WASHINGTON — After promising America a return to normal following four years of his predecessor’s chaos, President Joe BidenIn the final year of his term, President Obama is being given a severe dose presidential normalcy. This includes getting blamed and held responsible for circumstances beyond his control.

Biden received approval for a stimulus package within his first month. He also approved a bipartisan bill to improve infrastructure. In addition, Biden oversaw the immunization of nearly 200 million Americans against coronavirus. Biden is ending 2021 in a much lower approval rating than his predecessor, but this is despite all of that. Donald TrumpFor the whole four years of his term, his unhinged behavior and language kept him below half-way approval.

The average number of the most recent polls is Real Clear Politics shows that only 44% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance, while 53% disapprove. A new poll by Morning Consult and PoliticoThis week, more Americans dislike him than like him. It was by 13 percent, 4 points and 6 points respectively. Biden was only 48 to 47 points ahead in coronavirus handling.

Republicans have a ready answer for Biden’s unpopularity: his decision to pursue big-ticket policies like a dramatically increased child tax credit, improved health care for poorer Americans and renewable energy initiatives.

Members of President Joe Biden’s task force for supply chain issues listen to him speak during Wednesday’s meeting at the South Court Auditorium, White House Campus in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Source: Associated Press

“Instead of leading the country, Biden chose to follow a minority sect within his party. It was a colossal blunder,” said Rick Tyler, a GOP consultant who worked on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster, said Biden, like previous presidents, chose to treat his modest victory and his party’s thin margins in both chambers of Congress as a mandate from the electorate. “Whenever a party takes control of the White House and Congress, there is a tendency to over-reach, and the Biden White House simply couldn’t help themselves,” he said.

Biden’s White House, though, points out that the legislation Republicans spend so much time attacking is immensely popular, even more so when Americans are asked about its individual components. The pandemic must be stopped.

“We’re empathetic, and we know, too, the challenges people are going through, which is that we’re still battling through a pandemic. Life doesn’t look like what it looked like a few years ago,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday during the daily press briefing. “But we’re going to be driven by policies. We’re not going to be driven by the ups and downs of the polls.”

Regardless of the underlying reasons, that Americans are blaming the sitting president for the fears and frustrations in their own lives — regardless of his culpability or even ability to do much about them ― is hardly a new phenomenon.

Biden’s approval numbers, which had been fairly stable in the mid-50s for his first five months in office as the economy continued to improve and the pandemic steadily receded, began falling this summer after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the arrival of the coronavirus’ delta variant.

While Biden failed to plan a more orderly departure, which culminated in the death of 13 U.S. service members in a terrorist suicide bombing, Americans also appeared to blame him for the resurgence of the theocratic Taliban, even though that result was essentially guaranteed by Trump’s agreement with that group a year and a half earlier.

Voters also blamed Biden for the flood of deaths and hospitalizations caused by the delta wave. number of Republican governors who downplayed the benefits of the vaccines and fought Biden’s attempts to require them in workplaces.

But voters’ greatest discontent currently appears to be with inflation, as easily noticed prices for essentials like groceries and gasoline have risen nearly 7% from their pandemic lows a year ago as demand has returned.

When Republican Gerald Ford and Democrat Jimmy Carter were presidents, inflation wasn’t a serious problem. Inflation was high through Ronald Reagan’s first term, but it was eventually subdued with the Federal Reserve’s sky-high rates.

In 1992, a relatively mild recession — which had technically already ended ― sank the presidency of Republican George H.W. Bush, who had approval ratings close to 90% in 1991 following the successful liberation of Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion.

Presidents, on the other hand, can take credit for events that occur under their supervision, no matter how small or large they caused them.

Democrat Bill Clinton claimed that the Bush budget agreement was responsible for a booming economy.

Trump boasted endlessly about a strong economic system that was actually growing slower than during his second term as Democrat Barack Obama.

An old Biden advisor spoke anonymously to say that this is perhaps Trump’s most admirable trait: taking credit when people do good things.

“Our side should be taking some victory laps. Instead, we’re taking time just wallowing in frustration,” the adviser said, pointing to the back-and-forth sniping over Biden’s stalled Build Back Better legislative package. “We have to shut out the voices in our party that are despondent about, God knows what ― about everything. We need to tell our story, and it’s a good story to tell.”

Biden and the White House are doing it to a certain extent. They frequently talk about how job growth during his administration has been higher than any previous presidency — but neglect to mention that, coming out of a pandemic-induced recession, the jobs numbers really had nowhere to go but up.

Similarly, they boast about how many Americans are vaccinated against COVID today compared to how many were inoculated under Trump — but do not point out that the vaccines only became available in the final weeks of Trump’s term.

The White House sought to claim credit Wednesday for solving an issue they were already being blamed by Republicans for weeks: cancellation of Christmas gift-giving due to delays in global supply chains following the pandemic.

After weeks of working to get seaports and trucking and rail lines to move more goods more quickly, the White House staged a roundtable discussion led by Biden and sent out a news release titled: “Despite Doomsday Warnings, Consumer and Supplier Data Shows That Christmas Gifts Are Arriving On Time.”

“Good news,” Psaki joked at the briefing. “We’ve saved Christmas.”

Source: HuffPost.com.

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