Here I always thought the president was the commander in chief, the person who has the last word in all executive decisions. Yet presser after presser we see Joe Biden produce a list from his inside coat pocket and announce that he will now call on the members of the media he “was instructed to call on.”
It happened again at his press conference yesterday during which he explained that he bears “responsibility for, fundamentally, all that’s happened of late” in Afghanistan but that ultimately it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. Watch:
May God bless you all, and may God protect the troops and all those standing watch for America. We have so much to do, it’s within our capacity to do it. We just have to remain steadfast. Steadfast. We will complete our mission, and we will continue after our troops are withdrawn to find means by which we can find any American who wishes to get out of Afghanistan. We will find them and we will get them out. Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell of NBC.” [Emphasis added]
Who’s the “they” in “they gave me a list here” refer to? Are they on board with Biden revealing that someone behind the scenes is obviously pulling the strings? Do they care to share their identity with the American people so we know who’s running this portion of the president’s affairs? Do they screen questions from reporters in advance to help them (and Biden) steer clear of potential landmines? Does Biden have any latitude at all in selecting which reporters he calls on?