The White House made a laughable claim on Wednesday when press secretary Jen Psaki suggested that President Joe Biden “saved Christmas” by what she said was delivering on his promise of stocked shelves in time for the holiday.
Psaki made the claim after sharing a New York Times article titled “Why Christmas Gifts are Arriving on Time This Year” along with the comment, “Take that Scrooge, the Grinch and all of the doubters that this could happen. Also shelves are stocked at 90% (pre-pandemic levels are 91%).”
When someone commented on her tweet wondering when Republicans were going to acknowledge everything President Biden had done to untangle the supply chain and say “thank you,” Psaki replied simply, “Hard same.”
During a press briefing on Wednesday from the White House, Psaki doubled down on the claim, once again citing the New York Times article and saying, “As The New York Times said today, Christmas gifts are arriving on time this year … Good news. We’ve saved Christmas & that is because President Biden recognized this challenge early, acted as an honest broker to bring key stakeholders together … and focused on addressing … problems across the global supply chain.”
Psaki went on to tout several steps the Biden administration had taken to address specific problems in the supply chain, concluding, “So people can go purchase — purchase presents even at this point if they haven’t done their shopping.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg posted a similar tweet, claiming credit for the “stocked shelves” despite being on vacation at the height of the supply chain crisis.
“Shelves are stocked. Retailers anticipate their best year ever. That’s because workers, businesses – and our President & administration – stepped up,” Buttigieg tweeted.
The Biden administration’s projected narrative didn’t seem to line up across the board, however, with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain arguing that the supply chain never actually existed, and were little more than hallucinations by the media.
Oddly enough, Klain hared the same NYT article, but with a very different comment: “Merry Christmas to all, and to this over-hyped narrative, a Good Night.”
“Seems kinda hard to take credit for having turned the tide with the considerable number of supply chain actions the administration has touted in recent weeks if their position is it was all just a media narrative,” San Francisco Chronicle Washington correspondent Tal Kopan remarked.
And New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz noted that even Psaki’s tune had changed dramatically from months earlier, when she snapped at a reporter who had asked whether Christmas gifts could be expected to arrive on time. “We’re not the postal service,” Psaki said at the time.
Biden himself pushed a narrative similar to that of his chief of staff – claiming the crisis never materialized.
“We brought together business and labor leaders to solve problems,” Biden claimed at the White House, where he held a video conference with business leaders and officials in his supply chain task force. “And the much-predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered, shelves are not empty.”
The NYT article for its part – despite being a left-leaning media outlet – claimed that the real driver behind gifts arriving in time was the fact that Americans are ordering and shipping gifts earlier than usual and shopping in stores rather than online.
Author: Robert Addlewood