By George Upper
President Joe Biden may have been the one doing the talking, but it was Gov. Ron DeSantis’ message that got through loud and clear.
Biden toured some of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Ian, accompanied by the first lady and Florida’s governor, a potential rival for the presidency, should Biden choose to run again in 2024.
But for the nonce, the two put on friendly faces and celebrated the cooperation between state and federal relief efforts. Well … mostly.
“We are cutting through the red tape and that’s from local government, state government, all the way up to the president. We appreciate the team effort,” DeSantis said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“We have very different political philosophies … but we worked hand in glove,” Biden said. “On things related to dealing with this crisis, we’ve been completely lockstep. There’s been no difference.”
Biden even went so far as to compliment the “good job” DeSantis had done in the wake of the storm, the Times reported.
But they clearly didn’t agree on everything.
“I think the one thing this has finally ended is the discussion about whether or not there’s climate change and we should do something about it,” Biden said.
Leave it to Joe Biden to try to score a decidedly partisan political point during a rare moment of public bipartisanship. “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up,” former President Barack Obama reportedly said once about his then-vice president.
Things don’t appear to have changed too much since the Obama administration.
Biden’s statement, of course, was nonsense. Ian was a strong hurricane, but it was one storm. The Weather Channel has named 2005 the worst hurricane season ever (with 1995 and 2004 tied in second place). In 17 years, we haven’t had a stronger storm season, or one that was even as strong … but somehow one storm this year is evidence of a growing problem.
Even the acting director of the National Hurricane Center said that Ian could not be linked to climate change directly. Come on, man!
From the look on DeSantis’ face when Biden spoke those words, he was aware of just how nonsensical they were, even if the governor had too much class to counter-punch during a crisis.
And Twitter users were quick to notice.
Biden: I think the one thing that this has finally ended is the discussion about whether or not there’s climate change pic.twitter.com/m7NAJ9SnfW
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 5, 2022
Ron DeSantis face shows what we all feel https://t.co/pW3L19yFCe
— I Am MAGA Tammie🍊☢️☄️🔥🧡 (@TammieMcDonal17) October 5, 2022
Never waste an opportunity to push an agenda when people are hurting…..
Desantis face says it all! https://t.co/rTRLVGtTd6
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) October 5, 2022
I don’t always agree that a picture is worth 1,000 words. But in this case, the picture of DeSantis’ face is unquestionably worth more than the 26 words the president was speaking at the time.
Experts agree that most communication is non-verbal, that words themselves represent less than 10 percent of what we’re trying to say, with the rest gotten across through cues like tone of voice, body language — and facial expression.
If that’s true, DeSantis obviously had something to say yesterday that, probably out of courtesy, he felt was best not put into words.
We got the message anyway. Loud and clear.