We decided to call it a political rally in the headline rather than a speech, since the vast majority of it was a demonization of the opposition party. Something the media didn’t pick up on was President Joe Biden’s Tuesday speech in Philadelphia, in which he told the crowd to vote for John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro, which is a no-no at an official White House event. So much for those norms.

As Twitchy reported earlier, CNN alumnus Peter Hamby decided to write off criticism of Biden backing himself with Marines with this tweet:

Yeah, Hamby, totally the same situation there.

The Washington Post even decided to get in touch with a couple of civil-military scholars to ask them what they thought about Biden posting Marines on each side.

Oh, OK.

Lamothe reports:

Peter Feaver, a professor at Duke University, said that while presidents are political actors, they “need to be careful about not bringing the military into the frame when they are engaging in partisan, political acts.”

“In this case, the choice to literally keep the Marines guards in the frame was an unfortunate one,” said Feaver, who raised concerns about how Trump politicized the military on numerous occasions. “It may even have the effect of distracting from the message as people debate the optics rather than the substance of the president’s speech.”

Lindsay Cohn, who studies civil-military affairs at the Naval War College, said that Biden being framed by Marines during the speech was “not a crisis, but it could and should have been avoided.”

Cohn said she can see an argument that Biden was making a necessary and nonpartisan speech in which he noted explicitly that not all Republicans are a threat. But she added that the Biden administration needs to be “oversensitive and cautious about optics to try to strengthen some of the norms” that the Trump administration weakened.

Biden’s made pretty clear he’s going straight for the F-15s.

The tweeter up above is right: If the optics didn’t suck, the Washington Post and CNN certainly wouldn’t be talking about them. On the plus side, Biden gifted us with a bunch of great Photoshops.

And just so you know, Lamothe is getting ratio’d by readers who just don’t care about the optics, and what about the former guy? But we thought the adults were back in charge and we wouldn’t be conducting ourselves like the former guy. Unity. Norms.

Editor’s Note:
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