President-elect of the United States of America, Joe Biden, is not new to making gaffes. During the presidential campaign, there were numerous occasions on which he did not appear entirely in control of his mental faculties. But recently, during an interview with CNN, he made comments that could only be described as bizarre.
Joe Biden appeared to float the idea that should he ever disagree with Vice President Kamala Harris on moral grounds, then he would fall sick and resign. It appears to be an attempt at humour but the joke clearly did not land well at all. From the look on her face, it does not appear Kamala Harris found it especially funny. If she did find it funny, it would have been more than obvious to everyone in the room.
Joe Biden was speaking on the professional relationship he shared with Kamala Harris. He said that the two “are simpatico on our philosophy of government and simpatico on how we want to attack — approach these issues that we’re facing. … and when we disagree it will be just like — so far it has been just like when Barack and I did.”
The odd moment came after. “Like I told Barack, if I reach something where there’s a fundamental disagreement we have based on a moral principle, I’ll develop some disease and say I have to resign,” the president-elect said. He made the comment while answering a question on what he would do in case of a disagreement with his vice-president.
On the face of it, it appears that Joe Biden was referring to the time when he served as Barack Obama’s VP. He appears to be saying that he had told Obama that he would cook up some story about some disease and offer his resignation if the two developed some serious disagreements on moral grounds. It is easy to see why the ‘joke’ did not land well.
The ‘joke’ appears to suggest that should Kamala Harris have any disagreement with Joe Biden over some irreconcilable moral difference, then she always has the option to resign. Indeed, it is what Joe Biden would have done if he were in his position. And secondly, the times we are living in, it is probably not a very good idea to joke about mysterious diseases and sudden disappearances.
Furthermore, it has been suggested by POTUS Donald Trump along with a vast section of people across the board that the Kamala Harris will effectively be the president due to massive apparent decline in Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities. Under such circumstances, Joe Biden speaking of resigning in the context of a disagreement with Harris does make the eyes of his detractors light up.
Joe Biden is currently busy picking his team to help him during his Presidency. His nominations to key positions have attracted great criticism from the populist right and the progressive left for their apparent proximity to corporate interests. One of them, Neera Tanden, is infamous for making the suggestion in the past that Libya should be made to pay USA money for the latter bombing them into slavery.