The president will have spent only four days in the last 15 in the White House since the Taliban took their first regional capital, with the rest of the time at Camp David or in Delaware.
His vice president, Kamala Harris, left DC on Friday night for an Asia tour. She will be absent from Washington for a week, visiting Singapore, Vietnam and then California. Her office insisted she will continue to work on the Afghan crisis while she is in Asia.
The optics of this are so bad. Afghanistan and his presidency is on fire and Biden refuses to stand his post in the White House. Yes, in our modern world, a president can be effective irrespective of location, but the American people and the world need the reassurance to see the American president sitting at his desk in the Oval handling the crisis. If that wasn’t clear a week ago, the cacophony of criticism in the last week should have made that clear. Yet… off go Biden and Harris on their trips.
Harris is easy. She is responding the same way she did when she was assigned to handle the border crisis… she avoids it. Her political instincts are to run away from anything hard. But Biden is a different story. Surely he and his staff knows that he should be in the White House. Surely they know that this is an easy way for him to show that he’s on top of things. A few pictures of him at his desk through the windows… walking down a hallway with some military advisor… etc. While we all know that he’s bumbling, there are some easy ways here for Biden to try to project competence.
But he won’t. He stayed at Camp David and now he’s off the Delaware. Why?
Something is seriously wrong with our president.