Commentary: Americans Want to Know Who Is Really in Charge in the White House

Presidential Podium
by Fred Fleitz


In last Thursday’s presidential debate, we saw the most decisive loss ever by an incumbent American president. Biden’s performance was so abysmal that it raises serious questions about how he can continue to function as president, especially in his role as commander-in-chief.

Donald Trump dominated the debate, making important new criticisms that Biden failed to answer—especially how the surge in illegal immigration during the Biden presidency is hurting social security. Trump put Biden on the defensive, parried tough questions, and pointed out how many of Biden’s statements were incoherent.

Biden could hardly have done worse. He was incoherent, lost his train of thought and appeared confused. He offered no believable defenses for his record as president. The defenses he did provide made no sense.

The left-wing publication Slate gave this stark assessment of Biden’s performance in the debate, claiming it “revealed that [he] is indeed an old man who appears to be in no condition to be running this country, even now—not to mention in another four years.”

Many Americans had the same concern after the debate.

We saw Biden staring into space and looking slack-jawed with his eyes glazed over when Trump spoke. If Biden acts this way during Oval Office meetings, cabinet meetings, and meetings with foreign leaders, one has to ask: How is he making decisions as president?  Is Biden simply signing everything his staff puts in front of him?  Do unnamed White House advisers run cabinet meetings while Biden sits motionless in his chair?

Are these nameless White House advisers essentially acting as president and implementing their own radical-left policies without Biden’s knowledge and beyond the reach of congressional oversight?

Making this worse—much worse—was a revelation by Biden aides to the press this week that the president has difficulty functioning outside of a 6-hour window of 10 AM to 4 PM and that on-camera interviews are therefore scheduled for this period.

It goes without saying that Biden’s commander-in-chief responsibilities to protect our nation and its troops is a 24-7 job. America’s enemies are not going to schedule their military provocations and terrorist attacks for the six hours a day when Biden is well-rested and alert.

We have come a long way from the TV ads Hillary Clinton ran during the 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns that she would be the best qualified president to answer an emergency 3 AM phone call at the White House about a foreign crisis. (She wasn’t, of course.)

So again, the question is, who is in charge at the White House?  Who is deciding that America will keep criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over the Israel-Hamas War but do little to force Hamas to release its Israeli hostages? Who is preventing the United States from pressing Ukraine to begin peace talks to end the Ukraine-Russia War?  Who is ordering U.S. officials to keep appeasing Iran and not enforce U.S. oil sanctions?  Who in the White House is looking the other way while China makes new trade deals with longtime U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia at our expense?

National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote yesterday that because America requires a functioning executive and since the debate indicated that Biden is no longer competent to do the job, Biden should step down now and be succeeded by Kamala Harris. But Harris has proved to be so vapid and unserious as vice president that she could prove to be an even worse president than Biden.

Whether Biden remains in office for the remainder of his term or lets Harris take over for his final six months in office, our country is facing a leadership crisis that puts U.S. national security at serious risk. The world is already much more unstable and dangerous than it was when Donald Trump left office. Global instability could grow significantly this year as America’s enemies race to exploit strong indications that the United States will not have a competent commander-in-chief for the remainder of the Biden presidency.

This is a crisis that Biden and his supporters knowingly created. Joe Biden was not competent to be president in 2020 but was engineered into the office by political operatives, the mainstream media, intelligence officers, and others because of their hatred of President Trump. American voters must hold Biden and his enablers accountable for this when they go to the polls this November.

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Fred Fleitz previously served as National Security Council chief of staff, CIA analyst, and a House Intelligence Committee staff member.







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