Did Biden read “End of message” during the tribute to Bob Dole?
In December 2021, critics of US President Joe Biden took advantage of a moment during his tribute to the recently deceased former Senator Bob Dole where Biden appeared to read aloud the instructions written on his script, saying “End of the message “.
For example, the right-hand site Breitbart job a video clip on Twitter, adding “Biden reads end of post on his notes during Bob Dole’s eulogy”:
Biden reads ‘end of message’ in notes at Bob Dole eulogy pic.twitter.com/JQLBIF2xyP
– Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 10, 2021
In the 37-second clip, Biden can be heard saying:
He went on to say, a ray of hope, a source of comfort in times of crisis, a shield against those who threaten freedom. Our nation has certainly experienced times of division. But at the end of the day, we’ve always found ways to come together. We can find this unity. And then the message said, “End of message. “
Such attributions were correct. Biden indeed misread aloud a note or instruction from his written speech (“End of Message”). As a result, we give a rating of âCorrect Attributionâ. However, several other commentators and social media users mistakenly claimed that Biden made this mistake at the very end of his speech.
For example, the right-wing Post Millennial website job a video clip on Twitter, adding “Biden reads script and says ‘end of message’ aloud at the end.”
Various other observers and Social media users posted allegations and similar video clips, making it seem like Biden was so detached and distracted during his tribute to Dole that he didn’t even realize his own speech was over. In fact, there was specific context for Biden’s mistake – which is not shown in many short video clips – that would likely change the overall impression many viewers have of the incident.
Biden made the remarks in question on Dec. 9, during a Congressional tribute ceremony for Dole, who represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, when he was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for president. Dole died on December 5 at the age of 98.
Biden’s speech struck a tone of bipartisanship, respect and civility, and towards the end it included an important direct quote from an editorial column, written by Dole in early 2021 and published after his death in December – which Biden described as Dole’s. ” last message. The following is a transcript of this section of Biden’s speech, which can be viewed further below:
Well, you know, Bob and I – like a lot of us here – we didn’t agree on a few things, but none of the fundamental things. We still found a way to work together. We sincerely respected each other as colleagues, as fellow Americans. It was real. It was not wrong.
And we became great friends. And because Bob deserves the last word, I’d like to read some of his last post, which he left behind, which I hope we all hear in the days, weeks and months to come. And I quote Bob Dole:
“I can’t claim that I haven’t been a staunch champion of my party, but I’ve always served my country better when I did it first and foremost as an Americanâ¦ When we favor principles to the party and humanity to personal heritage “- when we do this, we” accomplish much more as a nation. By leading with shared faith in one another, we are becoming America at its best. He went on to say: “a ray of hope, a source of comfort in times of crisis, a shield against those who threaten freedom”.
ââ¦ Our nation has certainly experienced times of division. But at the end of the day, we’ve always found ways to come together. We can find this unity.
And then the message said, “End of message. My fellow Americans, America has lost one of our greatest patriots …
So, in saying “End of message,” Biden was specifically referring to the extensive quote from Dole’s posthumous opinion column, which he had previously described as Dole’s “final message.” It is not known why Biden said “And the message says, ‘End of message’ â, because Dole’s column did not contain any instance of the wordâ message â. The president appears to have improvised at this point, after seeing a note on his typed speech that read “End of message”.
This note was visible in a larger version of a photograph taken by Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford, which showed the last page of Biden’s speech. Below is an enlarged section of that image, followed by a representation of what it contained:
End of message
My American compatriots,
America has lost one of our greatest patriots …
So it is clear that Biden stumbled during this part of the speech and read aloud a note that was clearly only intended to serve as an oratorical guide, as Breitbart correctly stated.
This error may have occurred because: “End of message” was not placed in parentheses, italics, or otherwise made typographically distinct from the actual text of its speech; or because the sentence did not appear below the quote from Dole’s column, but rather at the top of the next page; or because Biden suffered a momentary lack of focus – or all three of the reasons.
However, it’s also clear that Biden hasn’t concluded his whole speech by saying âEnd of message,â as many critics have said. This is not a trivial distinction. Getting tripped up when making the transition from direct quotes to your own remarks, as part of a speech, is one thing. Requiring a special note to signify the end of your own speech, and then failing to recognize that signal, would suggest that a significantly higher level of confusion was at work. It was not.
Â«Reviews | Bob Dole: America needs unity to rediscover its greatness. Washington post. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/06/bob-dole-op-ed-what-america-needs/. Accessed December 10, 2021.
“Senate Leader Presidential Candidate Bob Dole Passes Away at 98.” AP NEWS, December 5, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/bob-dole-dead-kansas-republican-737084f4e606c10a33a15384fbe05967.
United States Senate: Robert J. Dole: A Featured Biography. https://www.senate.gov/senators/FeaturedBios/Featured_Bio_DoleRobertJ.htm. Accessed December 10, 2021.