Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
In preparation for his June 16 summit with Joe Biden in Switzerland, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s briefing book on Joe Biden must contain accounts of the daunting American President’s storied episodes of his self-described heroic behavior taking on bad guys and confronting dangerous situations in menacing locations.
Americans are looking forward to Biden staring Putin down and forcefully saying: “C’mon man, if you or your cronies attempt another computer attack against our pipelines, meat processing plants or any other critical U.S. industry we’ll hack your vodka distilleries into borsht factories.” He will say that, won’t he?
Putin and his pals must be shuddering in dread anticipation of a determined and fearless Biden confronting them across a conference table much like he did the infamous local gang leader Corm Pop at a swimming pool in Wilmington, Delaware in the late1950s. It was back then when he said he backed down a trio of toughs who put away their straight razors after he confronted them, and they all became his imaginary friends. No one witnessed it but we have Joe’s word.
Putin will surely recall the time when Biden as vice president encountered him saying: “I looked into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.” Biden said Putin responded saying: “We understand each other.” Putin has never mentioned the episode, but we have Joe’s word that it took place.
There was also the time Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq’s Green Zone, which no one can recall but Joe. Or the time he demanded he be flown to Afghanistan to pin a medal on an American soldier. He got the time, location, heroic act, medal, military branch, and the recipient wrong in his telling, but heck, that could happen to anybody.
This is a President who told us that when he was 17 he participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants, even though that would be 1959, a year or so before the first sit-in ever took place. But what’s a year or two.
Scanning Joe’s valiant record of heroics and tough-guy approach the past five months, Putin and his crowd are probably prepared for the hard-nosed, tough-talking president. After all they’ll be seated across the table from the guy who recently told the American people: “White supremacists are the most lethal threat to our national security.”
The Putin side of the table will probably handle themselves like the Roman legionnaires in the Monty Python film “Life of Brian” futilely attempting to stifle their laughter every time they see Biden get all squinty-eyed and spout: “C’mon man.”