Are You Ready for the 'Great Biden Comeback'?
Joe Biden drew great praise and applause from some Americans after his State of the Union speech on Tuesday — mostly from the national press and members of the president’s party.
But there was a definite bump for Biden in the one national poll that’s been released so far. The NPR/PBS/Marist poll shows an eight-point improvement in the president’s approval numbers and corresponding improvements in the president’s handling of the pandemic and the economy.
But more voters (51%) disapprove of Biden than approve (47%). That eight-point bump was matched by increases in approval for Biden’s handling of the pandemic and the economy. The president got a huge increase in support for his Ukraine policy, up 18 points from February.
But none of those numbers are above water. The president’s ratings are all below 50% — except when it comes to Ukraine, which is to be expected as Americans usually rally around a president during an international crisis.
Otherwise, the increase in support is to be expected, as CNN’s Chris Cillizza reminds us.
Some of that positive movement can be attributed to Biden’s State of the Union speech earlier this week. It was generally well-received, and anytime a president has the bully pulpit for an hour in prime time, it’s usually a good thing for him.
That’s an understatement. Biden spent much of his speech hammering Putin with a patriotic fervor not seen before from the president — and which likely won’t be seen again. Joe Biden, like many left-wing Democratic politicians, plays the patriotism card only when it’s politically advantageous.
But Cillizza wonders — based on one poll taken immediately after the president waved the flag — “Is this the beginning of a Joe Biden comeback?”
1) His handling of the Ukraine situation — leading an international coalition against Russia and imposing harsh economic sanctions all while refusing to commit American military forces — has won him positive reviews from Democrats and Republicans.
2) The US economy is clearly moving in the right direction — and fast. An eye-popping 678,000 jobs were added in February alone. The unemployment rate is now down to 3.8%, the lowest it’s been in two years.
3) Covid-19 is in retreat. Average daily case numbers are down to around 55,000 nationally, and a slew of states are getting rid of indoor mask mandates — making “normal” seem a whole lot more attainable.
Ed Kilgore of the New Yorker has been predicting a Biden comeback since September of last year. Other left-wing pundits have been pushing the “Biden Comeback” meme for the last several months.
Now, finally, it’s arrived, and it’s time to cheer and make merry, right?
First, it’s doubtful that anything relating to the pandemic is responsible for a Biden surge. That’s ludicrous. Biden has spent most of his presidency berating Republicans for doing what Democrats are supporting today. And since under Biden’s watch more people have died of the coronavirus under Biden than expired during the Trump administration — masks or no masks — what the heck does he have to brag about?
The jobs market still has a long way to go to recover all of the more than 7 million jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s estimated that at least a million workers who lost their jobs in 2019 have yet to go back to work.
As for the rest of the economy, wage gains have been wiped out and families are beginning to suffer because of the highest inflation in 40 years.
This is a “comeback”?
The American people know who’s to blame for the economy and for the belated adoption of common-sense rules on the pandemic. Joe Biden’s party will have a lot of explaining to do when an angry electorate goes to the polls in November.
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