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Democrats want Biden to change his style, but that’s not happening


Assuming no one accepts Donald Trump’s offer to hold a debate on what he calls the Big Lie – and what opponents call his Big Lie – we’re stuck with a lot of pontifications about Joe Biden .

Pretty much every day I see a headline like Democrats say Biden needs to talk more about X.

Here’s one in the Washington Post: “Democratic allies are pressuring the White House to focus more – and say more – on inflation concerns. “

And another in Politico: “Democrats want Biden to start swinging against Republicans. Allies aren’t sure he can.”

But when reporters (who also double as frustrated political strategists) write so many stories citing Democrats, they often choose to broadcast the advice or at least give it a broader platform.

And presidents with a solid reputation don’t attract as many free political pointers – or skepticism so widespread in their first year that they will in fact run for re-election.

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So this wave of coins here is what Biden should do is a flashing neon light that he’s in trouble.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

A fundamental problem, which is now becoming conventional wisdom, is that the president does not run the news agenda, leaving a void that is happily filled by other partisan media and political voices. The relinquishment of his bully chair is unusual and difficult to understand, even if it fits with Biden’s vision of a return to normalcy.

The president gave a brief speech and responded to a few press questions about the new variant of the virus on Monday, trying to send a message that the government is ready and people shouldn’t panic (and, as always, please be sure. get vaccinated). It was better than what Biden did in Nantucket on Friday, when he answered a few brief questions on the street and didn’t project the feeling he was in control.

But beyond the messaging issues, there is also substance. While underestimating the impact of the price hike, Biden spent months trapped in legislative hell, endlessly negotiating two massive spending bills whose content remains vague to many Americans.

With the president’s approval ratings in the 1940s, an analysis from the New York Times indicates that the various parts of Biden’s bills are much more popular than him:

Poll after poll, voters don’t seem to give Mr. Biden any credit for his platform. They say he hasn’t accomplished much. They even say he hasn’t helped them personally, even if he doesn’t. it sent direct stimulus payments to most households and even more to parents. “

Democrats want Biden to change his style, but that’s not happening

FILE PHOTO: Former US President Donald Trump reacts after his speech at a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. October 9, 2021
(REUTERS / Rachel Mummey / File photo)

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The problem is, most people don’t follow politics very closely. They can “like” a policy without knowing the smallest details. Keep in mind that no ground has yet been crossed in the infrastructure bill, although it will ultimately create many jobs and projects. And people are confused about the Medicare / Child Tax Credit / Preschool / Climate Change bill, with a price that screams left-wing agenda and ever-changing content, with courtesy of Joe Manchin.

The Times concludes that “trying to get ordinary voters to support a party or candidate on the basis of a specific political initiative is a bit like trying to get someone to buy something they want. did not really ask “.

Democrats want Biden to change his style, but that’s not happening

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: US President Joe Biden (left) and Chief of Staff Ron Klain March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

I thought about why Biden does so little news, beyond his aversion to interviews and his acceptance of terse exchanges with reporters. One of the main reasons is that it repeats the same big themes – unity, bipartisanship, things are getting better, don’t bet against America, get these clichés – that reporters have heard over and over again.

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What makes the headlines is a rap, a provocative phrase, an attack – and Biden, unlike his predecessor, seems allergic to such rhetoric.

Politico says Ron Klain is one of the main contributors who want the boss to call Republicans more often, but veteran Democrat John Podesta rightly notes “it’s not his style.”

That’s why we keep reading articles on what Biden needs to do, and why he continues to do it as a senator working with his distinguished colleagues.


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