Biden in the Storm
MY MEMO TO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
DATE: 19 January 2023
TO: President Joe Biden
FROM: Nolan Dalla
Dear Mr. President:
1. On the mushrooming classified documents controversy — do this. OWN IT. Take full responsibility. Somebody fucked up (excuse my F-bombs, but I’ve heard you drop a few of your own). Maybe it wasn’t you who fucked up, but it was certainly someone within YOUR circle and the documents were plainly YOUR responsibility. No one wants to hear lame excuses and needless yammering. Just fucking OWN this, and the quicker you do so, the less damaging this issue will be going forward.
2. Make a public statement. And be there IN PERSON. Clear your calendar for one full day, the sooner the better. Hold a press conference. Take as many questions as they want to throw at you. Take this head-on. Learn from history: When the late Sen. John McCain was caught up in the Keating banking scandal 30 years ago and it looked like he might be forced to resign, he held a marathon press conference in Phoenix and took questions for SIX FUCKING HOURS In fact, he was the last person to leave the room in that hotel ballroom. Poof! The scandal disappeared, because McCain took the heat, faced the fire, and answered every question. Okay, so if SIX hours is too much, then do THREE, or TWO. But don’t do the typical “rush” job. Be a leader. Leaders make mistakes. Be honest. Explain. (And if you get worn down after hours of facing questions, that’s okay, too. People respect a fighter. They respect honesty. They want transparency, even if there are flaws and mistakes.)
3. Quit blaming Washington culture, the elites, the media, biased news outlets, and others for your mistakes. That’s what Washington culture, the elites, the media, biased news outlets, and others DO. You’ve been at this political game longer than anyone else, and should know that. Quit complaining. Even worse, quit sitting there in public events and ignoring this issue, which makes you look guilty.
4. The radical Right will always hate you. That will not change. So, fuck them. Aim for center field. Most Americans will see the truth. They forgive, sometimes too easily. Let’s also remember that what brought President Nixon down weren’t the initial crimes so much as the cover-up. Learn from history. The longer this drags out, the worse it is for YOU, DEMOCRATS, and the COUNTRY. Get this fucking thing behind you, whatever it takes.
5. We know Trump’s intentional mishandling of classified documents and REPEATEDLY ignoring federal subpenas was far worse. Maybe even criminal. Let that scandal play out on its own. That was then. This is now. Allow your spokespeople and your supporters to make those comparative points, which are entirely valid. But you look petty and small comparing yourself to a clueless buffoon. It doesn’t diminish Trump to compare the two cases of document mismanagement. Rather, it lowers you. Stop it.
6. Start drafting your “I will not seek re-election” speech. Better yet, make the announcement during your upcoming State of the Union address. Let that be your bombshell. Go full drama. Milk the moment. You’ve done a pretty good job as President. You have a record to be proud of. Let that be your legacy. Respect your Democratic colleagues to nominate a new generation of leadership, and support them to the fullest. It’s time to take a bow and move on when your term is complete.
7. Finally, be the very best President you can be in your final two years. Use the knowledge, skills, and passion you’ve acquired by serving in public life for 50 years to continue working for prosperity, justice, and equality. Do not let this crisis define your Administration as other Presidents have done. OWN the problem you created, assist in the transition of leadership, and work to continue making America sane again.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The Lakes, NV