by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign message was direct: I’ll get rid of Donald Trump and restore the “soul” of the nation.
It was a winning pitch and so effective that Democrats have urged the president to roll it out again heading into 2024, which naturally begs the question: Did Biden accomplish what he set out to do?
Todd Belt, a professor at George Washington University and director of the school’s Political Management master’s program, told the Washington Examiner that “in some ways” Biden has restored the soul of the nation, “but in most ways no.”
“He can be lauded for shepherding through some legislation that had bipartisan support and other pieces that did not,” he explained. “The idea of bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems as a part of the soul of the nation (compromise) was only partially realized.
“Another part of the nation’s ‘soul’ could be considered U.S. leadership internationally, and he has definitely done that with his deft handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his ability to hold together the Western alliance,” Young continued. “Unity and reaching across the aisle were a theme of his inaugural address. However, one needs a willing partner, and Republicans were quick to rally behind Trump and his divisiveness after initial condemnation of the Jan. 6 insurrection.”
Like Biden, Trump is the presumptive nominee of his party heading into 2024, despite facing 91 felony indictments in state and federal courts. In fact, Trump’s polling has bounced with each set of subsequent indictments, and he currently leads Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley (R-SC), who are battling it out for second place in the Republican presidential primary, by more than47 points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.