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Chris Rock famously said, when Barack Obama was president, “The president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen.” Joe Biden, though, is the granddad of the country, and when you listen to Granddad, sometimes you wonder whether it’s safe for him to be near a pair of scissors. No big deal, though; it’s just that there’s this guy who looks like he’d have trouble using Google Maps and he happens to be in charge of all the nukes. On the rare occasions when Biden’s staff let him out of the dayroom to be seen on camera, pre-selected members of the press ask him the gentlest conceivable questions and then wind up cringing anyway as Biden gives one unnerving display after another. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin must watch these press conferences giggling uncontrollably at their good fortune: Suddenly the world’s greatest power is in the hands of a slightly dazed-looking fellow who seems like he is always just waking up from heavy anesthesia.

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