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The Pride Goeth During the Fall

It is still graduation season, thanks to the many and varied timelines on which the semester system is implemented, not to mention those schools—primary, secondary, and postsecondary—that are on the quarter system. And so, Joe Biden was at the graduation ceremony for the Air Force Academy yesterday to hand out diplomas and to congratulate the graduates.

As the President wrapped up his ceremonial duties, he moved to return to his seat on the dais. Who knows why—there must have been some reason for it—but there was a black sandbag on the stage. Biden didn't see the sandbag in time, and so tripped and fell over it. Here is the video, if you wish to see it:

The whole thing lasted about 30 seconds.

This is not the first time someone (particularly someone wearing dress shoes) has fallen. It's not even the first time Biden has fallen in public since becoming president. We presume that those people who think he's a doddering old fool who is 50 years too old to be president will see much significance in this incident, and will make as much hay out of it as they can. We similarly presume that those people who think Biden is up to his job will shrug when they see this news and will move on.

We only mention this "news" because Gerald Ford's infamous fall down the stairs of Air Force One was absolutely disastrous for him, and you never know which moments will become meme-worthy and will take off. That said, a big part of the reason that Ford's fall hurt him so badly was that Saturday Night Live took it and ran with it, and Americans were treated to weeks and weeks of Chevy Chase's bumbling, stumbling, take-no-prisoners impression. Not too likely that will happen with Biden, because SNL has already been there, done that, and to have James Austin Johnson (the current Biden impressionist) falling over his podium would feel derivative. Also, even if the show was tempted, it's on indefinite hiatus right now (and probably for the duration of the summer) due to the writers' strike.

Biden, for his part, tried to make the best of it, and told reporters "I got sandbagged." We're not sure if that was a golf joke, or a lawyer joke, or a wrestling joke, or an inadvertent off-color joke resulting from Biden not being entirely familiar with the slang term he was referencing. Any of these seems possible. (Z)

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