#GoodMorningDC! Let's talk about the first hundred days of Joe Biden.
When I first walked through the White House gates in 2016, little did I know that I would be privy to the most unique and turbulent period in the recent political history of the United States.
Barack Obama was going out, and Donald Trump was moving in. During the four years of Trump, I was one of the main protagonists of the press-president relationship, fighting against the administration’s off-camera ban and their revocations of press credentials.
Reporting on Trump was like standing in the middle of the hurricane, hoping that it would not knock me down. It did. More than once.
During the Trump term, there was a lot of drama and almost no possibility to focus on policy. Even some good things that Trump did, like his work regarding our vets and the Serbia-Kosovo economic agreement, North Korea Summit, to name a few, were overshadowed by Trump’s flair for an ultimate fight, pumping up the dramatics and playing to his Twitter followers.
How did I get myself into this?, Trump kept asking himself climbing up the stairs in Cleveland, ready to face the world as the Republican Presidential Nominee. Hillary’s question was not rhetorical. She wanted to know: What happened?
Trump did not enter the White House quietly, and he surely did not disappear quietly into the night.
Now, I am here to talk about the first hundred days of Joe Biden, and the policy fact sheet of the things he has achieved so far is extensive. Biden is wasting no time, and his agenda is trying to appease the progressive wing of the Democratic party, which is looking to lead the Democrats into the future.
Biden announced his ambitious plan for American families that includes free pre-K, paid leave, but the question we have to ask in America is who is going to pay for all this?
Biden wants to double tax on capital gains, which will disincentivize American business that provides the jobs and the tax revenue. With the country going through a pandemic with a high unemployment rate, this may not be the best idea for the economy.
In the first 100 days, Biden has shown leadership on climate change by holding the Leaders Summit on Climate. He has an ambitious infrastructure plan, and the vaccine rollout in America has been good. But what Biden also did was bomb Syria in his first 30 days, an event no one is talking about anymore, but the military interventions will likely define his presidency.
What has not been so good in the first one hundred days is how they have been treating the UK and AstraZeneca, a modus operandi they appear to have copied from the EU. There is no possibility to get the AstraZeneca vaccine in the USA, and Biden has been criticized for holding out on helping India who is struggling. India should be a useful ally as they are the largest democracy in the World.
With everything that he has done well so far, Biden is still the only American president in recent history who has held only one press conference since he assumed office.
That’s not good as the public needs to hear directly from the president and is a huge contrast to his showman predecessor.
Relationships with the press under Biden are more professional, respectful and so far, his administration has been timely in responding to emails. But at the same time, no information that they do not want to get out is getting out.
The President speaks, journalists type. Thus envisioned, President Biden’s first press conference was unusually silent, orderly, by the list, and with no hands raised. Is a docile and compliant press the epitome of the free press? Or a healthy democracy? I doubt.
Biden’s biggest challenge as he continues forward is the culture war. Biden has calmed down the optics, and headlines but that’s the image and media landscape. The country is still divided, and the most significant challenge Biden’s communication team has is their limitation to communicate to and connect with the millions of Americans who voted for the Republican Party.
The other challenge Biden has is his son, Hunter Biden. Hunter was nowhere to be seen during the election campaign, but now suddenly, he is on a book tour and has a new gig at Tulane University as the lecturer on nonetheless fake news. That should not be happening as Hunter has no moral authority to speak on fake news or any expertise in the media.
The most infuriating part of Joe Biden’s presidency has nothing to do with Joe Biden but has everything to do with his son, who appears entitled, unqualified to speak on the subjects he takes jobs on but with an air of privilege so he can do anything he wants.
The other challenge Biden will face will be in the Western Balkans. The State Department is already talking about “mutual recognition” between Serbia and Kosovo, a policy that Serbian people consider against their national interest. That would be a tough policy to sell to the nation that can’t forgive Biden for bombing Belgarde in 1999.
Here comes another challenge: race relations. The topic has been heavily politicized, and Biden is talking about “systemic racism.” Still, the fact is that Biden and Pelosi have been in politics for decades and have done nothing about it. Democrats know that using the race card can help them against the comeback of Trump, but if they keep feeding the racial differences, it can heavily backfire, as was the case in the countries ravaged by ethnic conflict. The strategy will not help Unite the people of the United States.
Finally, we have the primaries next year, and unity won’t be possible as long as the two parties have to compete to win the election. My biggest concern is that we will see the further erosion of the center and big media will gladly play this game in the future.
Partisan media seems here to stay.
After the first 100 days of Joe Biden, America is calmer, more organized, and on a good global course. On the surface. There are no late-night tweets, there are no insults thrown at the “enemy of the people”, the press, there are smiles and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for White House reporters. It’s Pleasantville, it’s Bidenville and he appeared to have won the fight for the soul of the nation.
Yet, with the cult of cancel culture having a significant sway, we are yet to see more sophisticated forms of censorship, more unison thinking, and free speech confused for popular or approved speech, leading to a perception that things have profoundly changed.
As we have learned in the history of the world, and one can learn by just driving out for one hour from the Washington beltway, there is a parallel America that appears dormant at the moment. They have been successfully removed from all social apps of choice. But, the biggest challenge for Biden will be whether or not he will tap into the minds and hearts of those Americans and offer them to be their president. If not, they will be looking at the Republican comeback as soon as next year.
Biden despite his claims is almost certainly going to be a single-term President. The question is will his successor be a Democrat or a Republican? That battle for succession encompasses the whole of American politics and the whole population and probably all of Biden’s term in office.