Posted 4 days ago
It’s almost like someone flipped a switch and the press suddenly discovered that Joe Biden is unpopular.
Or perhaps it’s that Democrats are increasingly nervous about the fate of the Biden presidency.
But the previous conventional wisdom—that Biden had simply hit a rough patch—is being replaced by a more anguished debate.
Each poll has been dutifully reported, each setback adequately chronicled. But there was no sense of critical mass, as with yesterday’s Politico headline:
Now I always hasten to add that polls are a snapshot and politics can be ephemeral. It would make no more sense to write off Biden than it did when he got trounced in Iowa and New Hampshire (and there was a flood of political obits).
Biden’s problem is larger than the press, but his unusually low media profile isn’t helping him. He grants few interviews, takes questions a couple of times a week, and seems uninterested in driving a consistent media message. So the story becomes about vaccine mandate battles or Hill gridlock or Haitian migrants, with Biden and his team playing catchup or, worse, looking like bystanders.
Biden doesn’t need to talk to reporters four times a day, as Donald Trump often did. But while sticking to mostly scripted events worked fine in the campaign and when things were going well, it’s a strategy that is ill-suited to turbulent times.
After nearly nine months in office, Biden is starting to own the lack of results as well as the blunders, such as the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. He looks like he can’t control his own party as progressive and moderate Democrats fight about trillion-dollar spending bills, when most of the country isn’t sure what’s in that legislation.
At a presser yesterday, a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi: "Could you do a better job of messaging?"
"I think you all could do a better job of selling this," Pelosi replied.
Madame Speaker, it’s not our job to sell your complicated legislation. We do tell people about the provisions on climate change and Medicare and child tax credits—which poll well individually—but... (Read more)
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