By Dave Andrusko
For those who have the time to keep track of these things,
The Media Establishment is finally conceding what has been transparent from the get-go.
Not that it’s news that President Biden’s popularity is always in the low 40% range sometimes in the 30%; not that everyone—even Democrats—aren’t already worried about his diminished intellectual capacities; and certainly not that the number of people and publications that are publicly calling on Biden to shift gears and announced he is not running for a second term continues to grows.
In fact, just this week, Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic “Step Aside, Joe Biden: The president has no business running for office at age 80.”
No, it’s another truth the media has kept a lid on: Biden’s volcanic temper. I was about to write he was plagued by his short fuse but in fact he has never paid a price.
According to the liberal publication Axios
Jeff Connaughton, a former Biden campaign and Senate aide who was chief of staff to Kaufman when he filled Biden’s seat in the Senate, wrote about Biden’s temper in his 2012 book on Washington corruption, “The Payoff: Why Wall Street Wins.”
Connaughton wrote that as a senator, Biden was an “egomaniacal autocrat … determined to manage his staff through fear.” But could that free pass be a changing? National Review’s Jim Geraghty quotes the opening paragraph of a Axios story by Alex Thompson
In public, President Biden likes to whisper to make a point. In private, he’s prone to yelling. Behind closed doors, Biden has such a quick-trigger temper that some aides try to avoid meeting alone with him. Some take a colleague, almost as a shield against a solo blast.
But, of course, Thompson’s story is filled with qualifiers, as Geraghty acerbically points out:
The story of Biden’s outbursts gets just about the most sympathetic, soft-focus, and gentle tone imaginable from Axios — “Being yelled at by the president has become an internal initiation ceremony in this White House, aides say — if Biden doesn’t yell at you, it could be a sign he doesn’t respect you.” Screaming at the staff is a sign of respect, you see. Axios does acknowledge the screaming confrontations contradict Biden’s “carefully cultivated image as a kindly uncle who loves Aviator sunglasses and ice cream.
Get it? The worse Biden treats you, the more he respects you. Well, that does jive with reminiscences going back to his Senate days.
Meanwhile Biden’s enablers carry on:
Some Biden aides think the president would be better off occasionally displaying his temper in public as a way to assuage voter concerns that the 80-year-old president is disengaged and too old for the office.
Or, how about this? Biden’s verbally ripping underlings apart is really in their best interest and reflects how much he cares and demands:
Some Biden aides argue that the president’s rages reflect his high expectations for his staff. “Speaking Biden” is a particular skill, they said. It can take years to learn to navigate his moodiness, and anticipate what information he’s going to ask for in a briefing.
Final thought on Biden’s white hot temperament:
Connaughton told Axios that Biden “hides his sharper edge to promote his folksy Uncle Joe image — which is why, when flashes of anger break through, it seems so out of public character.”