If things don’t seem quite right, if your future looks bleak or your financial situation feels vulnerable, don’t worry. President Joe Biden is about to explain to you that because of him, you’re actually doing fine, thriving even, and once you’ve heard from him, you’ll understand just how good your life is.
As we witness the coronavirus spreading at a rate exponentially higher than it ever did under Biden’s predecessor and as shoppers take out a second mortgage to buy bread and milk, Biden hosted his first press conference of the year to let you know that what you’re seeing and what you’re reading isn’t what’s happening.
Noting just how miserable everything under Biden is, an Associated Press reporter asked the president if he had “overpromise[d]” on what he told voters he would do and how he would “course-correct going forward.”
Biden replied not that he’s going to make any policy changes or reversals, but that he needs to do a better job of explaining how much better life is for you since he was elected.
“Look, I didn’t overpromise, but I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen,” he said. (Yes, he said that.) He went on to say, “What I have to do, and the change in tactic, if you will: I have to make clear to the American people what we are for. We’ve passed a lot. We’ve passed a lot of things that people don’t even understand what’s all that’s in it, understandably.”
And so, Biden said, he will soon be “out on the road a lot, making the case around the country,” that things are solid.
You’re stuck wondering if you’ll ever be able to travel worry-free internationally again, or if your current budget plan is sustainable with record inflation? You just don’t understand how great this is! Hold on, Biden is on the way to help you understand why you’re wrong and should in fact be ecstatic with his performance.
Biden also said it’s “the bottom line on COVID-19 … that we are in a better place than we’ve been and have been thus far, clearly better than a year ago.”
That’s interesting. Here’s the latest from The New York Times’ COVID summary report: “The Omicron variant has pushed the country’s daily case reports to record levels, with more than 800,000 new infections being reported each day”; “[a]bout 150,000 coronavirus patients are hospitalized nationwide, more than at any previous point in the pandemic”; and, “[a]round 1,900 deaths are being announced each day, a 50 percent increase over the last two weeks.”
Biden talked for two hours, a reflection of the apparent belief at the White House that their biggest problem is that they haven’t been speaking enough, that they should have been explaining all along what good shape you’re in.
Ahead of the conference, CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly dutifully reported that “one Democratic lawmaker” saw the event as “an opportunity to start to reclaim the narrative.”
Earlier in the day, The Washington Post had a story chock-full of quotes from White House officials eager to help you understand things that you apparently aren’t yet grasping.
“We have a lot of work left to do, but we’ve had a very productive year,” White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed told the paper. “The White House has done a very good job of helping the president carry out the agenda he ran on. … So I think that the strategy for the year ahead is the same formula we followed for the past year, which is keep working, keep getting things done, keep moving the ball downfield.”
Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon said, “It’s important to take stock of where we’ve come,” because there’s “a really strong story to be told about what’s happened in this administration over the last year.”
Communications Director Kate Bedingfield assured voters that Biden “is doing everything in his power to make their lives better,” and, “We’re going continue to make progress.”
See there. Don’t you feel better?
It’s still almost three years away, but even with all that reassurance that things are looking pretty good, Biden’s chances for reelection aren’t as rosy. An Associated Press survey out Thursday showed less than 30 percent of the public wants him to run again in 2024. Not even a majority of Democrats said they want him to run. But that’s probably because they haven’t yet seen him explain how nice life is at the moment.