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Politics Opinion: Biden still hasn't found his footing on these issues

11:48  22 july  2021
11:48  22 july  2021 Source:   cnn.com

'The glue that is holding us all together': Joe Biden rides herd on Democrats ahead of tough 2022 election cycle

  'The glue that is holding us all together': Joe Biden rides herd on Democrats ahead of tough 2022 election cycle Biden has been a driving force as the Democratic National Committee gears up for the 2022 elections in which control of Congress is at stake.But behind the scenes, the chief executive is playing another role: Democratic Party leader.

Joe Biden's White House probably thinks it had a perfectly fine Wednesday night after the President's CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. However, though Biden scored points on a big topic -- the Covid pandemic -- he has yet to find solid footing on the political landmines that await Democrats in the 2022 midterm election, chiefly inflation, the economy, immigration and crime.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate. © Susan Walsh/AP President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate.

The President was folksy and approachable, displaying empathy on the first topic -- an update on the pandemic. Biden appeared to sincerely give a rip about regular people, which is how he beat Donald Trump last November. I disagree with most of his policies, but that particular political skill serves him well, and Republicans would be wise to understand how and why it works for him. Biden returned to this note late in the program when he talked about the mental health aspects of drug addiction.

Biden, Congress and student loan forgiveness: What is the federal government doing to address the issue?

  Biden, Congress and student loan forgiveness: What is the federal government doing to address the issue? Biden has relieved some student loan debt, but Democrats want to go bigger to undo some of the nation's $1.7 trillion in student loan debt.Now, as the deadline approaches, Democrats are not only calling on the White House to extend the forgiveness once again, but to take lasting action towards forgiving student loans — which reached record high numbers in 2020.

He was on message when it came to the need for Americans to get vaccinated. I hope people were listening, as the data clearly shows that the vaccines work and, overall, turn the Delta variant into a nothingburger. It was smart for Biden to bring up that the research that culminated in the vaccines was developed over a long period of time, and not just over a matter of months in 2020. His statement that final Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccines could come in late August or early September was big news, if it proves out, as was his expectation that many of our children -- especially those under 12 -- will be wearing masks in schools this year. I guess the bright side is that Biden expects schools to be open (they should've been opened during the last school year, but I digress).

Joe Biden's approval rating simply hasn't moved in six months

  Joe Biden's approval rating simply hasn't moved in six months The lack of a topsy turvy first few months has translated to Biden's approval rating. It's been the most stable for any president since the end of World War II. This, indeed, has been the story of the Biden presidency from a popularity standpoint. At every point at which I've checked in to see how Biden is doing from a historical perspective, nothing seems to shake his approval ratings.Right now, Biden's average approval rating right now rests at around 53%, no matter how you calculate said average.

Beyond Covid, I was less impressed with the President. He meandered on the inflation question, and again downplayed the idea that serious people are worried about it. A great many serious people -- economists included -- are worried about it, and price increases are a real and present problem for working families. I would've expected him to be better prepared on this topic.

Biden's worst answer was probably to John Lanni, the restauranteur, who didn't get a very satisfying response to the question about small businesses like his which need to hire people but can't find workers. There's a pandemic of job openings without applicants, yet Biden seemed to have little understanding of the steps needed to fix the problem, denying that extended and enhanced unemployment was a problem (ask any business owner -- it is), and tossed a word salad before moving on.

Even Jason Furman, an Obama-era economist, has sounded the alarm saying that "unemployment insurance has definitely been playing a role" in holding the economy back. And many conservative economists agree with him.

Biden Defends New Vaccine Requirement for Federal Workers

  Biden Defends New Vaccine Requirement for Federal Workers Before President Joe Biden took office, he said he didn’t think vaccines should be mandatory. And he said in May that he didn’t think masks should be required for vaccinated people either. But with the delta variant of coronavirus continuing to spread, and more than 40 percent of Republicans refusing to get vaccinated, Biden is now preaching a different message. On Thursday, Biden announced that vaccines would be mandatory for nearly all federal employees, and he said the Justice Department was looking into whether the government could mandate vaccines for the whole country.

I found Biden's "Jim Crowe on steroids" talking point on the voting laws debate to be tiresome and misleading. He's prone to bouts of severe hyperbole, and this topic brings out the worst of it. There is no chance, despite Biden's claims, that enough Republicans will want to work with him on voting for the Democratic proposals on this topic. Republicans find this rhetoric ridiculous, and see no need to federalize any part of our election system, even though Democrats want to.

I was glad to hear Biden bring up helping the Afghans who helped American forces, as many of them will likely be left to slaughter because of the US troops' withdrawal this fall. Biden is right that helping them relocate to America is the decent thing to do.

Scott Jennings wearing a suit and tie © Provided by CNN Scott Jennings

Merkel and Biden to chart a course for the future of US-German relations in White House meeting .
President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are set to meet in Washington on Thursday in what is likely the European leader's final appearance at the White House before she steps down from her long-held position this fall. © Sandra Steins/Bundesregierung/Getty Images Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden at the beginning of their conversation on the sidelines of the G7 summit in St. Ives, together with their foreign policy advisors Jan Hecker (2nd from right) and Jake Sullivan (r) on June 12, 2021 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

usr: 1
This is interesting!