by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I’m seeing a lot of praise for Joe Biden today — even in these pages. I think it’s mistaken. Yes, Biden can win in 2024 if the GOP doesn’t get its act together. But that’s a separate question. That doesn’t mean that he did a good job last night, and it doesn’t mean he’s doing a good job in general. He’s not.
As so often, the Wall Street Journal asks the right question:
“President Biden devoted most of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to celebrating what he says is a long list of legislative and economic achievements—spending on social programs and public works, subsidies for computer chips, even more subsidies for green energy, and a strong labor market. But if he’s done so much for America, why does most of America not seem to appreciate it?”
I’d answer: because there’s really not much to appreciate. Biden’s at 41 percent approval in Gallup. In the latest Washington Post poll, only 16 percent of voters say they’re financially better off than when he was inaugurated. Less than a third of voters think he has “the necessary mental and physical health to be president,” that he’s “competent,” and that he’s “able to handle a crisis.” Hell, 58 percent of Democrats don’t want him to run again. That’s success, is it?
I don’t think it is. The Journal goes on to ask “why a Presidency as successful as Mr. Biden and the media claim hasn’t persuaded the public” Rhetorically, this makes the case even more strongly. Even with the power of the bully pulpit, the relentless sycophancy of the media, and a culture that puts its presidents as the center of its attention, Biden is still failing to convince the public that he’s good at his job. Why? Because he’s not.