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President Biden on Wednesday listed three things he would do differently in his second year in office.
"I'm going to go out and talk to the public," Biden declared during a nearly two-hour press conference at the White House marking his first full year as commander in chief.
Throughout the event, the president touted his accomplishments and defended his record in the face of what he described as Republican obstructionism and inaccurate media coverage.
The press conference comes at an ominous time for Biden's presidency. His poll numbers are languishing. The COVID-19 pandemic, which he had once hoped would be in the rearview mirror following a nationwide vaccination campaign, continues to disrupt everyday life. Portions of his legislative agenda, including the Build Back Better spending package and voting reforms, are on the ropes after moderate Democrats balked in the Senate. And polls show that Republicans may be poised to make big gains in the November midterm elections, potentially retaking one or both chambers of Congress.
About halfway through the press conference, a reporter noted that Biden didn't appear to say anything he's learned in his first year in office or that he would do differently in his second.
"There's three things that I'm going to do differently now,” the president answered, before specifying the changes ahead.
1. Leave Washington more
"No. 1, I'm going to get out of this place more often," Biden said. "I'm going to go out and talk to the public. I'm going to do public fora. I'm going to interface with them. I'm going to make the case of what we've already done, why it's important and what will happen if they support what else I want to do.”
2. Seek outside advice
"No. 2, I'm bringing in more and more, now that I have time ... I'm not complaining, it's 12, 14 hours a day, no complaints, I really mean that sincerely — but now that certain of the big chunks [of my agenda] have been put in place, and we know the direction, I'm also going to be out there seeking more advice of experts outside [government]," he said. "From academia to editorial writers to think tanks. And I'm bringing them in. Just like I did early on, bringing on presidential historians to get their perspective on what we should be doing. Seeking more input, more information, more constructive criticism about what I should and shouldn't be doing."
3. Campaign in the midterms
"And the third thing that I'm going to be doing a lot more of is being in a situation where I'm going to be deeply involved in these off-year elections," Biden said. "We're going to be raising a lot of money. We're going to be out there making sure that we're helping all of those candidates ... go out there and make the case, in plain, simple language, as to what it is we've done, what we want to do and why we think it's important."