Washington Post, May 2021
The White House communications shop has mostly had it easy with President Joe Biden‘s penchant for generating unwanted headlines with his loose lips in unscripted moments. But that could soon change. As the COVID-19 pandemic abates and masking and social distancing precautions ease, Biden left the safe confines of the White House twice this week, with mixed results.
Democrats are not concerned by the headaches Biden’s reemergence will likely cause his staff as he enters his second 100 days in office, according to Eric Schultz, one of former President Barack Obama’s White House spokespeople.
“No, these are the same picayune episodes the reporters cared about during the election that the American people paid zero attention to,” Schultz told the Washington Examiner. But Rutgers University history and journalism professor David Greenberg agreed an uptick in Biden’s public appearances increased the likelihood of more verbal missteps and fumbles.
Critics contend Biden’s cringeworthy quips, interactions, and exchanges provide fodder for Republicans gearing up for the 2022 midterm elections cycle and undermine his authority with foreign leaders, particularly given the prospect of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June. Greenberg, though, has doubts they would cause permanent public relations damage.