Biden goes Blanco

President Biden handed out National Humanities Medals and National Medals of Arts to 12 recipients (including Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus et al.) in the East Room of the White House yesterday. The transcript of his remarks is posted here.

One of the honorees was “Maine poet” Richard Blanco. I’m guessing the quality of Blanco’s poetry was not Blanco’s principal qualification for the award. His citation reads:

For breathing life into the identity and idea of America. An award-winning poet and author, professor and public speaker, and son of Cuban immigrants, Richard Blanco’s powerful storytelling challenges the boundaries of culture, gender, and class while celebrating the promise of our nation’s highest ideals.

Gag me with a dactyl.

Also to the point — who can forget? — Blanco composed the (bad) poem “One Today” for a reading at President Obama’s second inauguration. That must have been a big mark in his favor when it came to handing out the awards.

Biden stared into the teleprompter stationed immediately in front of him as he struggled to read from the last stanza of “One Today.” Blanco’s poem set the stage for Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” at Biden’s inauguration, yet Biden was unable to climb the hill of “One Today.” Make that “Zero Today.”

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