As Joe Biden was campaigning for the presidency back in 2020, there was plenty of talk about his stamina and his mental acuity.
That’s because Biden is not only a septuagenerian, but he’s also a politician known for his gaffes and forgetfulness. This characterization of the President as an absentminded, tired grandpa-figure was turbocharged after former President Donald Trump bestowed the nickname “Sleep Joe” upon the eventual Commander in Chief.
And while that all seemed a bit silly and predictably for-show during the campaign, the severe lack of time that Biden spends with the press is now becoming historically alarming.
Even as the nation deals with multiple crises — a deadly pandemic and the devastating economic fallout — Biden has gone longer without facing extended questions from reporters than any of his 15 predecessors over the past 100 years.
The tough exchanges in such a setting can reveal much more to Americans about a president’s thinking and test his explanations, as opposed to what so far have been Biden’s brief answers — often one-liner quips — in the tightly-controlled and often-scripted events the White House has arranged to date.
Biden has spent a great deal of time attempting to convince Americans that he would be “transparent” during his campaign, but now he’s breaking records for how long a President can go without addressing the public at large via the press.
The previous record was set by President George W. Bush, who waited 33 days before hosting a formal, solo press conference. But that was more of an anomaly: Many others held them within a handful of days or a few weeks of taking office, according to an analysis of documents in a database maintained by the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
This clandestine, default behavior has earned Biden the unfortunate nickname of “The Invisible President” within conservative circles.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.