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Biden stuck the landing. But there was a slight stumble on his way off the floor.

After delivering the most powerful address to a global audience by an American president in decades, Joe just couldn’t help being Joe. His off-script closing sentence upstaged his text, and muddied what had to that point been a paragon of unambiguous clarity.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Face palms in the White House, followed by clacking keyboards.

Unforced error, followed by State Department ‘Splainin’.

“What the president was trying to say was…”  That’s never a good thing, especially in a crisis in which a misunderstanding or misinterpretation could lead to swift escalation.

Look, I’m not personally offended. First, I don’t get “offended.” Beyond that, Putin is a murderous butcher and he cannot remain in power if we are to have peace in Eastern Europe. But after righteously dissecting Putin from a podium in Warsaw, Biden unnecessarily and ham-handedly gave Putin a way to rally and distract the Russian people.

“Regime change.” Perhaps you recall it’s a term that has regularly been problematic in America’s global relations.

The White House and State Department, at warp speed, issued statements saying that’s not what the president meant. But it is what he said, or at least it could be opportunistically re-cast as what he said. And that’s exactly what Putin and his Kremlin cronies are already doing.

That’s sloppy. And imprecise. And at a moment when the world can ill afford sloppy imprecision.

Putin will now add “self-defense” to his long and absurd list of pretexts for waging his criminal war.

Until that compulsive ad lib, Biden had done a masterful job of avoiding giving Putin a way to cast this as a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia.

There’s a reason we call a script a script, Joe. Stick to it.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.