A new report by Washington Examiner White House reporter Naomi Lin revealed that President Joe Biden may think he’s being self-deprecating when he calls his own speeches “boring,” but in reality, Lin claims it only serves to weaken his own power to achieve policy objectives.
Both former President Barack Obama and his spokesperson Eric Schultz have trumpeted the relative calm and boredom of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as positives for the administration.
“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,” Schultz said.
Obama said during the 2020 campaign: “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. You’re not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won’t be so exhausting.”
Will “boring” backfire?
Others disagree that Biden can get his agenda enacted in the same way he apparently got elected: Say as little as possible and let his opponents blow themselves up.
Republican strategist John Feehery characterized it this way: “Boring is terrible if you are trying to enact disruptive change.” That’s why Biden’s tactic might fail, as he is definitely attempting to do so by pushing a progressive agenda of more taxes, tighter gun control, and more government handouts, even though he was selected by many voters who believed he was somewhat moderate.
What may have worked as a strategy against Trump to squeak by in what came down to a very close race in a handful of states during the 2020 election does not seem to transfer well to getting the attention his radical agenda needs in order to build support around it.
In particular, a few vocal Democrat detractors in the Senate, including Joe Manchin (WV) and Kirsten Sinema (AZ), may have gotten more attention than Biden by refusing to give in on nixing the filibuster, which would pave the way for his agenda to move forward, unfettered by Republican opposition — at least until the 2022 midterms.
Fewer people listening
The fact is, fewer people are paying attention to his major speeches, and that means that many people are unaware or uninformed about the policies he wants to put in place, let alone lend support to them.
His first major address to Congress (what passed for a State of the Union address) only received two-thirds the viewers that former President George W. Bush’s address received in 2001, and it was lower than all four of his predecessors’ addresses.
As Politico reported, a may poll revealed that two-thirds of voters were clueless about his initial $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, which might have factored into why it is now a $1.2 trillion bipartisan version.
For now, Democrats hold power in both houses of Congress, if by the thinnest of margins, as well as the presidency. However, when Republicans likely take over after the 2022 midterms, Biden will face an even greater struggle if he continues to employ his low-key, “Uncle Joe” strategy and fails to excite his base.