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Better Late than Never? Joe Biden is Going to East Palestine, Ohio – HotAir

Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The people of East Palestine have been snubbed by President Biden since the derailment happened.

It’s an election year so Joe Biden suddenly has some time to make the trip to East Palestine. Since the derailment, Biden promised to visit but usually said, when asked by reporters, that he’s busy. The White House had a standard answer that Biden would go when he found some time to do so. However, all throughout 2023, Biden visited places all around the country where natural disasters and other events that negatively affected communities happened. He has been quick to jump on Air Force One, often with Jill in tow, and play the role of Comforter-in-Chief. Except when it came to East Palestine, Ohio.

East Palestine, Ohio is solidly Trump country and it is impossible to keep politics out of this story. Trump won the county by 72% of the vote in 2020. Joe Biden has traveled to Ohio many times but never found the time to make a stop in East Palestine. Ohio is an important state in a presidential election. It’s a swing state that has mostly gone red in recent elections. Trump won the state in 2020 by 53.3% to Biden’s 45.2%.

As time went on, it looked like the Biden administration just wasn’t particularly concerned about the aftermath of the toxic train derailment. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had to be shamed into taking the trip to assess the damage weeks later and talk to the locals. It just looked bad. It was hard not to think that if the derailment had happened in a deep blue area that voted for Biden, he would have been there as soon as the air began to clear.

Here’s the thing – former President Trump went to East Palestine and he was very warmly welcomed. He brought pallets of “Trump water”, food, and cleaning supplies. He met with the mayor and other local officials and held a press conference. Then, on his way out of town, he stopped at a McDonald’s and paid the tab of everyone in the restaurant. In other words, he did everything right and made Joe Biden look like an uncaring slacker.

The White House announced the trip but wasn’t clear exactly when Biden is planning to go. As mentioned above, Saturday is the one-year anniversary but there is also a vague reference to a visit in February. Biden is to meet with residents impacted by the hazardous chemicals that were spilled during the train derailment. Many residents still report physical symptoms that they believe came from breathing the air and drinking the water.

Biden will meet with residents impacted by the derailment and the hazardous chemicals that were spilled as a result. He plans to deliver remarks that tout the administration’s progress in working with state and local leaders to help the community and hold Norfolk Southern accountable for the derailment.

The irony in ignoring a major event involving a train is that Biden is a huge fan of Amtrak. Remember he liked to be called Amtrak Joe. Yet, instead of going to East Palestine, he went on vacations, regular long weekends away from the White House, and even traveled to Maui to comfort the residents after wildfires destroyed a large part of that community. Joe Biden found time for all of that but not for a trip to East Palestine, Ohio.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction from the residents and local leaders will be to Biden’s visit. The mayor said recently that it has been so long now that Biden may as well wait to visit until 2025 on his book tour. OUCH. It sounds like the mayor expects Biden to lose the election in November and likely will be on a book tour next year. Many local residents have gone on the record to say his visit will be too little, too late. Why come now?

Well, Biden suddenly has time to travel to East Palestine because it is an election year. Joe Biden’s poll numbers are historically low. His poll numbers for his third year in the White House are Jimmy Carter level bad. .

DJ Yokley, a resident of East Palestine and a business owner was interviewed on Fox and Friends this morning. He said he didn’t want to get into politics but that Trump showing up before Biden looked like the back-up quarterback showing up instead of the starting quarterback. He said Trump didn’t have to show up but he did. Yokley said it is the resilience of he American people that has kept East Palestine going. They couldn’t wait for Joe Biden to visit. The people in charge in office let them down.

This is a political trip, that’s for sure. Biden is not popular and Senator Sherrod Brown, (D-OH) is in a tight race for re-election. Brown is vulnerable and that Democrat seat may flip to a Republican seat in the Senate. I’m sure Brown will be in Biden’s entourage.

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