There is nothing quite as embarrassing for the leader of the Free World than to visit a politically strategic state – and no one trumpets your arrival. What the heck? When the president and number two gal of the United States of America wing southward to deliver inspiring remarks on voting rights and are ghosted, a slew of questions naturally arises.
Is Joe Biden toxic? Does Kamala Harris wear too much perfume? Does Stacey Abrams prioritize a mani-pedi appointment ahead of the current administration? Well, something had Abrams’ attention, and it wasn’t Mr. Biden. But the Democrats’ gubernatorial candidate wasn’t the only notable Georgian skipping the good times in Atlanta: Voting rights groups didn’t attend the Swamp’s traveling dog-and-pony show either. Instead, they collectively appear to have grown weary of the waiting game on promises made by this administration.
I’ve Heard Tell
For obvious reasons, Republicans seized the opportunity to mock the malaise the Peach State appears to be experiencing. While Press Secretary Jen Psaki “gaggled aboard Air Force One,” prepping the faithful for what Mr. Biden would accomplish on the junket, political operatives made hay while the sun shone. One former Trump aide tweeted, “There’s bad, and then there’s ‘Gubernatorial candidate in a state you carried cancels on you’ bad.” And Republican Matt Whitlock also took his incredulity to social media: “How toxic does Biden have to be for Stacey Abrams to be like ‘ah sorry I have other plans’ for an event about her signature issue.” One can only surmise.
Of course, Abrams made time to tweet out a thank-you-POTUS message. But, jeez, Louise, couldn’t she have found time to do a drive-by at the airport? Mr. Biden was in town for about five hours – hitch a ride in the presidential caravan for a minute or two, sip bottled water, take five for a photo-op, anything – for Pete’s sake. C’mon, man, he’s not that bad.
Nope. Not gonna happen. Even the NAACP stayed home for the event. James Woodall, the organization’s former president, told a well-known daily paper: “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act—and we need that immediately.” The word “immediately” is not one the Biden administration can comprehend. You know, like “immediately” solve immigration, inflation, and a tanking economy as all those campaign promises have vanished since the man’s first day in the Oval Office.
We Can Photoshop Them In
The 23-member Southwest DeKalb High School drum line had practiced for the presidential review, but apparently they were not excited either by being the last-minute entertainment for the D.C. crowd. Band director James O. Seda told a local news station: “Once everything starts, (the students) will see this is a big deal.” Or not. The speech extravaganza began with a Spelman University student who happily parroted the message that black folks can’t get no respect at the polls. And that they haven’t been provided food and water.
Interestingly enough, just mere moments before the same-old-speech-different-day Biden and Harris remarks, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) lobbed the first volley:
“The Democrat big lie is that any election reforms suggested by Republicans are intended to suppress voters from voting in a race. That’s not true at all. Our goal is maximum participation and zero fraud. Not some fraud, we want zero fraud.”
Missteps by the administration seemed to rise to epic proportions over five hours of poor optics.
Mr. Biden did visit the iconic Ebenezer Baptist Church and reverently placed a wreath at the tomb of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King – as all who believe in civil rights are wont to do. Much like the DeKalb students, Democrats didn’t find the time to consider this a big deal. And why wasn’t this day an ideal moment for Abrams to promote her campaign for governor? The battle cry from progressive candidates and activists has been to stem the hemorrhage of voting laws across the United States that arose after the controversial 2020 presidential election. Georgia was ground zero for conservative legislation flash mobs. What an opportunistic moment in time to hard push the message with liberal elite pols, yet the presidential visit was sadly devoid of supportive locals.
The blatant boycott was nothing short of humiliating for Joe and the woman leading the movement on behalf of the late statesman from Georgia, Representative John Lewis. His shoes appeared unfillable for Harris and Biden. And what message did the dynamic duo deliver? It seems no one could hear over the roar of deafening silence.
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.