Joe Biden gave his first press conference Thursday. No president has ever waited this long to answer questions in public, and we weren’t entirely sure it would happen. A reporter at the White House saw Biden ambling around and asked him if he was ready for his first press conference. “What press conference?” Biden replied. Apparently in the end, somebody told him. A staffer pointed Biden toward the tape mark on the floor, and gave him a shove.
Biden shuffled forth and started talking. And pausing, and then talking some more. And then pausing. You’ve heard the term “pregnant pause?” Joe Biden’s pauses were third-trimester quintuplets. These pauses were ready to burst.
JOE BIDEN: So the best way to get something done … if you, if you hold it near and dear to you that you, uh, um, like to be able to … well anyway … I’m … we’re gonna get a lot done.
Got that, America? We’re gonna get a lot done. A lot. Of course we’ll get a whole lot more done, and confuse far fewer people, if we go ahead and read our policy positions from small pieces of paper that others have painstakingly prepared for us. That way, we won’t lose consciousness in mid-sentence, or accidentally start a war.
So when the topic of North Korea arose, Joe Biden knew exactly what to do. He found his piece of paper and started reading the words that had been written on it.
BIDEN: We’re consulting with our allies and partners and, uh, there will be, uh, responses if they choose to escalate, um, we will respond accordingly. But I’m also prepared, uh, um, for some form of diplomacy.
That’s got to be pretty intimidating to the North Koreans, who of course were watching it in real time. They’ve got nukes in Pyongyang now, and that means they probably have cable TV too. Don’t underestimate these people. They’re crafty.
Of course, the North Koreans were already deeply afraid of Joe Biden. They know he means business. They remember the time Biden beat the crap of the entire Kim family with a chain. He and Nelson Mandela, back in ‘86. You’ve heard the story, but they lived it. It’s part of their lore.
And now this: North Korea is facing not just Joe Biden’s masculinity, but an entire piece of paper with instructions on it that Joe Biden is perfectly willing to read any time he needs to. That cue card is Joe Biden’s secret weapon in the fight against nuclear proliferation. You can breathe easy, America, and that’s good news, because we’ve got problems of our own in this country. One of our biggest problems is voting. It’s getting harder and harder to vote.
There are some people in America — bigots, let’s just call them what they are — who are demanding that we ought to know voters’ identities before we let them choose our government. They want people to show IDs at the polls, if you can even imagine, in 2021. These bigots, Joe Biden explained, are Republicans.
BIDEN: And so I’m convinced that we’ll be able to stop this because it is the most pernicious thing. This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.
Jim Eagle? Who’s Jim Eagle? A comic book hero from the 1950s? Some kind of dog-faced pony soldier? We didn’t know who Jim Eagle was, so we went scurrying to our Google machines to look it up. Then we realized — duh! — we’re being way too literal here. It’s an analogy. Crow. Eagle. They’re both birds, but an eagle is much bigger than a crow. That means that asking people to show a driver’s license when they vote is much more racist than segregation and lynchings. Segregation and lynchings were Jim Crow. Voter IDs are Jim Eagle. Way worse.
That makes sense when you think about it. Most Black people don’t have government-issued IDs. That’s why they can’t drive cars, or hold jobs, or fly on airplanes, or stay in hotels, or go to the doctor, or cash checks, or sign rental agreements, or buy homes, or open bank accounts, or purchase Sudafed at CVS. Black people can’t do any of those things because they just don’t have IDs. Millions and millions of them don’t have IDs. It’s sad, as Joe Biden often points out. You might think the solution to this tragedy would be to make it easier for Americans to get IDs
No. Joe Biden has a better idea: just make sure that no one ever has to show an ID in order to vote. That way, the millions and millions of Black people who somehow don’t have IDs won’t feel bad or left out. They still won’t be able to drive cars, or have jobs or bank accounts, or live anywhere, but at least they can vote a lot, and the rest of us won’t be racist. Problem solved. As Joe Biden just told us, he’s going to get a lot done.
