There are gaffes, and then there are gaffes.
And President Biden just had a rather massive gaffe on the global stage in multiple ways: walking into a flagpole, fiddling about with his headset, and, most astonishingly of all, turning his back on a world leader and striding off stage.
“Joe Biden has seemingly wandered off the UN stage without shaking hands with Brazil’s Lula at the end of a joint speech. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 77, looked visibly irritated after the two leaders shared a stage to speak about their initiative to improve workers’ rights in each country. But their diplomatic meeting got off to a labored start when Biden, 80, shuffled into a seven-foot Brazilian flag, leaving it teetering as he approached the podium,” the Daily Mail reported.
Well, that’s one way to make an impression. After all, it’s not every day that a world leader collides with a flagpole in such a spectacular fashion.
Biden then began to blare on about his “economic vision to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down” before segueing into the joint appearance with Brazil.
“The two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere are standing up for human rights around the world and the hemisphere, and that includes workers’ rights. Let me be clear, whether it’s the autoworkers union or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers,” Biden boomed.
So, Biden begins by talking about human rights in the entire Western hemisphere, then devolves into a discussion about striking workers. Totally logical.
“’In America I’m proud that my administration is characterized as the most pro-union administration in American history,” the president added.
Is that so? Past presidents may take an issue with that statement.
“I really mean it,” Biden added ineffectually, as if that phrase means anything coming from the White House.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian president was clearly unnerved by Biden’s inattention to his own speech, as Biden fiddled about with headphones delivering an English translation.
“Can you hear me President Biden? This is an historical moment for Brazil, and for the US … President Biden can you hear me?” Lula inquired.
Earth to the president!
Biden and Lula appeared alongside International Labor Organization Director General Gilbert Houngbo, with Houngbo appearing in the middle.
Biden shook Houngho’s hand, but he wandered off before bothering to acknowledge Lula.
The Brazilian president did not respond favorably.
Needless to say, numerous commenters expressed horror at Biden’s embarrassing dismissal of a world leader.
Others demonstrated acute humor.
“We’ll trade you for Justin Trudeau,” one individual remarked crisply.
Author: Jane Jones