President Joe Biden suffered yet another lapse this week when he forgot the name of Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter-in-law while singing "Happy Birthday" to her during the federal holiday honoring the late civil rights icon.
In an event organized by the National Action Network and co-chaired by Martin Luther King III and his wife, the president was trying to recognize the birthday of Arndrea Waters King, when suddenly his eyes seemed to search for her name on the teleprompter. This led him to utter a sound that certainly does not exist in any dictionary:
Martin III, we celebrate the legacy of your beloved father and mother. They worked for the beloved community. But congratulations today to the honorees, including your wife, who I understand has a birthday today? Well look, my wife has a rule in her family, when it's someone's birthday, you sing 'Happy Birthday' to them. Are you ready?
The president continued to sing until it came time to say her name and he uttered, "happy birthday, dear Valz-dvit," as deciphered by the New York Post. At the conclusion of the tune, Biden said, "Well, it's hell turning 30, but have to put up with it," trying to lighten the mood. Waters King is 49.
The King family members seemed to laugh and shake their heads at the awkward moment.
More Biden lapses
This is not the first time that Biden has gaffed on the national stage. In September, during a White House conference, the president sought out Congresswoman Jackie Walorski from the audience. "Where's Jackie?" Biden asked. The congresswoman had died a month earlier in a traffic accident.
He has repeatedly referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as "President Harris." In another of his more controversial mix-ups, the so-called "phantom hand," Biden is seen with an outstretched hand with nobody there to shake it. He follows this by looking around and then going on with the act. In July, one of the most egregious gaffes, Biden suggested that he had cancer during a speech. The White House was forced to retract his words.
These are just a few cases that evidence the president's constant disorientation, which is reported by the media on an almost weekly basis. He has confused names and has even fallen asleep at events of global importance.
Biden is the oldest president in history, and his mental dexterity is often a topic of public discussion. Although his defenders say he is prone to mistakes and stuttering, Republican leaders demand cognitive tests to prove that the president has the ability to govern the country.
The president said he intends to run for a second term in 2024. He would be 86 years old if he completes a second full term in January 2029.