The NY Times does a piece on comparisons between President’s Reagan and Biden in their early Presidencies and their problems with communication and the their economic handicaps with the public….
They’re called election cycles for a reason. In politics, everything’s on repeat.
In 1982, a new president faced his first midterm elections after he was swept into office amid an economic slump, high inflation and deep dissatisfaction with the previous occupant of the White House.
Forty years later, President Biden is facing a completely different set of problems, including a persisting pandemic and a predecessor who refuses to accept that he was defeated. Yet Biden and Ronald Reagan have shared a similar burden: getting blamed for economic woes that began before either one was elected. Both men won the presidency by promising restoration, but both saw their approval ratings sink when they couldn’t immediately deliver.
“Blame in American politics runs through the president,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Brookings Institution and a political science professor at George Washington University. “He is the most prominent salient actor in American politics.”…
We spoke with several historians and Republicans directly involved with the 1982 campaign, and they all warned that as long as the country feels economic pressure during Biden’s first midterm, it’s nearly impossible to dodge the dictum that the party in power loses House seats. Republicans’ 1982 campaign message — “Stay the course”— might have stemmed their losses, but losses were inescapable.
The comparison breaks down in one key way for Democrats. Reagan had already been crowned “the Great Communicator” by the 1982 midterms. Biden’s failure to communicate a clear, compelling message to voters has been one of his biggest liabilities so far.
However, there’s still time for an upswing in the economy. And even if the economy doesn’t rebound by November, it’s possible for Biden to cut his losses and even win back seats in 2024.
Edwin Meese III, who was counselor to Reagan in 1982 before becoming attorney general, noted that Reagan’s “Stay the course” midterm was followed by his optimistic “Morning in America” re-election. He won a second term in a landslide.
“It’s a matter of faith,” said Meese, 90, an emeritus fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “President Ronald Reagan knew that there would be difficult times, and the difficult times were not yet over, but that they would be.”…
Joe Gaylord, who worked with Dwight at the House campaign committee in 1982, said Reagan’s economic crisis was more deep-rooted than Biden’s — with interest rates, inflation and unemployment all blocking recovery.
But he said the basic contours of the problem that Biden faced were all too similar. Combine Reagan’s low approval rating with a country that believes it’s on the wrong track, and one thing happens, he said: “You get change.”
A “huge problem that Biden has right now is that none of the things he’s done is working, either,” Gaylord added….
The piece does NOT mention the pandemic , which Biden has had to carry on his back also….