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‘We Have to Fight Back,’ Says Joe Biden, but Will He Be Able to Do It Before the November Elections? Latest Update!

Snow fluttered gently as Joe Biden gazed into the forested depression where a half-century-old bridge had collapsed only hours before he arrived in Pittsburgh.

It was a striking demonstration of the president’s urgent push to rehabilitate the country’s ageing infrastructure, which had led him to the City of Bridges.
Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill last year, an accomplishment that had evaded his most recent predecessors and one he was keen to support after legislative setbacks.

Later, in a speech at a manufacturing research and development facility, Biden remarked, “There are another 3,300 bridges here in Pennsylvania, some of which are just as old and in terrible a condition as that one was.”

The infrastructure bill’s funding would go toward repairing the Pittsburgh bridge as well as “thousands of other bridges around the country.”

“We have to get moving,” he remarked. “We don’t need headlines reporting someone was slain the next time.”

The White House’s trip to Pittsburgh marked the start of an effort to reshape the narrative of Biden’s presidency as he transitions from an initial year marred by legislative disputes to elections that will determine congressional control. The new strategy was developed in response to a stalled agenda, an intractable epidemic, rising inflation, and waning public support.

However, this week offered a much-needed burst of encouraging news, a reminder that the election environment in November may look very different.

Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court announced his retirement, allowing Biden the option to pick his successor. According to the Commerce Department, the US economy expanded at its quickest rate since 1984 last year.

The government began providing free coronavirus testing to homes in the United States. After months of deadlock, the administration is suddenly confident that Congress will enact a plan to make the United States more competitive against China.

Biden’s use of the bully pulpit was praised by Democratic strategists, progressive activists, and former party leaders, who urged him to capitalise on the momentum by emphasising economic accomplishments and drawing strong contrasts with Republicans.

“People in the districts couldn’t tell you a thing about Build Back Better, but they can tell you how much a tank of gas costs to the cent,” Chuck Rocha, a progressive Democratic strategist, said. “They’ll also be able to tell you how much their relief payment meant to them.”

“As Democrats, we just have to not be scared to beat our chests,” he remarked.

‘Toast in the Middle of the Semester?’

‘We Have to Fight Back,' Says Joe Biden, but Will He Be Able to Do It Before the November Elections? Latest Update!
‘We Have to Fight Back,’ Says Joe Biden, but Will He Be Able to Do It Before the November Elections?

Republicans appear to be well-positioned to win the House and maybe the Senate in November, based on historical trends. During the first midterm elections, the party in power often loses seats, with the magnitude of such losses being correlated with a president’s popularity.

Biden will utilise his time away from Washington to rally support for his legislative aims while touting the accomplishments of his administration, including a poverty-relieving coronavirus stimulus package, the infrastructure bill, and complete immunisation of more than 210 million Americans.

His travels, according to strategists, may remind Americans why they voted for him.

Biden took office with excellent popularity ratings and widespread public trust in his capacity to combat the epidemic.

However, as the country’s mood worsened, Biden’s popularity soared, particularly among Black, Latino, female, and young voters, who make up the heart of his coalition.

The president’s popularity rating has dropped to 41% from a high of 59 per cent in April, according to a Pew Research poll released this week.

“We need to raise Biden’s popularity ratings or we’ll be toast in the elections,” said Lanae Erickson, senior vice-president of the centrist think group Third Way.

A major reason dragging down such scores is dissatisfaction with Biden’s handling of the outbreak. Now that vaccinations have been demonstrated to be effective, particularly against fast-spreading strains like Omicron, Erickson believes that Americans deserve to hear the White House’s plan for dealing with the virus.

“Right now, they are hearing a lot of Democrats saying, ‘Keep home, stay safe.’ “However, many are sick of being at home,” she explained. “We have to be the party that promotes putting people back to work.”

Part of the reason for Biden’s limited travel during his first year in office was the epidemic. Negotiations on Capitol Hill, though, kept him grounded. The White House delayed a trip to Chicago in September so Biden could work out a compromise on his domestic spending plan, only for those efforts to fall apart shortly after.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who started her opposition to removing the filibuster, so dooming the measure, in a speech shortly before the president’s arrival, thwarted Biden’s visit to Capitol Hill to persuade Democrats to enact voting rights safeguards.

