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Watch: Biden Forgets What State His Energy Sec Was Governor Of, Gives Up in Middle of Trying to Remember

  You’re not expected to know what state Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was previously the governor of — unless, of course, you’re the g...

 You’re not expected to know what state Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was previously the governor of — unless, of course, you’re the guy who hired her. Then there’s an issue.


Biden introduced the female members of his cabinet, starting with Avril Haines, according to a White House transcript. As the president pointed out, she’s “the first woman to lead our intelligence community as director of national intelligence.” 

“Stand up, Avril. Come on. Stand up,” Biden said, before joking:  “She does everything in secret. That’s why she doesn’t want to stand up.”

Next was the energy secretary, introduced as “former Governor Jennifer Granholm.”


“I often kid her — and I wasn’t kidding early on when I seeking the nomination — had she been born in America, she’d be standing here and I’d be sitting there,” Biden said.

“She’s the former governor of the state of Michigan. Michigan. Wrong,” Biden said, blinking all the while. “She was a former sta- — she was a governor.” 

 Granholm was, in fact, the governor of Michigan. Good thing he didn’t try to guess what country she was born in for bonus points. (It’s Canada, a pretty safe guess unless you’re Joe Biden.)

Biden tried to pawn this off as all a little bit of the ol’ J/K. “No, I’m teasing. But we often kidded about it,” he said.

There are a few reasons you shouldn’t buy this. The first has to do with Avril Haines’ introduction. I didn’t just include that because I’m like a high-school junior trying to pad a report for history class with extra words. As with Granholm, Biden also tried to be loose and jocund during Haines’ introduction, adding some personal comments to the bare facts of their current positions. 

After the face plant with Granholm, though, he didn’t even try.

There were nine other members of Biden’s cabinet who belong to the distaff gender, and they were all introduced — although only one merited more than name and rank.


(The exception was Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, a former U.S. representative from Ohio: “If I stole any more members of Congress, I would’ve been in real trouble with Nancy,” Biden said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her paper-thin majority in the House.)

What’s more, three of these individuals had held elected office, two as U.S. representatives and one as a governor. In two of these cases, Biden acknowledged these women held public office (Fudge and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, former governor of Rhode Island). 

Not once did he make an effort to identify what state they were from.

To even a casual observer, it looked like he knew he couldn’t pull it off.

Second, you may not be shocked to learn this wasn’t Biden’s only mistake during Tuesday’s event. Here’s Kyle Martinsen of RNC Research laying out how the speech went for the president:

In case you missed the biggest mistake of the afternoon, here’s Biden stumbling around for the right words to express that Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, had tested positive for COVID-19, thus explaining Kamala’s absence:

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield was also misnomered as “Linda Thomas-Greenhouse” during the same rundown of names in which Biden couldn’t remember which state Energy Secretary Granholm was governor of. (He might have been confusing her with Linda Greenhouse, the longtime New York Times reporter on the Supreme Court beat.)

This all occurred during a short speech with numerous breaks for introductions and applause, including an appearance by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. 

When it wasn’t just clapping and introductions, the speech was peppered by vague, teleprompter-friendly platitudes like: “Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor the legacy, the vision, and the achievements of trailblazing women and girls who’ve built, shaped, and strengthened the character — the very character of this nation.”

Or this: “I was once asked by Xi Jinping in China how — could I define America. I said, ‘Yes. In one word.’ God’s truth — one word: ‘Possibilities.’ We believe anything is possible in this country. And that singular power of example shows our daughters, our granddaughters there’s not a single thing a man can do that a woman can’t do as well or better.”

I believe that story about as much as I believe Biden’s assertion that he was just joking about spacing out on what state Jennifer Granholm governed, but that’s beside the point. This would all be funny if it weren’t so sad or serious.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world is closer to nuclear conflict than any time since the Cold War and, at a time where our president should be projecting strength, this is the mental lummox we’re stuck with. 

Not only that, we’re probably stuck with him for two more years and change, at the very least.

Heaven help us, because our commander in chief’s intellectual acuity certainly won’t.

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