President Biden’s biggest problem is probably not the economy or the threat of global war. It is the lack of affirmation coming to him from his party.
Democrats are becoming more and more frustrated over the way Biden is reacting to the issues his administration faces. Some have referred to his leadership as “flat-footed,” meaning that he is continually slow to come up with solutions to the constant stream of problems facing the nation.
Those who are critical are looking at the recent crisis over baby formula as an example of Biden’s failure to get ahead of negative stories. This “flat-footedness” enables the GOP to set the narrative that there is another failure from the White House.
The storyline gets even worse when you start talking about the rate of inflation and rising gas prices.
There was some upheaval within the Democratic Party when the White House was caught off guard by a federal judge in Florida lifting the mask mandate on airlines this past April.
And, then, there was the leaked draft from the Supreme Court focusing on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
One Democratic strategist who is frustrated with Biden’s administration said, “It’s really simple: ‘Be the f—ing president! I realize it’s tough and you’re drinking out of a fire hose every single day, but there are things you can do to control the public perception and they haven’t done any of that.”
This sentiment was echoed by Democratic strategist Christy Setzer. She said that the White House has shown real naïveté in its ability to control the message.
“It may come down to not understanding what they’re up against — both the media environment and today’s GOP. Biden did speak out on guns, on baby formula, on inflation … but the traditional tactics aren’t breaking through, and it doesn’t seem as though they’re taking in that information, re-trenching, and trying new approaches when it’s falling flat,” Setzer said.
The White House tries to defend Biden and his administration’s responses, but it often falls short. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, told reporters last week that the president has to juggle “multiple crises” all at one time. But his polling numbers have just continued to decline ever since last August when he pulled our troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. The botched exit turned deadly as the Taliban quickly took over Kabul.
Even after Biden made a passionate speech following the deadly elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one strategist said it was too late, the moment had already passed.
Biden’s time in the White House could be characterized as a day late and a whole bunch of dollars short.
Some of the counsel that Biden is getting from Democratic strategists is to avoid unforced errors and to stop trying to put out 20 fires at the same time.
“Pick four or five and do them really well. Dive in on baby formula, dive in on gas prices,” one strategist said.
Rodell Mollineau is a Democratic strategist that served as an aide to the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He said that Biden needs to understand that there are no quick-fix solutions to many of the issues the president is facing. He believes that Biden should be hitting the road more and speaking to the public directly. This has been an agenda for Biden since the beginning of this year. Mollineau wants Biden to get out there with real Americans and share in the pain and frustration. He wants him to be “Scranton Joe.”
Sharing our pain is fine…but he will still be a day late and a whole bunch of dollars short.