The President seemed to actually enjoy himself…..
After enduring weeks of withering headlines about the state of his presidency, President Joe Biden tried a new tactic on Wednesday: self-reflection.
In a nearly two hour press conference, Biden conceded he had made some misjudgments during his first year in office, acknowledged the public’s frustrations with the ongoing pandemic, and resigned himself to scaling back his domestic agenda.
It wasn’t all contrition. The president framed the work he had done as historic in depth and nature. He defended some of the tougher calls he had made in office, including his withdrawal from Afghanistan. And he called out Republicans for opposing his major agenda items without offering alternatives.
But, in total, the event was notable for the contrasts it set to his prior months in office. Biden had held only one other solo press conference at the White House during his presidency. For this one, he spoke longer than his two immediate predecessors had done at any press conference of their own. Biden had not publicly conceded that his Build Back Better agenda would need a dramatic revamping. On Wednesday, he talked about rescuing chunks of it.
Most notably, Biden had been bullish about getting Republicans to support his agenda, insisting they’d have an epiphany in the post-Donald Trump era. In front of the White House press corp, he implied that his optimism had been misplaced.
“One thing I haven’t been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country,” Biden acknowledged.
Wednesday’s press conference marked the one year anniversary of his entering the Oval Office. And, for the occasion, Biden tried to explain his legislative strategy and decisions to combat the mutating coronavirus, while recognizing voters’ criticisms and frustrations. In taking questions for an hour and 51 minutes, Biden also sought to implicitly demonstrate stamina and fight the caricature of himself propagated by right-wing media. His aides seemed to delight in the coverage of how long the press conference went.
Asked right off the bat if his administration had over promised what it could accomplish to Americans, the president responded, “I didn’t overpromise. I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen…and I’m going to stay on this track.”….