President Joe Biden has been attacked for failing to visit East Palestine following the toxic disaster there, with some saying it's evidence that the president is unable to handle a crisis.
According to the Washington Examiner, those critics include Republican strategist David Carney, who told the paper that White House staff know better than to put Biden in potentially stressful situations.
"Grandpa Joe cannot make a decision, and they apparently do everything by committee, so there’s no one in charge to make decisions when something comes up," Carney was quoted as saying.
However, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon argued that Biden's approach is a welcome change from that of former President Trump.
"Should the Biden administration be more aggressive [in] responding to events? The answer is yes," he told the Examiner. "Should the president answer to every blip that pops up on the radar and shoot from the hip like Trump? No."
George Mason University professor Jeremy Mayer also defended the president's approach, arguing that it is part of a larger strategy.
"Part of this is deliberate," Mayer told the Examiner. "They're saying, 'We will engage where we want to, and we won't be pressed by artificial deadlines.'"
Mayer went on to draw a positive contrast between Biden and his immediate predecessor, saying, "We just finished with a White House that leaked like a '57 Chevy.' Joe Biden’s team has that passion for anonymity that every president wants in a White House staff."
Still, Mayer seemed to concede that the president's ability to function in public has diminished, which explains why the White House has limited his exposure.
One example of that was a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox Soul that the White House canceled just hours before airtime.
"Biden isn't shy, but his team is being very careful about exposing him to the hot glare of television lights," Mayer admitted.
"It's an acknowledgment that he's not the man he was 10 years ago or five years ago and that he's likely to say something stupid," the professor said.
"Whether that's actual cognitive decline or just the chance it'll be interpreted that way, it won't lead to a good news cycle for this White House."