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Biden spins a message of hope as an anxious nation readies for Thanksgiving

When a president has to reassure Americans that there will be enough turkey for Thanksgiving Day, that is a sure sign of national concern.

This was the case on Tuesday, when the Christmas season begins with citizens already tired of the worst public health crisis in 100 years, now plagued by rising prices, the painfully high cost of petrol and fears that the arrival of winter could mean another. bounce in Covid-19. cases.
President Joe Biden’s transformation agenda is designed to reorient the economy toward workers. But American wallets and morale are suffering now, so its complex programs, which can take months or years to bring help, won’t alleviate the dark humorous music during the Nantucket holiday.
Although there are some strong signals in the economy pointing to job growth and wage growth, Republicans are taking advantage of the country’s struggles to attack Biden’s leadership, increasingly confident of big wins in the House and Senate next year. Every day brings new evidence to your case, with titles on Dollar Tree raising the reference price of the same name to $ 1.25 and with staples like breakfast cereal that will cost more in 2022.
Meanwhile, U.S. price increases, a key measure of inflation, moderated in the third quarter of the year, data from the Office of Economic Analysis released Wednesday showed. And weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since 1969, when adjusted for seasonal variations.
While the echoes of his coup continue to threaten democracy, former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, appears to be accelerating an incoming re-election, using a series of interviews with kneeling conservative media to portray his corrupt and unexpressed presidency. and claiming that the nation is rushing into an economic abyss.

Many of the problems plaguing Biden are beyond his control, including a supply chain and high global inflation triggered by the pandemic and high gas prices. But the political environment is becoming so toxic that the White House felt compelled to stress this week that the president plans to run for a second term in 2024. This treacherous background explains Biden’s last big appearance before Thanksgiving. Thanks for trying. convince Americans on Tuesday, you feel your pain, you listen and you have plans that are already starting to work. He painted a picture of a strengthened nation, defeating Covid-19 and its economic aftermath and returning to work while travelers flock to airports for the first large-scale Christmas gathering in nearly two years.

“We have made historic progress in the last 10 months,” Biden said, noting a very low unemployment rate of 4.6%. “There’s a lot we can be proud of and a lot we can build for the future.”
Ironically, Biden addressed today’s economic challenges after one of the most successful periods of his presidency. He recently signed into law a bipartisan infrastructure package that is experiencing a legislative miracle in today’s polarized and stagnant Washington. His $ 1.9 trillion social spending bill finally passed the House last week, though its fate in the Senate is uncertain because of the tiny majority of Democrats.
Even some Biden voters think the Democrats don’t understand it
One of the lessons some Democrats learned from their shocking defeat in Virginia’s gubernatorial election earlier this month, which saw a 12-point change in just one year for Republicans, was that they stopped listening to voters. After the Republican victory, the center-left think tank Third Way held focus groups among Biden voters to find out why they supported Republican Glenn Youngkin this year. The findings were frightening to Democrats, revealing that these voters could not name anything the Democrats did, were unhappy with the country’s direction, including labor shortages and high prices, and did not believe the party understood it. The groups also opined that the economy is bad, despite some encouraging statistics, and they believe Democrats care more about social issues than factors currently making it difficult for families to make ends meet.
In recent days, Biden has seemed to be initiating a rhetorical resumption, perhaps to address such responsibilities.

Seeking to project control and instill confidence, he announced the largest-ever release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to ultimately increase supply and drive down pump prices. The President went out of his way to counter another GOP attack line — that his effort to tackle climate change was to blame for higher gasoline costs. And he explained how his White House had reduced the back-up of containers in ports and leaned on top executives of major retailers like Walmart and Target to move supplies faster. Such moves could not only ensure store shelves remain stocked but could also temper the raging demand that is driving inflation.
“Families can rest easy. Grocery stores are well-stocked with turkey and everything else you need for Thanksgiving. And the major retailers I mentioned have confirmed that their shelves will be well-stocked in stores this holiday season,” Biden said. “That’s good news for the those moms and dads worried about whether the Christmas gifts will be available. It goes for everything from bicycles to ice skates,” he added, pushing back against a GOP narrative that Americans face the most deprived and expensive holiday season in history.
While Biden’s moves might be politically effective at the margins, there are real questions about their potency in the long-term and therefore about their capacity to reverse the slump in his approval ratings into the low 40s, and below, in some polls.

Much is out of Biden’s control

The biggest challenge for the White House is that while Biden can show he cares about current national problems, he may not be able to quickly alleviate them.
While Republicans charge that inflation is being driven by high Democratic spending, the fact that this is a worldwide scourge means it’s hard for him to fix it. The supply chain crisis that is hiking prices is caused by Covid-19’s ravaging of the manufacturing base in Asia — something beyond Biden’s control. While his release of 50 million barrels of oil is historic and will be accompanied by similar spigot openings by US allies, it may only have a limited effect. Americans generally use around 20 million barrels a day. And Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries still have a stranglehold on global supply and prices.
The big and perhaps only hope for the White House and Democrats running in 2022 is that the political situation will ease. An end to the pandemic, more job growth and repaired supply chains could improve the nation’s mood considerably and boost the President’s approval ratings, which are critical to the party’s midterm hopes. By then, the administration hopes that the first effects of the infrastructure law and social spending bill, if it passes, will begin to be felt, giving them a strong platform of renewal and reform.
Still, the party must also hope that the damage to Biden’s image as a straight-shooter and reputation of competency, suffered during a brutal political period that included the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, will not linger.
As years of turbulence have shown, no one — least of all Republicans already taking a premature victory lap — should make any assumptions about future elections. But this Thanksgiving, the country is yet to emerge from the crisis that Biden was elected to end — the pandemic — and is confronting new and knock-on political and economic challenges.
So while announcing that Biden plans to run for reelection is an easy play for the White House now, the President’s long-term political future rests on the same proposition it always has — his ability to restore some kind of economic and political normality. That destination remains elusive and, for multiple reasons, may be getting even harder for him to drag the nation toward.
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