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People Are Saying This Photo Sums Up Biden’s Presidency

One moment from Joe Biden’s news conference on the Afghanistan crisis Thursday has captivated the internet, with critics calling photos of the moment “defining” of his presidency.

SO WHAT

Foreign policy rarely makes or breaks a president, but Biden’s public inconstancy as he withdraws from Afghanistan goes to questions of his overall competence and strength.

THE MOMENT

The much-discussed photos were snapped during Biden’s Q&A with White House reporters after a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that earlier in the day killed dozens of people, including 13 U.S. service members.

As Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed Biden on his culpability for “the way that things have happened” in the bloody and chaotic final days of the U.S. occupation, the president hunched over and pressed his face into his hands.

  • Biden, despite having just accepted responsibility “for all that’s happened of late,” went on to repeat his claim that former President Donald Trump’s 2020 agreement with the Taliban effectively made the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan inevitable.

THE REACTION

Less than 10 seconds passed while Biden’s head was down, but that was more than enough time for conservative Twitter users to confirm,“Joe Biden Is Who We Said He Was,” as a recent National Review headline put it.

Republican consultant Matt Whitlock deemed a photo of the moment “defining.”

  • “Optics disaster,” declared the Daily Caller.
  • “OMG, this is the leader of the free world?” commented Mark McCloskey, a gun-toting Republican Senate candidate in Missouri.

Donald Trump Jr. saw in another image the epitome of “weakness.”

Podcaster Jon Gabriel let the White House sign language interpreter speak for him.

On the other hand, supporters of the president sought to recast the photos as further proof of his celebrated empathy.

MEANWHILE

Another image from the end of America’s 20-year-long mission in Afghanistan went viral Thursday for a very different reason.

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