“All of these bumps along the way, however, should not distract us from recognizing the giant quality upgrade we have made in the Oval Office. It is long past time to stop underestimating Biden, knocking his political acumen or doubting his ability to connect with ordinary Americans above the din of nonsensical social and right-wing media. He has had one of the best launches in recent presidential memory.“
Many public officials can claim credit for the passage of the extraordinary rescue plan, the eye-popping progress in vaccinations, the falling infection rates and the prospect of a normal-ish summer. Without House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), there would be no Democratic House majority and no relief bill. Without two victories in Senate runoff races in Georgia and without and unanimous support from Democratic senators, the bill would not have made it to the president’s desk. Without an accomplished covid-19 task force, a first-rate White House communications operation, an impressive Cabinet, as well as mayors and governors from both sides of the aisle, a federal vaccination program would not have launched successfully nor would the public have embraced the need for a stimulus package.
Yet none of those people could have participated in this victorious week had it not been for President Biden. It was Biden who stuck to a center-left course to win the nomination; who embraced Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to unify the party; and who ran a disciplined campaign and performed admirably at two debates. It was Biden who delivered an uplifting inauguration address and strove to win over House and Senate Republicans — but remained determined to go “big.” And no one but Biden, whose personal losses make him the quintessential healing president, could have delivered such an empathetic, hopeful speech on Thursday.
Biden may have had the most impressive first 50 days of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt — despite the rockiest transition since 2000 (thanks to the Republican insurrectionists). He refused to be distracted by his disgraced predecessor, by inane media questions or by right-wing memes. (cont)