Lawrence O’Donnell Scolds Skittish Democrats for Questioning Biden’s Fitness

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MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell utilized his platform, The Last Word Wednesday night to scold skittish Democrats and rant about how President Joe Biden’s inability to make speeches and form coherent sentences was not a part of his job as president. “The notion that Joe Biden is too old is based on a complete and utter misunderstanding of the work of the presidency. The job is to make decisions, not speeches,” he insisted.

O’Donnell argued that “speechmaking” was the only part of the presidency that America can witness via news media, therefore, the American public cannot judge Biden as it cannot see what a fantastic job he’s doing “behind closed doors.”

The host then likened the presidency to the Super Bowl, saying: “You can remember what Patrick Mahomes did on the field, but you can’t remember a word of his speech. And that’s for very good reason, the job is on the field.”

Respectfully, Patrick Mahomes was paid to play football, President Biden was elected to serve and represent the American people. Never in U.S. history had a president been excused for incoherency. It might not be the job of a president to “make speeches,” but there is a simple expectation that the President of the United States will be able to communicate with his country. 

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In an attempt to defend his point, O’Donnell stated that “everyone who sees Joe Biden doing his job behind closed doors believes he is fully capable to do that job,” which apparently included former Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy who “always thought President Biden was fully capable when he was in the room negotiating with him last year.”

To suggest that “everyone” who witnessed the secret Oval Office meetings thinks that Biden was fully cognitive was blatant inaccuracy on O’Donnell’s part. There have been reports from these same people “behind closed doors” dating back to Biden’s vice presidency, when it was confirmed that he had “significant limitations” to his memory.

According to O’Donnell, the reason the public was so falsely concerned with Biden’s mental fitness for the presidency was because “We only film the parts that don’t matter. We are not allowed to film the real job. We are not allowed to film the real governing discussions in the Oval Office…”

Apparently, because citizens are unable to film Oval Office discussions containing sensitive information, they are suddenly incapable of accurately assessing the president. Since when has this ever been a condition for assessment? Was not former President Donald Trump measured by the same tool as Biden, by the media?

O’Donnell has bragged about being one of the first to question Trump’s mental fitness for office. In fact, he’s tooted his own horn about bringing up the 25th Amendment as a way to remove him in the first 30 days of his presidency (something the liberal media did during the Trump years with reckless abandon).

Some of the host’s final comments about this subject included: “The thing to know about cameras in government is if the camera is rolling, nothing really important is happening. What you’re watching is the theater.”

What O’Donnell was actually requesting from the public was that it refrain from condemning Biden because he was not a bad leader, he was simply a bad actor…how convincing.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

MSNBC: The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell

2/21/2024

10:18:00 – 10:21:17 PM ET

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: All of the people who suggest that Biden should step aside because they want the Democrats to win are basing that strategy on the notion that Joe Biden is just too old, and the notion that Joe Biden is too old is based on a complete and utter misunderstanding of the work of the presidency. The job is to make decisions, not speeches. History writes about the decisions. That’s what matters.

If you have worked in government, you know that, because speechmaking is the only thing that the news media is allowed to watch. In a presidency, the news media insists that that must be important.

It’s just like the Super Bowl. You can remember what Patrick Mahomes did on the field, but you can’t remember a word of his speech. And that’s for very good reason, the job is on the field.

Everyone who sees Joe Biden doing his job behind closed doors believes he is fully capable to do that job. And is, is good at that job, including former Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, though he disagreed with Joe Biden, always thought President Biden was fully capable when he was in the room negotiating with him last year.

Last year, when Joe Biden managed to do what seemed as possible and convince the Republican Speaker of the House to go along with a deal that would prevent the United States of America from defaulting on its debt for the first time in history and violating the debt ceiling, it looked impossible at the outset, but Joe Biden did it.

Jon Stewart asked a question recently that makes sense in the age of the ubiquitous camera—we all have one in our pocket. He asked “did anyone film that?” And he was referring to all of those reports out there from people who have been in private meetings in negotiations with President Biden and have seen him perform flawlessly. “Did anyone film that?”

That’s the problem with the presidency. We only film the parts that don’t matter. We are not allowed to film the real job. We are not allowed to film the real governing discussions in the Oval Office that might or might not include classified information, but will definitely include statements about senators and congressmen, possible strategies, details of policy dilemmas that no one in that room wants to be made public at that time.

 Every meeting that I was in in the Oval Office when I worked in the Senate involved legislative strategies that we did not want made public, and would have failed if they were made public. I was never once in a meeting in the Oval Office or the Cabinet Room or in the Senate majority leader’s office or the speaker’s office or anywhere where real governing occurred with the door closed, where cameras could possibly be allowed. Not for one minute.

The thing to know about cameras in government is if the camera is rolling, nothing really important is happening. What you’re watching is the theater. The governing will not be televised. And by the governing, I mean the very moments when the president makes the decision.

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