Biden’s East Palestine Roots: A Lifelong Connection?

More than a year after the toxic train derailment that left residents of East Palestine, Ohio, wondering if their town would ever be safe to live in, long-absent President Joe Biden finally decided to make an appearance — only to claim that his administration had been there “since day one.”

Democrats and their enablers in the mainstream media might argue that I’m quibbling here, that the Biden administration was in East Palestine almost immediately after the disaster.

Since I’m feeling generous, I’ll concede the point. I won’t concede it without reminding you that when Biden sent Pete Buttigieg to cover for him last year — weeks late — he wasn’t exactly sending his best. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t remind you that Buttigieg later admitted he got it wrong on the emergency response and should have shown up sooner.

So when Biden says his administration was there on Day One, he means people way down the ladder whose faces he’d never seen before and likely never will. When the White House finally got embarrassed enough to send in Buttigieg, he was only arguably better than sending in no one at all.

But I’m not here to quibble about this or that detail of a year-ago disaster that the White House stalled into trying to get you to forget. I am here to show you the promo video the White House posted to boast about Biden showing up, at long last, for the first anniversary.


It’s impossible to tell whether Biden’s voiceover in the first part of the video was done in the studio or was taken from the remarks he delivered in East Palestine. But it’s impossible to miss how weak he sounds. If that was a studio take — one of several, presumably — and that was the best they could get…

…well, then no wonder the White House tried to keep him away from East Palestine completely.

If that’s the best Biden could deliver in front of a live audience, any performer would tell you that’s worse.

After a disaster, a President has one job on Day One: to look like a strong leader. He ought to sound compassionate without being distraught, moved but not weeping, and show a steady hand on the wheel of the ship of state at a time of uncertainty.

No one in my lifetime did it better than Ronald Reagan, and he never did it better than after the heartbreaking loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger and her crew of seven.

Again, watch:

I wouldn’t ask Biden to try to match Reagan, the Great Communicator. “I’m a writer, not a miracle worker, Captain!”

Biden didn’t project strong leadership, no matter how well-crafted his words might have been. Biden’s words were empty, delivered without strength or conviction. His body language was that of an 81-year-old man who has been in decline for years. The 90-second video was partly filled with other speakers, probably in no small part because 60 seconds or so of Biden was all the White House dared to show.

Locals might rightly have thought, “We waited a year for this?”

No matter how badly the people of East Palestine needed a visit from their President, Biden should have stayed home. Whatever hopes they might have pinned on Biden’s appearance must surely have been dashed by Biden’s appearance.