That has turned out to be spectacularly and obviously wrong.
As we watch the spiraling disaster that is the withdrawal – which, unlike its antecedent collapse in Saigon, is likely to get worse, not better in the coming weeks — fundamental questions arise about the competence of the Biden administration and what the answers might mean for the remainder of its agenda.
There is no way for anyone on the outside to know or be able to quantify with any precision whether and to what extent President Biden’s capabilities are reduced compared to his previous performance as a senator and vice president.
We can, however, say with some precision a few things about his schedule, his apparent lassitude, and that of his administration. For at least the last six months, the president’s daily schedule seems to have consisted of the Presidential Daily Briefing (usually in mid-morning rather than at the start of the day as is typical for presidents) followed by one internal meeting or perhaps a phone call or video chat with a small group of whoever.
Last Friday, for instance, Mr. Biden had his daily briefing, then a meeting in the Situation Room, then brief remarks (no questions scheduled) in the East Room. Then a flight out to Delaware. It is not clear whe….