Let’s review the timeline of the last 10 days or so. President Biden set off for vacation at Camp David just as Afghanistan started collapsing. Initially he resisted returning to Washington, but the gravity of the situation eventually compelled him to make a short statement at the White House, after which he returned to Camp David (without taking any questions), presumably to finish his vacation.
To be sure, presidents are never fully “on vacation.” Ronald Reagan always did several hours of presidential work every day when he was out at his California ranch, albeit at a reduced schedule. He was at his ranch, incidentally, when the news came that the Soviet Union had shot down Korean Air flight #007 on August 31, 1983 (in fact he was first notified on the phone while out on a horseback ride), and he immediately cut short his planned stay at the ranch and returned to Washington, even though there was not much he could do after the fact. The Afghan crisis is still ongoing; you’d think something of this magnitude, with thousands of Americans in danger, would be sufficient reason to return to the White House.
Finally President Biden submitted to an interview with George Stephanopoulos that went disastrously, and then . . . he headed to his Delaware home, where he remains at present. Why not back to Camp David?
I have a theory: one thing we know about treating people suffering cognitive decline is that familiar surroundings help them cope. Is this the reason for hunkering down at his Delaware home?
Yesterday I heard some startling numbers: at this point in his first year in office, President Trump had given more than 50 interviews to the media. At this same point in 2009, Obama had given more than 100 media interviews. Biden up to this point: Eight. This is not normal, even with the excuse of COVID. It’s even more noteworthy in a person who has been as famously loquacious as Biden in his 49 years in Washington.
Something is seriously wrong here, and while there is some vigorous media criticism of Biden over the Afghan disaster, the media is committing its usual malpractice and pro-Dem bias in not making a bigger fuss about the inaccessibility of the president, not to mention pressing legitimate questions about his mental capacities.
UPDATE: Biden has cancelled his visit to his Delaware home this weekend (“postponed” is the official word). The same questions about his capacities still apply.