There Was a Balloon. Other Things Have Happened Too.

President Biden’s Chief of Staff for the past two years, Ron Klain, is leaving the White House. He talked about the administration’s accomplishments last week. I haven’t been able to find the text of his remarks myself but someone at Post.News provided this:

The most significant economic plan since FDR, while managing the largest land war in Europe since Truman.  The biggest infrastructure bill since Ike, the most first-year judges since JFK, the second largest health care bill since LBJ.  The most significant gun control bill since Clinton and the largest climate change bill in any country at any time anywhere on the planet.  All while managing the worst public health crisis since Wilson, with the narrowest Democratic majority in Congress for a new President in 100 years.

But it doesn’t stop there. Student loan debt relief.  Record low black and brown unemployment. The PACT act for veterans. A sweeping marijuana pardon. The Respect for Marriage Act. The most Americans ever with health coverage. Ending the longest war in American history. We’ve seen a dramatic drop in child poverty, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, the deficit cut more than any President.  And the most jobs created in any two years in US history.

Not bad for a team and a President that was written off for dead in the winter of 2019, and again in the winter of 2020, the winter of 2021, and again in the first week of November 2022. 

The media reported Klain’s departure, but it what really got people’s attention is that he started to cry at one point. How dare he become emotional when leaving one of the most important, most challenging jobs in the country, especially when you consider the Biden administration’s somewhat amazing list of accomplishments! Clearly, Klain is not the kind of manly man we need near the top of our government. Far better to have a macho guy like our former president, a real tough guy whose principal emotion is anger, who doesn’t understand the concept of personal responsibility and who, during his last year in office, paid more attention to his hair than the pandemic.

Anyway, having read some of Klain’s speech, it was disturbing but not surprising to see the results of a new poll.

The poll finds that 62 percent of Americans think Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his presidency, while 36 percent say he has accomplished “a great deal” or “a good amount.” On many of Biden’s signature initiatives — from improving the country’s infrastructure to making electric vehicles more affordable to creating jobs — majorities of Americans say they do not believe he has made progress, the poll finds.

Breaking those numbers down, 77% of Democrats thought Biden had accomplished “a good amount or a great deal”. 32% of “independents” thought he had. Only 7% of Republicans agreed.

Now, not all Democrats pay much attention to politics. That partly explains why 22% didn’t think much of the president’s accomplishments. As for “independents”, they’re the people who pay even less attention to politics and/or don’t see any meaningful difference between the parties, even after the past six years. That 7% of Republicans thought Biden has done well can be seen as a positive result given the politicians Republicans prefer and the “news” they consume.

The journalistic community will see this poll as a problem for Biden. It demonstrates a bigger problem with the journalistic community. Their principal job is to inform the public. But many more Americans know that a Chinese balloon — nothing more than a curiosity, which the Pentagon easily took care of — traveled across the US than that inflation is way down and we have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.