Remember yesterday when the current President visited Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and we got a sneak peek at the new Ford F-150 Lightning? And remember how he drove a camouflaged pre-production version of the new electric truck around a little bit in a big, empty test track area? President Biden also seemed to have leaked the truck’s 0-60 time, too. Anyway, there’s a goofy rumor flying around that Biden didn’t actually drive the truck. That’s, uh, bullshit.
Look, you can feel any way you like about the guy who’s currently employed as America’s Night Manager (day shift, too), but of all the things one could possibly complain about from Biden’s appearance yesterday, this seems to be perhaps the most idiotic.
The allegation that Biden wasn’t driving has shown up on a bunch of primarily fringey right-wing websites, and I’ll admit that when a friend texted me the image sites like the Gateway Pundit are using as the (sole) basis of their claim, I did have to go watch the video again to confirm.
I mean, sure the headline is evocative:
And the copy in the article—which is hilariously minimal—seems quite certain about what happened from one fuzzy screenshot:
Following his speech, the declining septuagenarian was put in an electric vehicle where he pretended to be driving.
This was all a show by his handlers to make Joe Biden look like he’s in charge.
And, in this screengrab of the video used in the story, yeah, it does look a bit like maybe there’s another steering wheel there:
...but, if you take even a moment, a tiny, dumb moment, to actually watch the video, you can see that, no, there’s no second steering wheel, the guy next to Biden (a Secret Service agent, most likely?) just has his hands on the dash and is sometimes holding objects.
I went into this kind of hoping to find that it was faked, because oh man, that’d be a banger of a story, but watching the video makes it pretty easy to see that, no, that’s not what was going on here.
Here, watch for yourself:
...and here’s some screengrabs to make it more clear:
..and here’s a more unobstructed view of the dash in front of the passenger’s seat:
It’s pretty clear there’s no second steering wheel there.
In fact, if you look, you can see exactly what is going on: the passenger is holding onto the camera on the dash, likely because they don’t want their expensive camera to fall down:
Also, there’s no second steering wheel on the dash there.
Just to absolutely confirm things, I reached out to Ford themselves, and spoke with Mike Levine, Ford North America Product Communications Manager, who was the person who drove that very truck to the track.
He told me
“There was no other set of controls.”
And, that makes sense, as why would Ford have built a dual-control pre-production mule in the first place? That’s not standard practice at all. And I don’t see Ford being willing to build in a second set of controls just for a short photo-op drive for the President, because that’s expensive and crazy.
Yes, presidents are not allowed to drive on public roads, even after they’re out of office, but this was a private track, so that rule wouldn’t have applied.
So, to recap, yes, President Biden drove that F-150 Lightning pre-production truck on a big, flat, empty track, and stomped on the accelerator and slowed down and didn’t crash into anyone.
Sure, he’s an old man, but he’s an old man that can at least still drive a truck in a big, empty space, and the claims that he somehow didn’t and this was all a big, elaborate hoax are, frankly, kind of desperate and sad.
I can’t say I’m surprised to see this kind of lame-ass shit, but it’s still ridiculous.
Anyway, again, think whatever you want about the President, but the dude did drive a truck, all by himself.