‘Biden the Movie’ – comedy or tragedy?

By Jane Chastain

I love movies and freely admit that this news junkie often uses them to escape. Since Joe Biden was sworn in as president, just how much bad news can one reasonably take?

Presidents are good movie subjects. Unfortunately, there are only so many plots. Therefore, when “Biden the Movie” finally is produced, I predict it will be a cross between two of my favorites: “Dave” and “Being There.”

For the uneducated movie buff, “Being There” was by far Peter Sellers’ best work. He played a mentally challenged, handsome, middle-age man who spent his entire life behind the walls of a wealthy Washingtonian’s home caring for the garden. Besides gardening, the sum of his knowledge came from watching television – mostly cartoons and sitcoms.

When the family patriarch died, he was forced to venture into the outside world for the first time, dressed in his benefactor’s clothes. When he was accidentally hit by the car of a political power broker, he was mistaken for a gentlemen and taken in and befriended by the power broker. Gradually, Chauncey (the gardener) Gardiner made his way up the Washington food chain by saying very little. When pressed on any given subject, he nodded and used one-liners he remembered from gardening or television shows. Everyone thought he was brilliant!

Anyone with a knowledge of Joe Biden will see the resemblance. Like Gardiner’s rise to power, Biden’s entry into politics was fortunate to say the least. He was a poor student, barely making it through high school and miraculously into college where he graduated with a degree in history and political science. So what can a college graduate with limited skills do? He entered law school! Biden managed to squeak through, despite having to admit to plagiarizing a law review article, a habit he has been unable to shake.

What can an unaccomplished novice lawyer do? He ran for his county council and used that lowly post to springboard to the United States Senate a mere two years later. How does a man with almost no real-world experience, serving on a local county council, wind up as a U.S. senator at the age of 30?

Only in a tiny state like Delaware would that have been possible! With a thin resume and little money, the handsome, charismatic Biden met and glad-handed voters face-to-face with his adorable family in tow. He ran a campaign against “politics as usual” where he used his opposition to the Vietnam War and an unpopular Richard Nixon to squeeze out a 50.5% win over the Republican incumbent and became one of the 100 most important policy makers in the country!

For the next 35 years, the affable Joe Biden successfully did his Chauncey Gardiner imitation in the Senate – smiling, nodding, hugging (that part was all Biden) making friends and foes alike feel comfortable in his presence. He had no real accomplishments and changed his policy positions more often than Lady Gaga changes her outfits, but no on cared. He was good ol’ Joe.

When Barack Obama needed a vice president who better than Biden? After all, he was a United States senator who had chaired important committees (not because he was smart but because of his tenure). At 65 Biden was still handsome, had the ability to make you think you were the most important person in the room, would follow orders and would not make waves. More importantly, he could talk endlessly about an issue while saying nothing at all.

He Chauncey Gardinered through his eight years as vice president and four years later threw his hat in the ring for the biggest prize of all.

In the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates, I predicted that Biden would be the last man standing, back on May 1, 2019.

Even when the Biden shakedowns of Ukraine, Russia and China came to light the adoring legacy media and tech giants managed to keep them largely under wraps until after the election. Then who cared? Biden was still making us feel good, or so it seemed.

It has become apparent that Biden has some serious mental health problems. The poor man cannot remember the names of his Cabinet secretaries, has trouble reading his notes, rambles unintelligibly and makes statements that are completely wrong, leaving those standing next to him rolling their eyes.

In the movie “Dave,” a presidential impersonator is pressed into service to cover for the real president who suffered a stroke. That was a comedy. Unfortunately, when “Biden the Movie” finally is produced, it will be no laughing matter.

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