Interim result after a year in office: Biden overestimated himself


Status: 01/20/2022 04:25 a.m

After a year in office, Joe Biden threatens to crash his presidency. He sees himself as a great social reformer. But he failed – and now urgently needs good ideas for the real world.

A commentary by Katrin Brand, ARD Studio Washington

No president had as much political experience on his inauguration day as Joe Biden. He represented his home state of Delaware in the Senate for 38 years and worked for Barack Obama as his vice president for eight years. If anyone knew US politics and the big wide world, it was Biden. If you think so.

Katrin Brand
ARD-Studio Washington

But Biden was wrong, he misjudged, he even overestimated himself. He has promised the Americans so much: more climate protection, more investment in infrastructure, more support for families, free access to education, a reform of gun laws, and, and, and. And through good governance, he wanted to give them back their confidence in politics – so that they would never again succumb to the wooing of a populist and liar. Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that.

Wrong assessment of the survival debate in your own party?

You need majorities to govern, and Biden never had that when he unfolded his dreams and visions. Didn’t he know how vengeful the Republicans were after the Democrats had twice impeached their President? Didn’t Biden take Republicans seriously when they declared his vote to be their top policy goal? Did he think he could reach her with argument and charm like he used to?

And hasn’t he noticed that his Democrats are conducting a survival debate? Do you want more state or less state? Do they want to round up scattered Trump voters or focus on their core left constituency? Again, Biden either lived in a dream world or grossly misjudged his talents as a moderator.

The Republicans block it, the Conservative Democrats block it, and the Left Democrats block it. He could have guessed that and adjusted his tactics. For months, however, politicians have been doing nothing other than hacking Biden’s huge infrastructure and social packages into smaller parts and passing them piecemeal. Or not.

Inflation can be what sticks

The corona pandemic is not over either. The Omicron variant is moving through the country almost unchecked, the unvaccinated remain stubborn, the governors do what they want, the health authorities swim and Biden, in his helplessness, distributes hundreds of millions of free tests and FFP2 masks. That’s not the job of a President! And that doesn’t make him any more popular with his people.

The least he can do about it is inflation. If Biden is lucky, this explosive mixture of the corona crisis, supply shortages and loose monetary policy will dissipate over the next few months. If he’s unlucky, that’s exactly what sticks: Biden was the man who made life unaffordable for ordinary people in the United States.

Biden badly needs good ideas for the real world

Whoever comes after him will have it easier. And it may even be the one that Biden sawed off. Because he hasn’t succeeded in that either: building a bridge between the warring camps. More than ever, Americans live in different worlds: in one, what Trump says is right, in the other, what Biden says, and in a third, not so small, politics is no longer trusted at all.

Joe Biden would have liked to have become the greatest social reformer since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He won’t. Instead of chasing after big dreams, Biden urgently needs good ideas for small steps in the real world. Otherwise his presidency will be short and meaningless.

Editorial note

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