“Jackie, are you here? Where's Jackie? ”.

Frost in the hall for yet another gaffe by American President Joe Biden who, during a speech at a conference on obesity and food insecurity, looked for a Republican congressman from Indiana, Jackie Walorski . But she died last August in a car accident.

This was just the latest in a long series of fools in the Democrat's resume, who never denied with a certain amount of self-irony that he was a "gaffe machine" .

And in fact in fifty years of honorable political career, ever since he was a senator from Delaware and then vice president with Barack Obama, he has managed to collect an endless list of blatant errors , inconvenient, inappropriate phrases, which when all goes well they just rip a laugh, when it goes wrong they risk unleashing a nuclear war . As when he defined Russian President Vladimir Putin first "a butcher", then "a tyrant with hours counted", still a "war criminal" who could not "stay in power", hinting at suggesting a regime change in the Kremlin . Or when he argued that the US would intervene militarily in defense of Taiwan, breaking decades of "strategic ambiguity" of its predecessors on the disputed island by China.

It is no mystery that his staff make a sickness out of it, knowing that at any moment he could be called upon to patch up reckless words . In the case of the war criminal Putin, for example, it was said that it was his personal opinion and "not legal". "Whenever Biden says what he really thinks, the cleanup army sent by the White House is quick to argue that he didn't really mean that," explains Peter Baker of the New York Times. Or that maybe after all what he has in mind does not change the administration's policy in any way . Not a small contradiction, considering that he is the head of his administration. As analysts repeat, it is one thing to "over-talk" when you are a senator and, after all, also a vice president. Another when you are president: every utterance uttered is sifted through by politicians, diplomats and intelligence agencies around the world, with the aim of reading their future moves.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, he is stronger than him, Biden just can't stick to the "script" : he gets carried away, he tries the joke at all costs. Launching his 2008 presidential campaign, he described then- young Senator Obama as "the first eloquent, bright, clean and good-looking African American in politics." A compliment that unequivocally turned into a racist slip. Also during the 2008 presidential campaign, at a rally in Missouri he enthusiastically addressed a local senator repeating several times: "Come on Chuck! Show yourself, enjoy the well-deserved applause. Get up!". Well, Chuck Graham was a paraplegic . To former Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, on St. Patrick's Day in 2010 he said: "Your mother lived for 10 years on Long Island, rest in peace ...". But Cowen's mother was alive and well.

Again, in 2019, during a fundraising meeting he went so far as to say that " Margaret Thatcher is seriously concerned about the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump", clearly referring to former British Prime Minister Theresa May and not to the Iron Lady who ruled. the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.

Even the most innocuous mistakes - like when it claimed that the Obama administration was focused on "a three-letter word: JOBS, jobs," or when it confused Sweden with Switzerland, or read the hunchback literally with " end of quote ”and“ repeat pause ”- make him easy victim and prey to criticism from his opponents . "Sleepy Joe," former President Donald Trump renamed him, pointing out that at his age, 79, he is incapable of leading the free world. Imagine if he should have in mind to reapply in 2024, when he will be 82. "It's reckless and embarrassing," the words of Tommy Hicks Jr., co-chair of the Republican National Committee and a close associate of Trump.

Not that Trump has never gotten into trouble with borderline phrases, threatening war with North Korea, Venezuela and Iran, straining relations with historic American allies such as Germany, Canada and South Korea, and defending Putin himself.

For the current tenant of the White House, who has accustomed us to less incendiary tones than his predecessor, there is no lack of those who see in his gaffes a sign of spontaneity and honesty . "Biden - says David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser - has always been more open about his thinking than most politicians, his strength is authenticity." In other words, borrowed from columnist Michael Kinsley: "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, an obvious truth that he shouldn't tell ”.

© Riproduzione riservata