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A truism often misattributed to Albert Einstein or H.L. Mencken says, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” When that individual holds a position of responsibility, adversity also introduces that person to the broader public. The collapse of the condominium in Surfside, Florida, unintentionally reveals how susceptible President Joe Biden is to baseless media talking points, and how independent-minded Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is. The number of victims killed by the June 24 collapse of a condominium in Surfside climbed to 24 on Saturday, as searchers continue to seek 124 missing persons. As the nation continues to mourn the rising death toll, the media successfully introduced the notion that a “climate crisis” triggered the disaster to the highest levels of political power. In nationally televised remarks on Thursday, President Joe Biden raised the possibility that climate change had a hand in the condo collapse: There are all kinds of discussions about whether or not they thought that water level rising — what impact it had. And interesting to me — I didn’t raise it — but how many of the survivors and how many of the families talked about the impact of global warming.

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