AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Biden Gets Confused During the Indian National Anthem Before High-Stakes Meeting

Another public appearance by Joe Biden, another example of his deteriorating mental state.

On Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the White House for a joint meeting with the president, and things started off as badly as you’d expect. While the two are set to deliver remarks and take questions from the press later in the day, an event that is sure to produce a lot of material, the pomp and circumstance had barely begun before it went off the rails.

Narendra stood side-by-side with Biden on stage with the Indian waving in the background as the Indian national anthem began to play. The president appeared confused as to what was happening, believing the US national anthem was playing and keeping his hand over his heart for a time before realizing his error and slowly lowering it.

You can see the exact moment on his face that it clicks, but by then, he had been holding his hand over his heart for the wrong anthem for upwards of 15 seconds. Chalk it up as another embarrassing moment on the world stage for the United States, being led by a man who needs significant time to distinguish between two anthems that sound nothing alike. And to be sure, he was certainly briefed on the flow of the appearance prior to ever taking the stage. We know that because his handlers meticulously plan out his every move. I guess he just forgot.

But hey, it’s fine, right? I mean, it’s not like the US-India relationship is in tatters and that this meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and the President is extremely high-stakes.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, India has grown closer to Russia, relying on Vladimir Putin’s regime for oil and as a regional ally. That has strengthened the BRICS partnership, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. India sees its ties with Russia as a way to contain China, a nation it disputes a border with and has had military skirmishes with over the last several years. In other words, this is a time when steady US leadership is needed in order to try to extricate India from a relationship with Russia that runs counter to American interests.

Now, ask yourself if Joe Biden possesses that steady hand. Is the man who can’t tell when his own country’s national anthem is playing going to have the ability to convince India to recalibrate its own security concerns in order to better align with the West? I’d venture the answer is no, and that’s why these very-public flubs by Biden are important. Yes, they are funny, but it goes well beyond that. Foreign policy is a high-stakes game that requires quick thinking and an ability to see all the angles. Biden holds none of those skills, and that’s one of the reasons the world is in such chaos today.

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