While delivering remarks Friday in Hamilton, Ohio, outside Cincinnati, President Biden struck an odd tone while apparently longing for days gone by in American politics. Biden, who spent more than 35 years in the U.S. Senate, has plenty of days to recall, but the example he chose to reflect on was…not great.
“Things have kinda changed since the days when I first got there,” Biden said of the senate. “We always used to fight like hell,” the president recalled.
“Even back in the old days when we had real segregationists like [James] Eastland and [Strom] Thurmond and all those guys, but at least we end up eating lunch together,” Biden mused. “Things have changed, we’ve gotta bring it back,” he said.
I guess the American people are supposed to be impressed that Biden — who served as VP to the first black president, has the first black vice president, and put the first black woman on the Supreme Court — was good at befriending…racists?
It’s not a secret that Biden had chummy relationships with racist members of the U.S. Senate during his decades in the upper chamber, including Robert Byrd. But that’s the sort of thing Biden’s handlers would probably rather leave in the past.
Of all the things, people, or examples from 36 years in Congress he could’ve used to illustrate what was presumably his point about the Senate working together to pass legislation, Biden invoked former colleagues he called “real segregationists,” waxed poetic about the lunches they used to share, and said the Senate needs to “bring it back.”
Presumably, Biden didn’t mean to imply that America needs to bring back “real segregationists” for lunch in the Senate, but he said what he said. And it wasn’t the first time Biden has recalled some of his racist pals.