Not just in the next four years, by the way, but in the four years after that. Joe Biden is running again. He told us that Thursday, too. By the end of his second term, Joe Biden will be 86 years old. That’s a full decade past the life expectancy of the average American man (which, for the record, Joe Biden has already exceeded). But there’s nothing average about Joe Biden. Time improves him. Like certain varieties of artisanal cheese, Joe Biden is meant to be aged. He just gets sharper and more pungent. His next campaign will be even tastier.
NANCY CORDES, CBS NEWS: Have you decided whether you are going to run for reelection in 2024? You haven’t set up a reelection campaign yet, as your predecessor had by this time.
BIDEN: My predecessor needed to. (laughs) My predecessor. Oh, God, I miss him. My answer is yes. My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation.
“My plan is to run for reelection.” Now, we weren’t in the room when Joe Biden said that, but according to those who were, there was an audible gasp of horror from behind the curtain.
Sources said it sounded very much like Kamala Harris. We can’t confirm that. But we can tell you that Joe Biden has already picked a theme for this next campaign. The theme is unity.
“Wait a second,” you might be thinking. “Wasn’t ‘unity’ the theme of Biden’s last campaign, the one that just ended in November?” Yep. But that wasn’t enough unity. There’s more unity on the way, ladies and gentlemen — bucketloads of it, tractor-trailer loads full. Imagine every swimming pool in Malibu, topped to the brim with unity, and then add all the pools in Bel-Air. That’s how much unity we’re talking about. And by unity, of course, we mean policies that make Americans hate each other much more than they ever have. That’s what Joe Biden has given us so far. Soon we’ll have more.
BIDEN: The third reason I said I was running was to unite the country. And generically speaking, all of you said, “No, you can’t do that.” Well, I’ve not been able to reunite the Congress, but I’ve been able to unite the country based on the polling data. We have to come together.
Oh, “the polling data.” The real currency of Washington. We haven’t checked the “polling data” ticker today, but we have to tell you that we approach this one specific claim with some degree of skepticism. Not every one of Joe Biden’s unifying policies has fully unified the country just yet. They are still some crotchety hold-outs deep in the American interior who aren’t fully sold on his fresh new program of being berated, humiliated, disarmed, and taxed into poverty and powerlessness. Those people are bigots, obviously. They’re probably friends with the snake-handling evangelical freaks who complain when some dude shows up in their eight-year-old daughter’s locker room. Whatever. You can’t please everyone.
But you know who you can please, if you’re Joe Biden? The media. Reporters are highly pleased. They’re one group that remain utterly united in their love and support of Joe Biden (and the polling data show it). Joe Biden knows this well. But he’s not pandering to reporters. Joe Biden is bigger than that. It’s not like The Washington Post is a credit card company from Delaware. He doesn’t need to slobber on them.
On Thursday, Joe Biden explained that, despite his massive successes on our southern border, the ones you’re seeing on TV, he’s not ready to show reporters exactly what he’s doing down there. That’s for him to know and them to find out.
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS: We haven’t seen the facilities in which children are really packed together, to give the American people a chance to see that. Will you commit to transparency on this issue?
BIDEN: I will commit to transparency as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we’re doing right now…
Well, that’s kind of unusual. You don’t often hear a politician admit that he’s rejecting openness and embracing secrecy. They usually lie about that. Not Joe Biden. Biden tends to say the unspoken things out loud. “We’re as opaque as a shower curtain,” he told the press corps today, “and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
It’s pretty provocative. Of course it is. But provocative in a way that reporters enjoy. They’re naughty, those reporters. They like to be teased. Deny them what they ask for, and they want you more. A lady from state media, a.k.a. National Public Radio, was flush with wonder as she described the remarkable personal qualities of her boss, Joe Biden.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NPR: You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now. This isn’t the time to come. That message is not being received. Instead, the perception of you, that got you elected — as a moral, decent man — is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and entrusting you with unaccompanied minors.
When you call a man “moral” and “decent” in your question to him, it kind of sets the frame, as they say. But the bottom line is a “moral, decent man” is running this country, ladies and gentlemen. That’s the message of unity. And by the way, it’s a required message, so repeat it to yourself five times and then repeat it to your friends. If you don’t, you’re racist.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the March 25, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”