White House announces Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

When all else fails, how about a touchy-feely kind of ceremony at the White House? Joe Biden’s poll numbers are in the dumpster. What better way to change the subject than to invite a bunch of celebrities and public figures to the White House and put on a ceremony? Add a few people who are now deceased and you’ve got the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony.

It’s happening next week. The White House released the names of seventeen people, mostly living, who will be honored with the nation’s highest civilian award today. The award is bestowed by the president in recognition of people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Some of the seventeen names will be controversial to various groups because that is always how these things go, especially in recent years. The more polarizing the president, the more critical his opponents are about such things as ceremonies and awards. Remember when Trump gave the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh during the State of the Union address, in the last months of his life, as it turned out, and the left went absolutely nuts? Good times, good times. The same will happen now over some of Biden’s choices. I will note that conservatives are much more tame in their reactions, as a rule, than the left who seem to always be at twelve on a scale of one to ten.

President Joe Biden will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people, including former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe, the White House announced Friday.

Biden will also awards medals to actor Denzel Washington; Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim U.S. Army captain; and Sandra Lindsay, a New York nurse who was among the first in the country to receive the Covid vaccine.

Three other recipients will be awarded the medal posthumously: the late Sen. John McCain, who served in the Senate and House for decades and became the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2008; Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, Inc.; and Richard Trumka, who served as president of the AFL-CIO.

The complete list can be found here.

Most of the people announced are fairly typical of who you would expect a partisan politician to choose. Biden is known for his strong ambition to check every identity box possible in any nomination. He has a cabinet full of box checkers who are utterly incompetent, for example. This list has some questionable choices but I’m not a far-left progressive. It’s not meant to satisfy me.

Denzel Washington is someone that everyone can celebrate. Not only is he a good actor, he seems to be a good guy, too. For years he has supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I’m surprised to see former Republican Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming on the list but not the name of John McCain. Will Meghan McCain put aside her newly found contempt for “Uncle” Joe Biden and attend the White House ceremony? I assume Cindy McCain will accept the award for their family. I’m kind of surprised that Steve Jobs hasn’t already received the award.

My city of Houston will be happy to see Simone Biles receive the Medal of Freedom. She is the most decorated American gymnast in history. And, she went through a very public breakdown, a reaction to years of being a victim of sexual assault, during the Olympics.

The ceremony will be at the White House next Thursday.

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