The American newspaper “The Hill” reported that President Joe Biden is seeking to work hard to make up for his lost popularity due to the chaotic fall of the US-backed government in Afghanistan, and the rise in Covid-19 cases at home.
The newspaper indicated that the White House was betting that the Corona virus pandemic would be the main issue in Biden’s presidency, and that Biden would convince the American people that he would give him “wise leadership” in dealing with the pandemic.
During the first few months of Biden’s presidency, his team was confident of voters’ confidence in the president’s leadership in dealing with Corona, but the rise in the number of HIV infections raised questions whether public confidence was beginning to erode.
On Thursday, Biden made a strongly worded speech in which he blamed the spread of the Corona virus on the unvaccinated, while announcing measures that require the vaccination of federal workers. “We’ve been patient,” Biden said. “But our patience is running out and your refusal is costing us all.”
Democrats acknowledge that the next few months will be crucial for Biden, who looks alongside Democrats to 2022, in order to maintain majorities in the House and Senate in the midterm elections.
Biden also faces a pivotal moment in his domestic agenda, as Democrats attempt to pass a $3.5 trillion spending package that would reshape much of the social safety net. Biden’s legacy will likely be on the line at the vote on the legislation, according to The Hill.
A poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist College last week revealed that Biden has a 43% approval rating. The poll also showed a drop-in independent support for Biden to 36%, down 10 points from July.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll later showed Biden with 36 percent approval rating among independents, and 57 percent of those surveyed said they did not support the Democratic president.
“I think this is the first time in this state that President Biden’s approval ratings have fallen and there is more doubt (in his leadership) than at any other time. It’s important not to allow this situation to continue,” Democratic strategist Joel Payne told The Hill. . “There is certainly a desire to turn this page and quickly reset things,” he added.
The White House is betting that most Americans would agree with him that unvaccinated people are holding the country back when it comes to recovering from the pandemic. He also hopes to link his opponents in the Republican Party with those who refuse vaccination, according to the newspaper.
The newspaper says that the stakes remain high for Biden, noting that Republicans watched the current administration fall into a free fall in August. She explained that the chances of the Republicans to win a partisan majority in Congress is at an all-time high.
Some Democrats also blame Biden for losing control of the political debate amid the administration’s fierce criticism over Afghanistan. Biden was also criticized by some quarters for delivering Thursday’s speech “too late”.
“Whether he falls into the trap of withdrawing from Afghanistan or is surprised by the spread of the delta mutant, Biden’s vote is second only to critics and potential opponents in 2024, including former President (Donald Trump),” said Basil Smeikhel, former executive director of the Democratic Party in New York.
He noted that Trump has been trying to attract more attention in recent weeks with regular statements critical of Biden. He added, “It is critical that Biden demonstrate strength and authority at this juncture. He cannot appear distracted again. This has political implications in the medium term.”
Analysts say the coming weeks will be the ultimate test for Biden, and whether he can lead from a position of strength.
“It’s an important moment,” said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He referred to former President Jimmy Carter, who faced a series of crises starting in 1979 with the oil crisis, the slowdown in the economy, the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and the hostage crisis in Iran.
He added that Carter’s handling of his opponent at the time gave Ronald Reagan easy talking points against him, which led to him being dealt a slap in the 1980 presidential race that ended with Reagan winning, according to Zelizer.
“Carter has worked very hard on all of these things, and has often been more effective behind the scenes than people understand, such as moving forward with negotiations to free the hostages in Iran,” the American history professor said.
“But the perception that he lost control, that he was struggling to find answers, and that he had no plan, played a role in the effectiveness of Reagan’s attacks against him, as he appeared to be an incompetent and a failed leader.”
“Americans should not look defeated by presidents in the crises they face, even if some of what happens is outside their control,” he added.