises all politicos suffering through a public scandal to “kill and throw [the press] something fresher.” As if sensing the skepticism from people in the press like me, the Biden team released a bizarre video—akin to a “proof of life” image—of Biden struggling to speak while sucking on a throat lozenge, insisting he’s fine.
He probably was fine because he probably didn’t have COVID! Everything about this administration is a grotesque pantomime, a grand façade meant to conceal the fact that we’re led by an incompetent figurehead. We’re to believe that a 79-year-old got over the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China in just a few days? Like so much about this presidency, rather than address the real fact that Biden is totally unfit to lead, his minders have concocted a false narrative; a distraction about him getting sick to protect the Democratic Party’s tenuous grip on power.
Everything about this presidency is a damn, dirty lie. Biden’s onset of COVID came at a convenient time when he was in dire need of sympathy and a distraction. Don’t fall for it.