He’s at Camp David, you might respond, which also makes my point. The commander-in-chief just suffered a humiliating defeat after implementing his plan to end the war in Afghanistan. Er, shouldn’t Joe Biden explain that to the American people?
NBC News reports that Biden’s still trying to come up with an explanation. No kidding:
President Joe Biden faced growing criticism from his allies in Washington following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as administration officials considered his public response.
White House officials were discussing how Biden should address the Taliban’s rapid rise to power, a senior administration official said late Sunday, acknowledging there is a sense that the American people wanted to hear from the president. Biden could make a speech from the White House early this week, but no final decision had been made.
So maybe we’ll hear from Biden this week? Profiles in Courage this ain’t. The headline calls Biden “defiant,” but Biden’s been anything but. He escaped to Camp David this weekend to minimize contact with the press, and has been incommunicado throughout the final chapters of the collapse of his strategy. He might even be hiding from his own allies, NBC suggests:
Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill and former Obama administration officials joined Republicans in publicly criticizing Biden’s handling of the situation. While most agreed with the decision to remove troops, they attacked Biden’s failure to get the thousands of Afghans who assisted U.S. forces out of the country before the Taliban took over and the scramble to evacuate Americans from the country.
“This is a crisis of untold proportions,” said Rep Jackie Speier, D-Cali., who urged Biden to make an address to the nation. “This is an intelligence failure.”
It certainly is. Beginning with the intelligence of the man in the Oval Office.
So when will we hear from author of America’s Afghanistan strategy? That’s anyone’s guess, but presumably Biden will address the country at the precise moment that the White House can provide a reasonable buck-passing explanation. They tried floating one yesterday through Antony Blinken with a dollop of misdirection that took aim at Donald Trump, but Jake Tapper shredded it:
Jake Tapper: We are “watching a tragic foreign policy disaster unfold before our eyes…The rapid crumbling of [Afghanistan] has caught the Biden White House flat footed.”
“It seems shocking that President Biden could’ve been so wrong” pic.twitter.com/Vw3Vr6VkNq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 15, 2021
They need to go back to the drawing board, which means Biden will remain in seclusion for perhaps as long as it takes to fully evacuate Americans and our allies from Kabul’s airport. It might be a while, in other words:
I don’t think they needed the State Department to explain that the situation in Kabul is unsafe. https://t.co/c6ZavGXQrH
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) August 16, 2021
Update: Ho hum, just another week at the office, I guess:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki is taking a break from her duties at the same time as controversy surrounds the silence of President Joe Biden, who is on vacation while the Taliban quickly seizes control of Afghanistan.
Fox News sent questions to Psaki’s White House email address Sunday morning and received an auto-reply. Hours later, on Sunday evening, Fox News attempted once again to reach the White House spokeswoman. The same auto-reply, stating that the voice of the White House would not be available for the next week, was sent.
“I will be out of the office from August 15th-August 22nd,” read the email returned to Fox News. Instead, Psaki’s reply directs the press to reach out to other press officers in her absence.
Hey, no biggie. It’s the slow season at the White House, apparently. Besides, it looks like Biden’s taking the week off, so why not Jen Psaki too?
Sources: HotAir: Say, where the hell is Joe Biden? UPDATE: Or Psaki?