Confused elderly man Joe Biden offers condolences for 'tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan'
We all misspeak from time to time. But with the national spotlight on nothing else but the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, you'd think Joe Biden would know the locations. Speaking yesterday to a group of supporters at a fundraiser, he wasn't even close.
Emily Larsen reports in the Daily Caller:
Former Vice President Joe Biden misstated the locations of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, while speaking to donors at a high-dollar fundraiser in San Diego on Sunday night.
Biden, 76, mistakenly referred to the shootings as "the tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before," but later corrected himself, according to a pool report. Biden seemingly confused Houston for El Paso and Michigan for Ohio when speaking to donors about the shootings.
This confusion suggests something disturbing about the way Biden's mind works. Texas is an undifferentiated whole, so Houston and El Paso — 746 road miles apart from each other, one a semi-tropical coastal, worldly mega-metropolis, the other a high desert (3,800 feet) hardscrabble-ish border town — are interchangeable. (I've spent time in both cities, and they are very, very different in almost every respect, geographically, economically, socially, and ethnically.) Even worse is Biden's vague sense of the industrial Midwest, moving Dayton, Ohio to Michigan. Well, you've seen one town where the factory jobs fled to China, so you've seen them all, I guess. Again, I've spent a lot of time in both states, and they are heated rivals, all the more jealous of each other because they have fallen so far due to the de-industrialization trade policies of the last few decades. As Larsen recounts, this is not an unusual instance of Biden being confused, if not dazed:
Sunday was not the first time that Biden mixed up names on the 2020 campaign trail. In May, Biden confused former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who left office in 1990, with then-Prime Minister Theresa May. (snip)
During a Democratic primary debate last week, Biden misstated his frequent line about eight years of Trump, among other flubs. Biden warned that "eight more years of Trump will change America in a fundamental way," even though Trump is constitutionally limited to one more four-year term after 2020,
You might accuse me of ageism, but I'm 72 years old and realist. I observe that different people age at different paces and with different infirmities developing with passage of time. Biden is no Trump when it comes to vigor and acuity, and this gap is nothing new, just finding expression in a different way at different life stages.