Biden Should Stop Being “Mr. Nice Guy.” It Makes Him Look Even Weaker


The pundits spend hours discussing President Joe Biden’s age, but the more pressing issue is the perception of his weakness, a stark contrast to the strength expected from a leader in his position. Even more concerning is that he is surrounded by others who appear just as weak but hold high positions.

What comes to mind when we think of Kamala Harris and Merrick Garland? Despite extensive media coverage, these officials fail to leave a lasting impression of strength, vitality, power, or command attention. They are, in a word, forgettable.

This triumvirate—Biden, Kamala Harris, and Merrick Garland—are the administration’s Barney Fife, Betty Boop, and Arnold Stang. Together, they reinforce the impression that Biden is old and weak. This plays into the hands of voters who dislike passive elected officials, and this impression undermines their ability to lead effectively.

Merrick Garland

Elected officials today have to stand for something, good or bad.  That’s why the Trumper prefers “strong leaders.”  They may be fascists, but they stand for something even when these supporters have no idea what horrors are in store for them when the fascists come to power.

We live in an age of extremes because nuance is not rewarded.  People make fast decisions without knowing or evaluating all the facts.  They reacted, swiping candidates right and left to accept or reject them.  If they have a predetermined view of a person, and that person reinforces that viewpoint, they swipe left or right within seconds and move on to the next shiny thing. This is bad for democracy, but it is today’s reality.

Arnold Stang

Each of these leaders has their quirks, but instead of adding character, these quirks only reinforce their perceived wimpiness, leaving the audience with a sense of the need for change.

President Biden has a nervous habit of saying, “I really mean it!” After he makes what he thinks is a commanding statement or policy point, he adds, “I really mean it!” to fill the dead air, negating the whole point of what he just said.

Can you imagine Vito Corleone or Luca Brasi saying, “I really mean it!” after making a strategic point to thugs? No.

Biden’s “I really mean it!” is a verbal nervous tick because he knows he does not have the gravitas to make the point. So, to fill the void, he adds this vapid, deflating statement that weakens his main point.

Kamala Harris is also a weak presence. She is not Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Elle Woods. She looks tentative, and on TV, she appears to be presiding over a congenial staff meeting where she only has good news to share. She has specific policy expertise.  She even avoided the abortion issue, critical to Democrats, until after the issue flared again after some states enacted more severe restrictions.  Why did she wait so long to speak about the abortion issue?  Was she waiting for instructions from Biden or for more polling results?  Either way that inaction fell right into Harris’ mode of working. It made her more invisible.

Another weak link is U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. He floats in his suits, and despite having about 30,000 law enforcement people of all types in his department, including the FBI and Treasury Department police, he looks like he would faint if he got a parking ticket.  Garland is the Barney Fife of national law enforcement.  He understandably has a respectful view of the U.S. Justice Department, but that prevents him from enforcing justice because he does not want to make a mistake or appear partisan.

Maybe that is why he waited about one year to appoint Special Counsel Jack Smith to investigate Trump on the insurrection and election fraud charges.  Either way, Garland played right into Trump’s delaying tactics.  With friends like this, who needs enemies?

So, where does that leave us?

In tomorrow’s presidential debate between Trump and Biden, Biden had better avoid saying, “I really mean it!”  That’s not what the man who is supposed to be the most powerful man in the world says to a convicted felon. Biden should also remember that many people still think a convicted felon does not belong in elected office.  Biden can say Trump is a sociopath and a criminal.  He will not melt or be pulled from the stage if he says it.  But if Biden is the nice guy, nice guys finish last in the current political swamp.




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