A report says the US president has a bad memory. US expert Lammert classifies this.
In the fight for the voters’ votes, there is no shortage of possible exchanges of blows: The report by special investigator Robert K. Hur – appointed by Donald Trump when he was still president – is actually devastating for the incumbent president.
Report by US Special Counsel Robert K. Hur:
Essentially, it was about whether Joe Biden illegally stored secret government documents. In this matter, however, he does not have to expect legal consequences, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, who is facing a trial for storing secret files. Trump immediately exploited this: He accused the judiciary of using double standards. In a statement, he claims Biden’s case is more serious and “outrageously criminal.”
Biden’s forgetfulness and mix-ups:
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“He no longer knew when he was vice president, forgot when his term ended on the first day of the interview and forgot when his term began on the second day of the interview.” The president also could no longer remember when his son Beau died, writes special investigator Hur in his report.
The incumbent US President has also made mistakes in the past; He made Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi head of state of Mexico, confused Angela Merkel with Helmut Kohl and Emmanuel Macron with François Mitterand.
However, Hur’s report confirms that the incumbent president is a “well-meaning older man with a poor memory.” His memory showed “significant limitations” and was sometimes “blurred”.
“motivated by party politics”
However, it is difficult to judge on the basis of this report whether Biden is still acceptable as president, says Christian Lammert when asked by SRF. He is a US expert at the Free University of Berlin and follows US politics closely. “There are also election campaign and party political motives behind it,” says Lammert.
Caption: Joe Biden at a short-term press conference on February 8th, where he commented on the report by special investigator Robert K. Hur. Keystone/Evan Vucci
The appointment of the special investigator was intended to distract attention from the proceedings against Trump. “They didn’t find anything with Biden, and that’s why they’re now trying it at this level.” It could also just be a political maneuver by the Republicans.
He puts it into perspective: Such mix-ups could happen to politicians; such mistakes could also be proven with Trump. “Trump has claimed that Nikki Haley was in charge of congressional security when the Capitol was stormed, and he also once said he was running against Obama.” Both are demonstrably false.
And German Chancellor Scholz claimed to have gaps in his memory when it came to possible political influence on his part, which may have been illegal. “Nevertheless, this needs to be investigated; Biden will have to provide appropriate medical tests to prove that he is still fit to hold office.”
Embedded in a network
“It would of course not be good if a president of the USA was no longer in full possession of his mental capacities,” says Lammert, but as president he is embedded in a large administration. According to Lammert, one must assume – if Biden is really no longer fit to hold office – that resistance will also come from the administration. However, the expert also says: “I doubt whether this resistance will come during the election campaign.”
Democrats’ Plan B?
In the background, the Democrats in the USA are also considering whether there is an alternative to Biden. One also has to consider what Biden and his government have achieved so far. “You cannot say that the US government is leaderless.”
As far as Plan B is concerned, the question is whether the Democrats in the USA will rely on Vice President Kamala Harris or whether they will nominate another candidate. “But as long as this is not clarified and as long as Biden says he is going to continue, it will be difficult to see him off. That could massively worsen the election prospects in November.”
The most important dates in the US election year 2024
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- 15 January: Iowa Caucuses (start of the primaries)
- 5. March: Super Tuesday (Simultaneous primaries in many states)
- July 15th to 18th: Republican National Convention (Republican party convention with nomination)
- August 19th to 22nd: Democratic National Convention (Democratic party convention with nomination)
- 16. September: First presidential candidates debate
- 25. September: Vice presidential candidates debate
- October 1: Second presidential candidates debate
- 9. October: Third presidential candidates debate
- 5. November: Election Day (including presidential and congressional elections)