Joe Biden doesn't always speak coherently, but when he's asked to commit to something, the former vice president typically responds with an emphatic "yes." It's not always clear if Biden is aware of what he's agreeing to do or if he understands the implications, but the 77-year-old has demonstrated a willingness to say "yes" to almost anything you ask of him.
"Absolutely yes, I commit," Biden said last week during a virtual town hall on MSNBC. In this particular case, the former vice president was responding to a voter who asked whether he would commit to "not pulling a President Ford" and issuing a pardon to President Trump "under the pretense of healing the nation." As usual, it wasn't entirely clear whether Biden understood the question.
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Over the course of his improbably successful presidential campaign, Biden has made numerous on-the-spot pledges in response to questions from journalists and voters. For example, Biden has promised to "sacrifice" economic growth to fight climate change, punish "senior Saudi leaders," oversee a "responsible phase-out of fossil fuel production," and never fire an inspector general as president. Free health care for illegal immigrants? Sure, why not.
Biden is also partial to answering multi-part questions with multiple uses of the word "yes." It's clearly one of his favorite words—easy to remember and pronounce. He's committed—to commitment. He'll agree so long as the questions are easy. If they're not, Biden has a tendency to get cranky and lash out, for example, by telling black voters they "ain't black" unless they support him.