Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have a complicated relationship. The Democrats’ election victory a year ago should not only have brought relief to her, but also opened up the wound of her own defeat against Donald Trump. Regarding the state of her party, she said recently: “I think it’s time to think carefully about how to win elections. And not only in Democratic strongholds, where left-wing candidates win.” She understands that MPs are sticking to their agenda, for which they believed they were elected. In the end, that means little if you can’t get anything done.
The message was primarily aimed at the party left. But since the wing significantly influenced the president’s agenda, he too will have heard the words. On Wednesday, it became clear that given Biden’s poll low, the White House had come to a similar conclusion as Clinton on a key issue. After months of grueling arguments over his Build Back Better (BBB) plan, the $2 trillion social and climate package, Biden is changing strategy. The favorite project of the left, which had been put on hold because of the opposition of two senators from the right wing of the party, is now to be split up.
In a nearly two-hour press conference when he took office a year ago, the President admitted he would not get the BBB bill through the second chamber. The opposition of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinemas, the senators from West Virginia and Arizona, to free colleges and support for families is simply too strong. “I think we can split the package, say goodbye as much as we can now and fight for the rest later.” He thinks he has a majority for the climate part of the reform package.
Biden did not want his record to be badmouthed. “I don’t think I promised too much,” he said, adding that “tremendous progress” had been made. He referred to the vaccination campaign and economic successes that were reflected in the labor market. But he acknowledged that the omicron variant pandemic continued to pose a challenge. Polls show that frustration with the Biden administration is largely related to the fact that the corona virus, which Biden declared almost defeated in the summer, continues to rule life.
The President changed his tone towards the Republicans in the beginning of the election year. “I didn’t expect there would be so much effort to make sure Biden didn’t get anything done,” he said. Now that he intends to travel through the country, he will make the blockade policy an issue. “What are the Republicans for?” he asked. Just tell him one thing. Looking at Trump, he asked: Who would have ever thought that a former incumbent could intimidate an entire party.
A few hours after the press conference, Biden suffered an expected defeat in Congress: the Democrats’ attempt to circumvent the Republicans’ blockade of electoral reform by changing the rules of procedure failed in the Senate due to two votes from their own ranks – Manchin and Sinema. “I am deeply disappointed that the Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy,” Biden said. Of course, the Democrats are accused of having missed the opportunity for a non-partisan understanding by demonizing the electoral regulations in Republican-controlled states.
Biden rejected criticism of his team. And he also introduced himself to Kamala Harris, who is accused of not finding her part. His vice president is doing “a good job,” he said. He wants to compete with her again in 2024.