Joe Biden wants to be the next FDR. Some fear he’s the second coming of Jimmy Carter.
Former President Jimmy Carter is best remembered as presiding over “stagflation” at home and humiliation abroad. Taking office at a time of economic distress, the one-time peanut farmer from Georgia failed to inspire Americans and was bounced after only four years.
Some wonder whether Biden will follow the same path.
Americans are anxious about a recent employment report that came up hundreds of thousands of jobs short, prices spiking for everything from chicken to diapers and gasoline, and a president who continues to push trillions more in spending while at the same time threatening enormous tax increases.
Joe Biden’s White House has its foot on the gas and the accelerator at the same time.
Meanwhile there are signs that 78-year-old Biden, who frequently appears to lose his train of thought and seems incapable of jousting with the press, will be tested by our adversaries.
It is not comforting that Biden has frequently boasted about the two-hour telephone conversation he held with China’s President Xi Jinping early in his presidency; it’s not clear whether Biden thinks that call noteworthy because he could maintain his focus for two hours or because anything of consequence was said.
So far, Biden’s most notable foreign engagement was his convening of a global climate summit, at which he weirdly (singularly) wore a mask on a zoom call while pledging a wildly expensive and potentially harmful 50% cut in U.S. emissions by 2030. In response, the leaders of China and Russia promised… nothing.
Biden’s political fortunes will likely rise and fall mainly with the economy, as was the case for Jimmy Carter, who was inaugurated in January 1977. Carter started strong but his popularity went steadily downhill. His highest approval rating of 75% was recorded in his third month on the job; his lowest was 28% in June 1979, before the Iranian hostage crisis, the response to which many consider Carter’s greatest failure.
In April of his first year in office, Gallup reported Carter’s approval at 64%; by comparison, Biden’s approval stood last month at 57%.
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