by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Candidate Joe Biden promised his term, following four years of Donald Trump’s daily chaos, would be boring. But, his lack of pizzazz and declarations that his own speeches are dull risks alienating some voters.
Biden’s confessed inability to hold the public’s attention or stoke its imagination may be a relief to voters exhausted by Trump’s reality television-style tenure. Yet, experts say it could blunt the power of the bully pulpit as he tries to ramp up support for his $1.8 trillion “human” infrastructure proposal.
There are no downsides to Biden’s low-key, no-frills attitude toward the presidency, according to Eric Schultz, a top White House spokesman for former President Barack Obama.
“Since January 20, 2017, the American people have been yearning for government to function again, and that’s exactly what Joe Biden delivered as president,” he told the Washington Examiner.
Indeed, Obama stumped for his vice president for the first time in person when he pitched Biden being a bore as a political asset last fall.
“With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that’s worth a lot,” Obama said, referring to Biden’s then-running mate Kamala Harris. “You’re not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won’t be so exhausting.”
But, Republican strategist John Feehery disagreed. Feehery contended being dull was only great “if you are defending the status quo.”
Meanwhile, Biden attempts to appease liberal Democrats and emulate Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal approach to federal bureaucracy.
“Boring is terrible if you are trying to enact disruptive change,” Feehery said.
Biden’s popularity is steady, though his disapproval ratings are on the rise. Yet, when it comes to attracting eyeballs, his TV ratings essentially align with downward trends.