A self-aware error-leaking politician who has brought himself fire and scrutiny more than once, Biden mainly has been shielded from the press as coronavirus limitations restrict a path to the new president. He opened up a bit to reporters following a COVID-19 event on Tuesday, saying he believes the country is back to its pre-pandemic normal "this time next year." But he returned to his missteps ways when asked what he learned in a border security briefing earlier in the day: "A lot."
Biden's way of making verbal flubs has long been part of his political identity, and they can still prove questionable, according to Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture.
"Every time Biden talks, there's always the calculated risk that he's going to give us a 'Biden-ism,'" Thompson said. "Because he is older than an awful lot of presidents, I think many people are trying to read into it, you know, is he losing his facility?"
But Thompson suggested Biden will overcome the criticism as long as his miscues are not "creepy," referring to claims of Biden making women feel disturbed by meddling with their lives or indicating "a disconnection with reality" or "a competence issue."
"The important thing is, we make the distinction between saying something goofy or silly and saying something dangerous or offensive," he said.
A month into his first term, Biden had so far been saved by the criticism received by the matches of former President George W. Bush, who often grappled with public speaking, as the country dealt with a public health and economic crisis.
Thompson also pointed to other things in the news, such as the sexual misconduct accusations against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Biden, too, replaced former President Donald Trump, who declined to follow presidential etiquette or traditional standards of behavior, he said.
For University of Michigan debate director Aaron Kall, a unique relationship between Biden and Trump is both were "immune" to mistakes that would have ended other candidates' presidential campaigns.
"He now has the White House communications and press shops to help insulate him and push back against any such gaffes," he said.
But Kall urged delaying Biden's first solo press conference and his address to a joint session of Congress would only increase expectations heading into those events.
Biden has had many blunders since he was inaugurated, and Biden still has not had any press conference that he attended and gave a speech. Does a person who is afraid of standing against scrutiny deserve to be the President of the United States?