Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman mused on President Joe Biden’s viability and effectiveness as a leader Thursday, wondering, “Is Joe Biden the wrong president at the wrong time?”
Although Waldman thinks most of the country’s problems are beyond Biden’s control, he said the president “may be uniquely ill-suited to turn things around.”
“Biden was the right candidate to defeat Donald Trump in 2020,” he asserted, “but what if he’s the wrong president for the challenges of 2022?”
Waldman specifically skewered Biden from the perspective that he has been an unfit challenger for the changing nature of what the author sees as the radical and aggressive conservative movement.
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Waldman warned that even though Biden’s “his long experience is valuable at times… it can also be an anchor to the past that keeps him from reacting quickly to new types of crises.”
He argued, Biden “seems surprised by the new radicalism of the Republican Party and unable to craft a response to it, nor to the extraordinary aggressiveness of the Supreme Court. Since he is by nature an institutionalist, his first impulse when asked about the filibuster or reforming the court is to resist fundamental change, which to his supporters sounds like naivete and defeatism.”
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While he acknowledged that Biden has indeed shown himself willing to offend Republicans and advocate for left-wing policies, from abortion to gun control, as one of his fellow writers at The Post pointed out, he suggested Biden’s rhetorical weakness may be one of style.
He noted that while “Biden is great at offering empathy and reassurance” that “his party and the rest of the country would probably rather have a more dynamic president who inspires loyalty and communicates passion.” He then seemed to provide a scathing imitation of Biden’s folksy approach: “Hey folks, it’s tough out there, not a joke, but we’ll get through it,” before knocking his adaptability.
“If things are going to get better for Biden — and if he’s really going to do everything he can to stop Republicans from taking over the federal government and plunging us all into a very dark place — he may have to change,” Waldman concluded. “Even if it’s not in his nature.”
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