Big problems. Short days.

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President Joe Biden leaves after getting ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Paul GleiserBig problems. Short days.


In the vernacular of the White House press corps, a “lid” is when official activity for the day ends. When a “lid” is called by the press office it tells White House reporters that no more official action will be taken by the president and no more news will be made.

As any White House press corps veteran will attest, covering the president often entails very late lids. But not so much with the Biden White House.

RELATED: Working long hours.

Biden’s press team called a lid at 3:05 Tuesday afternoon – but not until after President Biden had completed an excursion during which he visited a chi-chi boutique and then stopped for an ice cream cone.

A White House reporter – in an apparent random act of journalism – pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier in the day Tuesday on the fact that the only thing on the president’s schedule that day was the Presidential Daily Briefing – the PDB. This is how Psaki responded:

Uh, well, let’s see. Umm, this morning I think he had some policy meetings, ah, also a PDB meeting. Umm, he, umm, later this afternoon, uh, I think is doing some remarks review, ah, there are some days that we spend some time, ah, doing internal meetings and discussions, uh, with policy experts, with policy leaders, umm, and that’s, that’s what’s happening today.”

Translation: The president doesn’t have a lot going on today.

Psaki stammered and hummed and um’d because she was at an obvious loss to explain the president’s empty schedule on Tuesday. In the end, it consisted of one routine meeting – the Presidential Daily Briefing – and then a trip out for shopping and some ice cream.

This as the occasion of Biden’s presidency continues to pile higher and higher with difficulty. The southern border continues its descent into chaos as illegal migrants pour into the country in sufficient numbers as to add the poor, unskilled and illiterate equivalent of a City of Tyler, Texas to the U.S. population every three weeks. Russia threatens to invade Ukraine as China concurrently threatens to invade Taiwan. Inflation spirals ever upward as shoppers contend with empty store shelves and higher prices. The country’s biggest cities are wracked by the simultaneous scourges of crime and homelessness. Evidence continues to mount that an entire generation of school children are in deep and probably lifelong academic deficit following ill-advised COVID policy as it pertains to schools.

All the while, malevolent geopolitical thugs like Xi Jingping, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and the theocrats of Iran are all looking at the United States and marveling at their good fortune that a doddering American president is keeping a light schedule, eating ice cream and calling it a day at three.

I know it’s now cliché to say this but indulge me.

Imagine how the media would have reacted if Donald Trump, amid multiple crises on multiple fronts, had packed it in at three o’clock – but only after having gone out for ice cream.

Close your eyes and just imagine.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Rich says:

    “Scum just like cream settles at the top”

  2. Matthew says:

    Well it’s not any real difference than being on a golf course all the time or hanging out watching Fox News and tweeting insults and reminding folks how smart you are. The media at times over did it with Trump but he sure made it easy and hard to resist. I really think it’s time to move on but many still seem under the spell with no end in sight . People are amazing creatures to say the least, who would of seen this coming ,it says a lot of the future.

    • Rilla Anderson says:

      Because you asked, I think everyone who voted for Trump saw this coming and tried to warn Biden voters–to no avail–what Biden and Co. would do to the USA, but frankly, I didn’t think this much destruction could happen in only a year. I don’t care about Trump’s personality; it’s his policies I care about and how they impact my personal safety, my family, my community, my industry (farming) and the world. Biden’s (or whomever is really running the country into the ground) policies portend calamity for all of us, and surely even Biden voters must realize that now. In fact, I could ignore a mean tweet about now as I see illegals pouring through the border unchecked (I am a legal immigrant/naturalized citizen myself) while citizens jump through hoops to come back home, not to mention as I look at my month-end 401K, inflation, crime, etc. Biden is a total disaster, and Mr. Gleiser got that exactly right.

      • Matthew says:

        Stock market recently hit an all time high , crime has been bad and isn’t getting better despite who’s President. I understand many farmers took huge hits on their crops related to tariffs on grains etc, ( China) there were many interviews where they expressed anger and frustration. Border is bad ,but there is a great need for cheap labor unfortunately so powers that be have influence. I often here that word policy,but seldom any names of these policies,what they really are and how they in detail are having a negative effect on whatever, only policy bad . Things are not good these days regarding inflation but these things are far beyond a President and what they can do ,it should be obvious and easily understood with a little critical thinking rather than reacting to sound bites and repeating talking points. And I’m certainly no Biden fan.

  3. LeAnne Jennings says:

    So very well said and unfortunately too true,
    You speak for so many of us!

  4. Greg R says:

    Show of hands, who didn’t see this train wreck coming?

    • Matthew says:

      In regards to comment of ” who would have seen this coming ” I wasn’t referring to economic conditions etc, that people are convinced are caused solely by policy of current administration, because after all none of it could possibly have anything to do with Covid and its domino affect with things getting back to so called normal. I was referring to obsession with Trump and all things associated with,the need to relate almost everything currently with how good and better it would or could be if. But whatever works, all the same to me.

  5. Jean Bammel says:

    Yes, Mr. Trump was hard to take at times, but he was busy and managed to get our country moving in every direction and still had time to play golf. It appears that Mr. Biden spends all his time concentrating on walking across the white house lawn without falling down. Active people have active minds.

  6. Darrell Durham says:

    The only thing guiding the democrat’s entire agenda is not-Trump. Biden ran on it and immediately began doing so. They don’t care about anything except pushing for their wish list while they can because they see the writing on the wall. The Breyer retirement is a welcome twist, but will only become another unforced error, since his nominations will have virtually NO chance of passing. They argue voter ID = voter suppression. I went to Walmart to send money to my son and was asked for my ID, and, like literally millions of people, I HAD one!

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