Forget Wordle. If you want a mental challenge, try to figure out how Joe Biden can turn around his presidency.
Biden is flailing. Just 40.8 percent of people approve of his job performance while 55.2 percent disapprove. That’s a minus-14.4 percent spread in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Last week, an NBC poll found 5 percent of voters said Biden has performed better than expected.
At his news conference last week, a reporter listed the problems facing the country and asked Biden how he planned to course-correct. The president said he doesn’t think the public understands the Democrats’ successes. To change that, “I’m going to be out on the road a lot, making the case.”
That is unlikely to end well. Coronavirus restrictions, inflation and empty store shelves aren’t messaging problems. They’re actual problems, and they are extremely obvious. Talking about the supposedly great legislation you’ve passed comes off as asking, “Who are you going to believe: me or your lying eyes?”
Here’s the plan I would present to Biden. Note: This is political advice, not necessary what I agree with.
First, by the end of February, declare the victory over the coronavirus pandemic. The omicron wave has receded quickly around the world, and it’s starting to do the same here. The country’s seven-day average is already decreasing, even as some areas see higher cases counts.
Credit your administration’s efforts to mail at-home tests and distribute N95 masks for slowing the spread. Never mind that the government sent out the tests two months after they were needed, which is a perfect encapsulation of government “help.” Remember: This is a thought experiment. Copious amounts of political spin will be required.
Throw a retirement party for Anthony Fauci. Heap praise on him. Then announce that his replacement will oversee the country’s transition to dealing with the coronavirus as a background risk, like the flu. Praise your vaccine distribution efforts and new therapeutics for making the shift possible.
Urge your media allies to get COVID out of the headlines and tell Democrat governors to end restrictions. Of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates, nine have Democrat governors. Fully reopening the economy should help the supply chain crisis. That gives you the best chance of credibly claiming things are on the upswing come fall.
Next, voters wanted a bipartisan dealmaker, not someone who seeks to radically remake American society. Start cutting deals. Invite Republican Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins to the Oval Office and find four things you agree on. Reforming the Electoral Count Act is an obvious place to start.
Further, demand Congress ban its members from owning individual stocks as an anti-corruption measure. Trust the media won’t mention Hunter Biden when you do this.
Finally, get Twitter to reinstate Donald Trump. The height of your political popularity came when Trump was leading the news and you were hiding in a basement. Now would be an opportune time to repeat that strategy, even if it won’t be as successful because Trump is out of the Oval Office.
There’s no perfect plan, especially when Biden’s policies have been so disastrous. But something like this would give him the best chance of rebounding politically.