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Two things can be true at once, and often are. I believe Joe Biden when he explains that the controversial ad-libbed final nine words of his Saturday address in Poland were simply his opinion, and a personal expression of his outrage at Vladimir Putin’s criminal actions. I have no reason to doubt that, and the scenario is consistent with everything we know about Biden.

But I also think it was a classic Biden gaffe, and a particularly sloppy one. And if there’s one thing the country and the world don’t need from the American president right now it is sloppiness.

Biden says he’s not “walking anything back.” But his White House was backpedaling faster than Jalen Ramsey within ten minutes of the time Biden left the podium. It had to be an “aww f%$%” moment for the White House Communications office and the State Department.

So, it is simultaneously true, in my view, that Biden 1) was not advocating regime change or American policy change, but that 2) he nevertheless screwed the pooch.

He handed Putin a gift. Vlad The Inhaler of Territory can now tell the Russian people, that, see, I told you the United States wants to topple our government! That nine-word off-the-cuff addendum drew attention away from a speech that up to that second had been brilliant, and brilliantly effective.

Now Putin, however dishonestly, can cast this as an “existential threat” to justify use of even more terrible weapons and–if he wants to–draw the U.S. into direct military confrontation.

Biden based his presidential campaign in large part on his decades of foreign policy experience in critical situations. That’s all the more reason he should have known better.

Effective communication is precise communication that is incapable of being misinterpreted or twisted.

Biden handed Putin a “twisty.”

And that’s on Biden.

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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.