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LINK What To Watch for in Biden’s First Press Conference Today | Ted Rall's Rallblog

"Joe Biden will be giving his first press conference as president today at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. Though he has sometimes taken questions from reporters, he has not held a real press conference . Here’s what I will be watching for.

First and foremost: mental acuity.

Will the president be able to remember the questions he was asked? At a CNN healthcare town hall last year, candidate Biden repeatedly forgot the numerous softball questions relayed by Anderson Cooper and babbled incoherently. The network purged this grim performance from its website so you can’t find it. While politicians routinely answer the questions they wish they were asked rather than the ones they actually were, forgetting softball questions seems to indicate that you are not all there.

Will he be spontaneous? One of the top signs of a politician’s mental acuity is the ability to roll with the punches, crack a joke when need be, deflect, turn on a dime. Joe Biden used to have this ability but it’s been a long time.

Why is this important? Throughout the campaign and since becoming president, Biden has not been subjected to the give-and-take of questioning in which he is not sure in advance what will be asked. That’s why, I suspect, he waited longer than any president in memory after taking office before holding his first presser. We know he can read a speech. But so could Reagan throughout his presidency, and we now know that he was probably suffering from Alzheimer’s by his second term.

Watch for flashes of anger. People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often, and understandably, feel frustrated by their inability to communicate clearly, and lash out with anger. We’ve seen that several times from the president.

In 2019 he called a voter on the campaign trail “a damned liar.” In 2020 he called a student “a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”"

WilliamCharles 8 Mar 25

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Actually, I think it was revealed later that Reagan had dementia even in his first term.


The Katie Halper/Matt Taibbi play-by-play was gold. Some of the live chat comments were hilarious.

I didn't see any of it, could you post a link to it? Were they pointing out obvious dementia on Biden's part?

I watched it on The Guardian. He sure is showing his age but no major meltdowns and completely rational unlike the previous president. I liked his message(s), he wasn't as hesitant to be progressive as he has been in the past although he was pragmatic.

@TomMcGiverin - I will when it goes up. Maybe in a day or two.

@Theresa_N - He worked in a lot of his catchphrases ("Here’s the deal" ) but certainly didn't shit the bed. Matt gave it a B+ overall.

@TomMcGiverin - it's up.

@WilliamCharles It wasn't as entertaining as I'd hoped. I guess I'm too old and serious to see the humor in a drinking game over a press conference. It didn't persuade me at all that he's not having dementia, just affirmed that the press is going to protect him from embarrassment the same way the moderators did during the primary debates.

@TomMcGiverin - I enjoyed it because otherwise it'd be like watching paint dry. Considering the hagiography from many of the neoliberal class, it's refreshing that there are those not gushing over Sleepy Creepy Uncle Joe merely because he didn't shit the bed. The drinking game highlights the catchphrases ("Here's the deal," "C'mon, man," etc.). I would have added a shot for his repeating a phrase for emphasis (more like padding). I thought is was hilarious when they pointed out he raises his voice to sound emphatic though it seems largely disconnected from the rest of the verbiage. I loved how it was pointed out he has his talking points broken down by categories in his notebook so he can do a "data dump" citing facts and figures to sound erudite. The live chat floored me with the comment that sometimes when he looks up from his notes, it's like he's wondering where he is. His quick exit looked awkward ("OK, I'm done" ). I though maybe he made a boom-boom in his pants. I think he was promised he only needed to do an hour and like Chuck Berry... that's all they paid for.

I thought that Matt's B+ grade overall was fair, but that's kinda because the bar has been lowered so by Orange Julius Cheezer.

@WilliamCharles I agree that there were many times he just threw out meaningless word salads and nobody in the press called him on it. Also there were the many times he did the same as he did in the primary debates of trying to get himself out of a jam by "calling time's up" on himself, and again, nobody calls him on it. And he often does seem confused about where he is, including when he got up and away from the podium for a bit.

@TomMcGiverin - yeah, like he thought he was at a townhall meeting. He's used to his routines, even referring to when he was a Senator before correcting himself as being VP.

@WilliamCharles He also made some reference to "120 years ago" as far as when he used to be a senator or when something happened while he was in government.


It will be interesting to see. At least we have someone as vp that is far less likely to have dementia.

Biden is largely a placeholder. Kamala has shown her willingness to toe the line.

@WilliamCharles Exactly. Harris will step in as soon as Biden's dementia becomes too visible and unmanageable, then he will step down with a "personal health emergency" which will never mention dementia.

I'm sure the reporters today will all play along and stick with softball ?s only.

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