The day Joe Biden was sworn in as president, empathy was restored to the White House.
Or so we were told. Reality would beg to differ.
Biden recently met with families of the fallen service members were were killed in last week’s complex suicide attack at Kabul airport, and in doing so he reminded us that he is not, in fact, any kinder or gentler than Donald Trump. He may, in fact, be even less so.
Here’s an account from the Washington Post about Biden’s meeting with the family of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum:
One of McCollum’s sisters, Roice, said she and her sister and her father joined McCollum’s wife, Jiennah McCollum, on the trip. But when it came time to meet with the president, they left the room, because she said they did not want to speak with the man they held responsible for McCollum’s death.
Only Jiennah, who is expecting the couple’s child next month, stayed. But she left disappointed, Roice said. The president brought up his son, Beau, according to her account, describing his son’s military service and subsequent death from cancer. It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes in “total disregard to the loss of our Marine,” Roice said.
“You can’t f— up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry,” Roice said of the president. “This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands.”
A Biden meeting w/ the pregnant widow of one of the dead Marines didn't go well
"It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes.."https://t.co/XTYDG5saMV pic.twitter.com/LxDyoZrXy4
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 30, 2021
We get that Joe Biden has his work cut out for him when it comes to reaching out to the families of the murdered service members, but it’s almost as if he’s determined to take the worst possible approaches.
I thought Biden was a gifted empathizer.
— window shopping (@2FunnyNot2Say) August 30, 2021
I was told there would be empathy
— taliblond™ (@taliblond) August 30, 2021
I was told Biden understood their grief better than anyone else
— Midwit Milhouse (@MidwitMilhouse) August 30, 2021
So were we. And we didn’t believe it then, either.
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) August 30, 2021
my god https://t.co/sqqMyEu7QK
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) August 30, 2021
Made it about himself. How predictable.
— Cari K 🇺🇲 (@ClearBlueSkyys) August 30, 2021
How does refocusing these families’ grief on himself help anyone other than Joe Biden?
As someone who’s lost a husband and daughter, the last thing you want to hear at this time of shock and grief is someone comparing their loss to yours. It’s about the widow, not Biden’s loss, other than to say they understand.
— Not Yet (@Capocina) August 30, 2021
His son served with honor. But his son didn’t die in combat. If he is bringing up his son, who died of cancer, to say he knows how it feels to lose a loved one who served, that is scripted and sad. It is not the same.
— PontificAsian (@PontificAsian) August 30, 2021
I can understand @POTUS pain of Beau’s death, but it starts to feel like a political ploy every time it’s brought up and minimizes the other person’s pain. Let Beau Rest In Peace.
— L_Anders (@L_Anders1) August 30, 2021
This moment wasn’t supposed to be about Joe Biden. Bringing Beau into it wasn’t about empathizing with the families of the fallen; Biden literally doesn’t know how to do that.
How many times did Biden look at his watch during the meeting?
— Harold (@HaroldKnighten) August 30, 2021
the empathy thing may sound cheesy to ppl but, for good or for ill, it actually was part of what voters wanted from him. He doesn't seem to have the preternatural ability he's always had to comfort or to put ppl at ease. https://t.co/aXiqIwOUnF
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) August 30, 2021
There are many reasons why trotting out the Beau story, understandably devastating as it is for him, at a time like this is wildly inappropriate. His handlers need to get him to realize that. https://t.co/zL9FLLLGOq
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) August 30, 2021
His handlers have their work cut out for them.