Hey, Wasn’t Joe Biden Supposed to Have Enjoyed a Comeback By Now? | National Review

Hey, Wasn’t Joe Biden Supposed to Have Enjoyed a Comeback By Now? | National Review

President Joe Biden meets with his Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs at the White House in Washington, D.C., December 22, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Susan Glasser, scoffing at me in the pages of The New Yorker, back on September 23:

Is Joe Biden’s Presidency actually “dead,” “failed,” and all but “over,” as you have surely heard by now? The Republicans and their conservative allies in the commentariat, including some notable Never Trumpers, think so. Jim Geraghty, in National Review, wrote this week that Biden is both “flailing” and “failing,” and that the President and his Administration are “naïve, unprepared, slow-footed, and in over their heads.”

…All of which strikes me as wildly overstated, a conservative analogue to the many progressives who declared Biden the second coming of F.D.R. this spring, merely because he had proposed a wave of expensive progressive legislation that may or may not ever get through Congress. It was too soon then to nominate him to a place on Mount Rushmore; it is too soon now to consign him to the ash heap of history. What we might be seeing, instead, is a bit of a return to normalcy in American politics—the kind of normalcy in which a President’s job-approval rating goes up or down depending on how people think he is actually doing.

Now it’s January. How’s Biden doing?

President Joe Biden’s disapproval rating hit a new high in December as more voters signaled their unhappiness with his administration’s supervision of the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fifty-six percent of voters now say they disapprove of the job Biden is doing, the worst such reading of his presidency as he approaches the end of his first year in office, according to new CNBC/Change Research polls.

Lest you think the CNBC poll is an outlier, check out Biden’s approval rating in the RealClearPolitics average or the FiveThirtyEight average. Since September, Biden’s disapproval has only crept higher, and his approval has only sunk lower.

And it’s hardly surprising. The Omicron wave is spiking, the country still doesn’t have nearly enough tests, public schools are closing again, businesses are postponing their returns to the office again, inflation continues to rage, gas is still averaging $3.28 per gallon nationwide, and frustrated consumers are still dealing with supply chain issues.

On Capitol Hill, senator Joe Manchin appears to have shut down the hopes of passing the Build Back Better bill, at least for now. Senator Chuck Schumer is attempting to get rid of the filibuster in certain circumstances, less than a year before a midterm election where the GOP may well win back a Senate majority. House Democrats are publicly fuming that Attorney General Merrick Garland “has been extremely weak.” Progressives are already giving up on Biden, with the former communications director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez concluding Biden is “deeply unpopular. He’s old as s***. He’s largely been ineffective, unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms.”

On the world stage, the usually-sympathetic Joe Scarborough is begging the administration to be clearer and more aggressive in its defense of Ukraine. Biden infuriated U.S. allies by ignoring them in talks with Russia. There’s no indication that the administration’s moves to counter Beijing, Tehran or Pyongyang have generated any serious results. He backed down from his campaign promise to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, is offering concessions to Vladimir Putin, and keeps watering down efforts to stand up to Beijing — all while boasting “America is back!”

Through it all, President Biden has mumbled, made excuses, lamented he didn’t act earlier, blamed corporate America for everything wrong with the economy, begged OPEC to pump more oil, gone on long breaks in Delaware, worn a mask while walking on the beach alone with his wife, and called a lid.

Nah, you’re right, Biden is just playing rope-a-dope. Clearly there’s an energetic, clear, decisive, focused, bold and imaginative leader underneath that effective disguise of an aging, prickly, meandering and verbose Washington pol. Biden could turn this whole thing around any day now!

There’s an important life lesson in all of this… never doubt me.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.