How a president responds to a crisis can tell us a great deal about him. It can be a true reflection of his leadership, character, and decision-making abilities. A crisis, regardless of whether it is international or domestic, can define a president’s legacy.
Jimmy Carter’s presidential legacy was impacted by both. During his term in office, Carter faced economic turmoil, the energy crisis, and the Iran hostage crisis that will forever mark his presidency as a failure. Ronald Reagan’s strong leadership brought about the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Years later, the September 11 terrorist attacks became a defining moment of George W. Bush’s presidency, as the oft-underestimated man rose to the challenge of uniting our country and taking the fight to the enemy.
And then Joe Biden happened. In a misguided attempt to rush a withdrawal from Afghanistan for the sake of a photo-op, Biden’s sloppy bug-out left Americans stranded and 13 U.S. service members dead. At the same time, the immediate collapse of the U.S.-backed government brought the Taliban back into power. That pivotal moment, mere months into Biden’s presidency, sent his approval ratings underwater, where they have remained ever since. He didn’t rise to the challenge. In fact, during his press conference in the wake of the attack on Kabul Airport, Biden appeared feeble and weak, even hiding behind his notebook like a scared child.
Now, a new crisis has emerged. After Biden released $6 billion in assets to the Iranian regime, Iran-backed Hamas launched a sneak attack on Israel, starting a new war in the region. While members of the Biden administration have been steadfastly denying a connection between the unfrozen assets and the attack, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran have confirmed that the Iranian regime supported and funded the attack.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden hosted a barbecue at the White House Sunday evening, after several Americans had been killed in Israel and others were kidnapped and held in Gaza. On Monday, as war rages on in the Middle East, Biden has shockingly been missing in action. He took what appears to be another one of his famous days off after calling a lid late Monday morning.
“It’s Monday at noon. Our greatest ally in the Middle East is at war, women and children are being slaughtered and raped in the streets, and our imbecile president is checking out before lunch?” Donald Trump Jr. wrote in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter.)
Meanwhile, Biden administration messaging has been all over the place, calling for ceasefires on X and then deleting the posts. The only consistent messaging has been, “Hey, don’t blame us for funding the attack on Israel!” — even though Secretary of State Antony Blinken conceded that Iran always uses whatever money it has for funding terrorism. This may in fact be the biggest international crisis since Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and once again, it’s at least partly a crisis of Biden’s own making.
The White House claims that Biden is hard at work behind the scenes, but this is hardly the time for a man who fancies himself to be the president to be behind the curtain. He should be center stage. There’s no excuse for him to be out of sight after Americans have been killed and taken hostage — especially considering his indirect role in this situation.