On November 3, Election Day 2020, Joe Biden pulled up a bullhorn to his face and spoke through a medical mask to a small group of supporters as the presidential campaign came to a close.
"When I said, when I announced, I wanted to restore the soul of the country, I wasn't being melodramatic, all I meant was to restore basic decency and honor to the White House," he said.
The former vice president was speaking that day to a handful of supporters in Scranton, Pennsylvania who remained respectfully socially distanced from Biden as he spoke during the coronavirus pandemic.
Few supporters could have predicted that Biden would enter the White House as president of the United States with the bizarre headlines that followed.
Americans celebrating the Independence Day holiday were treated to a week-long speculative news cycle trying to find the source of a baggie of cocaine discovered by the Secret Service at the White House. You don't bring cocaine to the White House unless you are one of the biggest celebrities of all time or perhaps someone who feels they are protected by relatives in high places.
It was more surprising that the White House responded to the scandal by refusing to deny to reporters that the cocaine belonged to a member of the family.
Earlier this month, the world was also exposed to a New York Times story about the Biden family's painstaking efforts to distance themselves from Hunter Biden's daughter born out of wedlock to a stripper. Biden staffers were instructed to only acknowledge six grandchildren in the Biden family as Hunter sued to prevent his daughter from using the Biden name.
The only reporter who dared ask Biden about his newly discovered granddaughter during the presidential campaign was Fox News reporter Peter Doocy during an exchange with Biden in May 2020.
At the time, an angry Biden called the child's existence a "private matter" and proceeded to berate Doocy for asking the question. “Only you would ask that,” Biden said angrily, and added sarcastically, “You’re a good man. You’re a good man. Classy.” It appears even New York Times reporters (and columnist Maureen Dowd, who scolded the president for his callousness) are now willing to follow Doocy's lead.
After footage emerged over the weekend of the shirtless president spotted on the beach struggling with a beach chair, another story broke in Axios Monday of Biden repeatedly losing his temper in private and yelling and cussing out staffers. It's not surprising after Biden was caught on a hot-mic last year telling a mayor in Florida that "no one f*cks with a Biden" on top of his record of berating reporters who ask him tough questions.
It's a far cry from Biden's pious speech to his wealthy donors at a New York fundraiser earlier this summer.
"I mean, think of the way we talk about — to each other now. I mean, it’s embarrassing, in front of our children and our grandchildren," he lamented during his speech. "The things that are said. I mean, the language used. It’s just — it just — it’s degrading. And the rest of the world looks at us and goes, 'Whoa, what’s going on?'"
It's true. Biden won a lot of respect from voters during his 2020 campaign promising to restore "honor and decency" in the White House, and berating President Trump for demeaning the office he held.
But the president's demands for decency pale in the face of a different portrait emerging of him and his family ahead of his re-election campaign.
The results could be politically costly.
Charlie Spiering is a Wyoming native who works in Washington, D.C., where he continues writing about the White House, Congress and national politics. A former writer for Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner and columnist Robert Novak, Spiering frequently returns home to the family farm in Powell to escape the insanity of Washington.