Social media users don't quite know what to make of the small paper slips brought by Joe Biden to the public part of Wednesday’s summit meeting with Vladimir Putin, with many netizens poking fun at the US president, while others have expressed concern about the bad optics of the situation for the US side.
“Biden brought his flashcards into his meeting with Putin,” conservative political columnist Benny Johnson wrote in a tweet that's gone viral, accompanying the post with a short clip of the US president reaching down for the small stack of papers as Putin begins to speak. “Telling,” Johnson added in a second tweet, screen grabbing photos of Biden grasping the cards.
Some users have joked that the flashcards may contain the US leader’s well-known "Bidenisms."
“1st card: ‘Here’s the thing…’ 2nd card: ‘Let me be clear…’ 3rd card: ‘The deal is this…’, ‘I’m going to get into trouble for this now…’,” one user joked. “C’mon man!” “You dog-faced-pony-soldier,” another added. “His name: Poo-tin, My name: By-den, Don’t: Sniff kids,” a third chimed in.
I'm surprised the FSB didn't manage to swap them with these... pic.twitter.com/Jf9m4UDLr1— Lord Summerisle (@LairdSummerisle) June 16, 2021
“Flashcards still won’t help him,” another critic suggested. “Still at least he’s not meeting Putin on his own without any recording or note-taking,” another observed. “He can’t read a teleprompter so I’m guessing those cards are just a prop,” one mean-spirited commentator suggested. “This is so embarrassing,” yet another quipped.
Others defended Biden, however, with one user suggesting that “compared to the sheets of notes Putin users, I find flash cards much more efficient for world leaders to reference at summits.” “All the better to be prepared,” another argued. Others recalled Donald Trump’s history of using paper-based aides at his meetings with world leaders.
Compared to the sheets of notes Putin uses, I find flash cards much more efficient for world leaders to reference at summits. pic.twitter.com/O7g4gFFOgT— Christine (@christinelu) June 16, 2021
You're right, he needs some big ass print outs so that he can hold them over him. Real leaders bring in their art projects. pic.twitter.com/mXmeGYruDi— demnix (@demnix) June 16, 2021
Some supporters even went so far as to rehash the tired old claims that Biden’s predecessor was a "Russian agent." “Trump didn’t need any cards because he wasn’t allowed to bring up anything to his master,” a user wrote.
“So bringing flash cards to a summit is a bad thing? Being prepared is a bad thing? We are in trouble as a species if people find being prepared for meetings is a bad thing,” another Biden supporter wrote. “Just shows he can’t hold a regular conversation without someone giving him his words,” a critic responded.
Just shows he can’t hold a regular conversation without someone giving him his words.— DennisIsBastardMan (@welllllpp) June 16, 2021
Others still expressed security concerns over the meeting, suggesting that “this is not going to end well” and dramatically urging people to “pray for America, this day, above every other day.”
Presidents Putin and Biden are holding a marathon summit meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday. The negotiations are expected to last up to five hours. The Russian and US leaders are not expected to hold a joint press conference afterward.