For a president, every word matters. Such was the case for President Joe Biden, whose remarks during a speech in Poland in March 2022 not only made waves internationally but allegedly had repercussions within his own inner circle.
When addressing the situation following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden’s impromptu comment, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” struck a chord across the globe. This seemingly straightforward statement was widely perceived as a call for regime change in Russia, putting the administration in a precarious diplomatic position.
Rapidly moving into damage-control mode, the White House clarified the president’s remarks, noting that Biden was emphasizing Putin’s influence over his neighbors, not advocating for a regime change in Russia itself. As is frequently the case in the 24-hour news cycle, many were quick to point out this particular line was not part of the president’s original scripted remarks.
In “The Last Politician,” an upcoming book by Frank Foer, there’s a claim that Biden expressed his irritation at having to face the ramifications of his off-script remarks. The President was reportedly disappointed that his comments overshadowed what could have been a defining diplomatic moment.
Instead of basking in what might have been the triumphant end to a significant foreign tour, Biden reportedly felt his achievements were overshadowed by a momentary lapse. As the narrative unfolds in Foer’s book, Biden wasn’t just upset over the media frenzy that followed but seemed to have grievances against his own team. The President allegedly felt his aides were too quick to correct his statement and resented the impression that they had to “clean up” after him.
In an interesting peek behind the curtain of the presidency, Biden supposedly compared himself to previous presidents, wondering aloud to his close friends if the likes of John Kennedy ever had to endure such protective treatment from their teams.
The drama inside the White House, as detailed by Foer, serves as a valuable reminder of the pressures and intricacies of being the world’s most-watched leader. While leaders are expected to shoulder responsibility, it’s also essential for them to surround themselves with a team that aligns with their vision. As “The Last Politician” hits the shelves, readers will undoubtedly be eager for more insights into the dynamics of the Biden administration and the challenges it faces from within.