Put on your ‘Comforter in Chief’ cape, Mr. POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is coming to Texas to perform one of the unwritten tasks of the job he inherited just a bit more than a month ago.

He is coming as the nation’s Comforter in Chief. I hope he is up to the task that lays before him.

I spent a good deal of emotional capital over the past four years blasting to smithereens Biden’s immediate predecessor’s unwillingness to lend comfort to Americans in trouble. I will spare you any more tirades on that score.

Biden is coming here to survey the damage done by the nasty winter storm that paralyzed so much of the state. You know the drill by now: Power went out, darkening millions of homes; the water supply failed, too, forcing millions of Americans to boil their water before consuming it. Indeed, many Texas communities to this very day still do not have water or their residents are still forced to boil it.

What can the president do in a single visit to a ravaged area? Not much. I am acutely aware that such visits serve mainly to provide the head of state an up-close look at the damage and to enable him to speak to local officials and to their constituents about the path forward.

President Biden is known as a touchy-feely kind of guy. There likely won’t be much hugging or up-close chit-chat between the president and those who are still suffering. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to keep our distance, even from a president whose presence among us likely will become part of the man’s presidential legacy.

I fully expect President Biden — despite the restrictions he will face — will demonstrate fluency in the language he must use to tell Texans the things they need to get some level of comfort.

It goes with the job.

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