Biden appeared to admit that his engagement in Capitol Hill discussions had harmed his popularity among voters, who wanted to see him operate more like a commander-in-chief.

Biden defended his image as a nonpartisan dealmaker, which he earned during his 36 years in the Senate, but he admitted that the post of president demanded a different kind of involvement.

“The public does not want me to be the ‘president-senator,'” he said earlier this month to reporters. “They want me to be president and senators to be senators,” he says.

The departure of Justice Breyer instantly brought attention to one of a president’s most important responsibilities: filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Biden indicated last week at a news conference that he will compile a list of candidates based on his vow to nominate a Black woman.

The assurance “felt huge,” Stefanie Brown James, co-founder and executive director of the Collective Pac, which strives to strengthen Black electoral power, said, especially given the failures on domestic spending and voting rights.

Though the replacement would have minimal effect on the court’s ideological makeup, James added that selecting a Black woman would “correct a historic injustice” after three Trump-era selections produced a conservative supermajority.

The possibility for Biden to add a woman of colour, according to Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina Democratic strategist, could be a “galvanising” moment for Democrats, reminding supporters that Biden can still deliver on his promises.

“The president was elected due of our votes, the most important and loyal voting bloc in the country,” Seawright remarked. “As a result, this will serve as a reminder to them of the value of their vote and why it’s critical to keep voting.”

Biden, a natural retail politician with a passion for campaigning, bemoaned the fact that in his first year as president, he had so little opportunity to “see people in the eye.”

He left the White House on Tuesday to visit a store that opened during the outbreak, where he bought jewellery for his wife and a coffee cup with the likeness of his vice president, Kamala Harris. After addressing US Marines, the trip included a stop for ice cream, where he posed with staff.

During a White House roundtable with the executives of big US firms on Wednesday, Biden joked with Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, about the pace of a new electric car.

After Barra informed him the vehicle travelled from “zero to 60 in three seconds,” the president, a car fanatic, joked, “I’m looking for a job, Mary.”

Following the deadly shooting of two police officers, Biden will fly to New York next week to discuss ideas for combating gun crime with Mayor Eric Adams.

As Republicans attempt to paint the country as lawless, the White House has moved to boost measures to address growing violent crime. Adams, a retired NYPD captain who ran on a pledge to curb crime, is seen by centrist Democrats as a model for how the party should combat such assaults.

‘We Have to Fight Back,' Says Joe Biden, but Will He Be Able to Do It Before the November Elections? Latest Update!
‘We Have to Fight Back,’ Says Joe Biden, but Will He Be Able to Do It Before the November Elections?

The White House claims that President Obama isn’t abandoning Biden’s Build Back Better plan or voting rights safeguards, but that he is reducing his role and his objectives. Activists and progressives are pressuring him to utilise his executive authority more aggressively.

One of the “most fundamental and important” moves Biden could take to help young people, according to Cristina Tzintzn Ramirez, head of NextGen America, a youth voting group.

She said that the problem was a top priority for people under 35 and that addressing it would help her keep a campaign pledge to decrease the racial wealth gap.

Biden has raised doubts about his legal power to implement broad student loan forgiveness. He extended a student loan payment suspension put in place by the Trump administration in the early days of the outbreak in December.

Tzintzn Ramirez remarked, “Young people massively backed the Biden administration, and now it’s up to the Biden administration to help young people.”

“We recognise they won’t be able to approve every legislation, but when it comes to student debt, they can make it happen.”

If Biden’s popularity continues to decline, his travels to battleground states might become a political issue for Democrats.
A top Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania was curiously absent from Biden’s Pittsburgh rally on Friday, claiming a scheduling issue.

Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s top Democratic governor candidate, had claimed a scheduling problem as the reason for her absence from Biden’s Atlanta speech on voting rights, which was boycotted by some civil rights organisations.

Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor of Texas, said he was “not interested” in receiving support from the president or any other national leader.

Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell said Biden was still the “greatest messenger” in battleground states for “motivating our rank-and-file Democrats.”

Rendell, on the other hand, believes that the time for bipartisan backslapping is passed. Biden said he has to make it plain to Americans that Republicans, not Democrats, are to blame for his delayed agenda.

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“With the weapons at our disposal, we must strike back,” Rendell added. “We’d rather talk about peace… “However, we won’t battle with one hand tied behind our backs.”

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