The G7 summit was the international geopolitical event where U.S. President Joe Biden was supposed to set himself up as the leader of the free world. Or at least that was what was on paper, because the reality was the complete opposite.
Misplaced, incoherent and in some positions even weak: that is how President Biden looked in many moments of the summit. If the idea was to impress and stand out before the world leaders, it did not turn out as expected.
The trip got off to a bad start, not because of anything Joe Biden did, but because of a small mistake made by the first lady, Jill Biden, on her Twitter account.
“Prepping for the G7,” tweeted the first lady on June 9, a text that was accompanied by an image showing Jill Biden carefully reading some documents.
It seems insignificant, but critics did not miss the opportunity to ask a question: why are you preparing and not the president?
“What about Joe?” asked journalist Trish Regan.
“Where’s Joe?” also wondered Rep. David Cawthorn (R-NC).
However, Jill Biden’s little slip was somewhat irrelevant considering what happened during the G7 summit, where there were many awkward moments not only for President Biden, but also for all Americans who were looking forward to a dignified representation to the world.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was introducing all the leaders of the G7 and the countries invited to the summit during a roundtable discussion in Cornwall, England, on Saturday, June 12.
The invited leaders were Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. All were duly introduced by Johnson.
However, Biden interrupted Johnson by saying “And the president of South Africa,” while pointing across the table to Ramaphosa.
Johnson, a bit taken aback, blurted out an airy comment, “And, and, and, and the president of South Africa…as I said at the beginning.”
Biden, out of place, replied with “Oh, he did?”.
“I did…I certainly did,” Johnson finished, eliciting derisive laughter from all present at the president’s mistake.
Laughter, lapses and awkward positions: how the G7 summit went for Biden
Unfortunately for the United States, the laughter of his peers was not the worst scene that Joe Biden starred in during the G7 summit.
According to the first lady, Jill Biden, the president prepared for weeks for the summit because international politics is his main specialty. Yet, in a press conference, Joe repeatedly made a mistake confusing Syria with Libya, generating a lot of criticism against him and questioning his mental health.
“So, there are many things we can collaborate with Russia on. For example, in Libya, we should open the steps to be able to go through and provide – provide food and economic assistance – I mean, vital assistance to a population that’s in real trouble,” was Biden’s confused opening sentence.
In addition to confusing the countries, what was most troubling was the level of argumentative lucidity during the press conference, as the president appeared hesitant, slow and irresolute at times.
On another occasion, a reporter asked Biden: “How are your meetings going in Cornwall, Mr. President?”. The president, at first hesitating for a couple of seconds, only answered with a “very well” and raising his fist. Immediately, the first lady jumped in to get the president off the hook by shouting “Come on Joe!”.
Once again, laughter erupted at Biden’s unusual scene.
Beyond the fact that some scenes may even be funny, it is worrying that the president of the first power in the world looks weak, incoherent and out of place, especially considering that this June 16 the meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will take place.
For the President of the United States, after his performance at the G7, it is vital to have an outstanding meeting with Putin, since it should not be forgotten that both leaders have been having public clashes in recent months. At this point, a positive image for Biden is practically an imperative necessity.