Ten days ago I wrote about how bothered I am by how poorly Biden has been performing as president. Today I watched Meet the Press and saw that I'm not alone in being disappointed by Biden.
But after sharing some of the bad news on Meet the Press, I'm gong to light a Biden candle instead of cursing the darkness of his dismal poll results at this point in his presidency.
So scroll past the depressing (unless you're a Republican) photos I took of some survey results, and you'll find my prescription for how Biden can restore the mojo that progressives like me want him to possess.
It's possible to debate whether that's justified, since Republican obstructionism, along with Manchin and Sinema holding back voting rights legislation and the Build Back Better bill from within the Democratic Party, are a big part of the reason Biden hasn't had a political win for a while.
But politics isn't about fairness. It's about winning, while doing what's best for the country. So here's my plan for getting Biden out of the popularity black hole he's currently trapped in.
(1) Be much more forceful about tooting your own horn. It looks like Biden has started to do this. His recent press conference was a decent start. But Biden and the rest of his team need to shamelessly plug what's been accomplished through the Covid relief bills passed last year and the benefits the bipartisan infrastructure bill will bring, along with other administration actions.
(2) Go all out on combatting Covid. As the coronavirus goes, so will Biden's presidency and Democratic hopes in the November midterm election. It's good to see that Covid tests are becoming more available at no or little cost to people. This should have happened earlier, but better late than never. Call out Republican governors and judges who stand in the way of public health measures needed to get the coronavirus under control.
(3) Let Manchin write a scaled-down Build Back Better bill. Biden should forget about fulfilling every Democratic wish list. Whatever Joe Manchin wants in the Build Back Better bill, let him have it. The key thing is to preserve the half trillion dollars to fight climate change. Getting that done will go a long way toward pleasing progressives, independents, and young people concerned about global warming. Anything else is a bonus: lowering prescription drug prices, universal pre-kindergarten, etc.
(4) Get tough with Putin over Ukraine. After the not-so-good pullout from Afghanistan, it's important for Biden to look like a strong competent leader when it comes to foreign affairs. Today I saw reports that the United States is planning to back an insurgency in Ukraine if Russia invades the country, and will send troops to the Baltic nations that used to be part of the USSR. Good moves. Even better would be preventing an invasion through very tough specific threats to Putin about what will happen if he invades Ukraine.
(5) Showcase Kamala Harris with voting rights. Biden picked a woman of color to be his vice-president. His approval rating is sinking with women and Blacks. Biden needs to elevate Harris to a much more prominent role in his administration. She's supposed to be working on voting rights, but Harris isn't very visible on this crucial issue.
Harris should have a press conference every couple of weeks where she lays out what the Biden administration is doing to counter Republican efforts at voter suppression and manipulation of election results. Not as good as a voting rights bill, but no bill is going to pass so long as Sinema and Manchin refuse to do away with or modify the Senate filibuster.