Joe Biden in Crisis: Lost Focus

On November 3, 2020, Joe Biden achieved a landslide victory over Donald Trump. But the president, who started with high expectations, is now mostly disappointing. What just happened

Joe Biden’s spokeswoman is particularly fond of using one word when presenting the government’s agenda to the capital press in Washington. When asked about the numerous problems in the country, Jen Psaki often talks about the Biden administration working on the solutions in an absolutely “laser-focused” manner. Translated, this means something like: one hundred percent concentrated.

Ob Afghanistan– Withdrawal, pandemic control or economic growth – the word “laser-focused” is used as often as if it had been specially conceived by the government. As if those three great promises that Biden’s voters had in the face of were already being redeemed pandemic and economic recession were made a year ago. who Joe Biden According to the message at the time, elects, unlike its chaotic predecessor, is primarily given competence, stability and reliability.

Aroused hopes …

But what happened to it after a year? More than 150 million Americans set out to vote on November 3, 2020 Presidential election submit. More than ever in United States history. Around 83 million people voted for Joe Biden Donald Trump around 74 million. Because Biden had a clear majority among the electorate despite the complicated electoral law, he became the 46th President of the USA.

And one who raised high hopes.

Not just the division of society, both by supporters of the Democrats as well as the republican is complained, he wanted to alleviate. With investments worth billions of dollars, Biden said he would lead the United States into a better future for all Americans after the pandemic.

“Building back better” has been his mantra ever since. Better health care, financial relief for the middle class, new jobs, Climate protection and modernized infrastructure are only part of what Biden had promised. There were also socio-political issues such as the fight against racism, Support for families and more protection and equal rights for minorities.

… delivered disappointments

But the initial euphoria has largely disappeared a year after the election. Joe Biden’s polls are worse than any previous US president a year after the election. With one notorious exception: only Donald Trump had worse numbers. Initially, 55 percent of the Americans surveyed thought Joe Biden was doing his job well; now it is only 42 percent.

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The US president is losing massively in approval, even among his own supporters. The most recent Democratic election disaster in the state of Virginia and the losses in New Jersey bear witness to it as well.

Even to Rome and GlasgowWhere Joe Biden last traveled to the G20 summit and the world climate conference, his bad numbers haunt him. When reporters pestered the US President there with questions, he was stressedly relaxed: “I did not run to determine how well I will do in the polls.” The values ​​always went up and down. “I came up to make sure I pull through what I said I would do as president,” said Biden.

His problem: He can’t pull off a lot. Because not only the Republicans, but also the representatives of his own party block each other in the UScongress. While progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for more investment, the two moderate Senators are holding out Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema open the president’s agenda because even the slimmed-down legislative proposals are still too extensive for them.

Joe Manchin surrounded by press people: The US Senator torpedoed Joe Biden’s reform plans. (Source: Rod Lamkey / imago images)

Ironically, the young voters and the disadvantaged groups who took to the streets for Joe Biden and the change of government a year ago are now turning away disappointed. If energy transition or subsidies for e-cars, whether higher corporate taxes or more levies for high incomes, whether lower tuition fee, lower drug prices or paid Maternity Protection – Much will probably be missing from Biden’s “Building back better” social investment package.

Of the originally planned $ 3.5 trillion, only 1.75 trillion is left. And whether the Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will really agree, they still leave it open.

Chaotic external impact

Joe Biden’s polls began to decline significantly at the latest when the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal in mid-August aroused doubts, of all things, about his ascribed strength, his foreign policy competence. When the European allies with the new Pacific security alliance Aukus and the associated submarine deal were snubbed, that only confirmed the impression. Biden himself even publicly admitted to French President Emmanuel Macron that it was a little “clumsy”, that is, quite clumsy.

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In addition, there is the pandemic, which has not yet been overcome, which leads to numerous serious, above all economic and social problems – and which the US President has so far hardly been able to capture, almost desperately.

In order to finally achieve a sufficiently high vaccination rate that could prevent the health system from being overloaded, he led In the land of freedom, of all places, there are far-reaching vaccination requirements. More than 100 million workers are affected and that has long led to protests not only in New York, but across the country. It is true that it is a minority, but their anger at this government control still makes the headlines. Stuck: Biden does not have the pandemic management under control. It was he who really got the vaccination campaign going.

Rising prices as survey killers

The biggest problem for the Biden administration, however, is the current recordInflation. Because almost all Americans feel it, especially due to the massive rise in oil and gasoline prices. At 5.4 percent in September, the annual rate of price increase last reached the highest level in 13 years. There should be a noticeable decline in inflation until the end of next year.

One year after the US presidential election, the number of problems is so great that it is difficult for the Democrats to convey what Joe Biden is actually aiming at in the “laser focus” that his spokeswoman has always emphasized. The Republicans and Donald Trump, on the other hand, find it easy to accuse the government of causing chaos. So exactly the opposite of what Biden once promised. The Democrats threaten to lose control of their narrative of a better future and the much-asserted focus on solving the problems.

Donald Trump at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa: The ex-President exploits Joe Biden's weakness with relish.  (Source: imago images / Brian Cahn)Donald Trump at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa: The ex-President exploits Joe Biden’s weakness with relish. (Source: Brian Cahn / imago images)

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Biden’s predecessor in office, who to this day does not recognize the election victory of the Democrats, paints a gloomy picture of the USA in numerous appearances. Trump said at one of his appearances: “Violent criminals and bloodthirsty gangs are taking over our streets, illegal immigrants and deadly drug cartels are taking over our borders, inflation is taking over our economy, China is taking over our jobs, the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, insane leftists are taking over our schools and radical socialists are taking over our country. But we won’t let that happen! “

Also because the Democrats in the gubernatorial election in Virginia had to witness their first election disaster, the worst fears now seem to be materializing. Even though Biden wasn’t an option there, it was a mood test. Perhaps the defeat will now give Congressmen a push to end their mutual blockades and finally deliver. But there is a risk that they will continue to quarrel over who was to blame for the defeat.

There is still hope

After all: Joe Biden also has good reasons to react calmly to his bad surveys so far. His ascribed tenacity may eventually help him. Because no matter how much a Democratic or a Republican government delivered in its first two years. The presidential party almost always lost in mid-term elections. And yet, many incumbents were eventually re-elected. Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton could each take up a second term of office.

The Democrats’ mutual blockades in Congress on Biden’s investment program may seem absurd to outside observers. But even if in the end much less money is available than the president intended, the US is still facing record investments. And as is usually the case in the next presidential election in 2024, the economy will again be the decisive issue.

If people then feel that the bottom line is that they are doing better than in 2020, the chances are at least not bad that the majority of them will then opt for continuity. Should Biden keep his promises of competence, stability and reliability late, but nevertheless – this darned first year after the clearly won election, it might be quickly forgotten.


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