During his speech at the National Action Network’s Annual MLK breakfast Monday, President Joe Biden made a noticeable blunder. While singing “Happy Birthday” to Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter-in-law, Arndrea Waters King, he appeared to have forgotten her name. The event took place in Washington, DC.
Waters King attended the breakfast with her husband, Martin Luther King III. When Biden took the podium, he quickly addressed the King family. It wasn’t long before he started singing
“It’s an honor to spend King holiday with the National Action Network and with the King family,” Biden stated. “Martin the Third, we celebrate a legacy of your beloved father and mother. They worked for the beloved community. But congratulations today to the honorees, including your wife, who I understand has a birthday today?”
After the audience said yes, he continued: “Well look, my wife has a rule in her family. When it’s somebody’s birthday, you sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ You ready?” Biden started singing the song, with those in attendance immediately joining him. C-SPAN has since shared footage where Biden apparently forgets Waters King’s name as he’s singing.
Instead if saying “Happy Birthday, Dear Arndrea” he says “Happy Birthday, Dear Val-It.” Biden ended the song by joking: “Well, it’s hell turning 30, but you’ve got to put up with it.” According to the New York Post, Waters King is 49. Of course, with Biden being the oldest president in the history of the US at 80 years old, it’s safe to say that his forgetfulness most likely stems from that.
However, Biden this isn’t the first time he’s said something that irked people of color. There was the time he mistook Iranians for Ukrainians, wrongly referenced the Prime Minister of Colombia instead of Cambodia during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, messed up a message on reproductive rights and mistook Kamala Harris for president.
His most embarassing moment? Biden attempted to locate the late Rep. Jackie Walorski in the audience during a speech last year. Walorski passed away in a car crash two months earlier. One thing we can all count on this year: Joe Biden making more gaffes in 2023.
More from The Root