OPINION: Nice speech, but Biden's first year marked by mediocrity

·2 min read

Jan. 20—A politician admitting policy mistakes is as rare as a Hoosier and a Wildcat cheering for the same basketball team.

President Joe Biden provided remarks and dutifully answered questions from the press Wednesday to mark his first year in the Oval Office. We didn't expect for him to acknowledge the various shortcomings of his first 12 months, but the American people certainly have taken notice.

Poll after poll shows the Biden administration's popularity is waning, and the issues many surveyed cite are the same ones the President vowed to improve upon compared to his predecessor.

The economy, the pandemic and lack of Congressional support for his legislative platforms led to a mediocre start to Biden's presidency. He has work to do if he plans to right the ship, though it's hard to see the Democratic Party being able to make a major splash nationally ahead of this year's midterm elections.

Instead of touting the (few) accomplishments of a Democratic-led Congress and White House, we're likely to see Democrats using a midterm strategy similar to what Republicans utilized in the past.

Blaming the former President was a sharp tool for the GOP. They labeled candidates, especially in swing states, as pro-Barack Obama Democrats who would push for socialist agendas and further add to the federal debt, threatening the country's solvency.

Of course, the national debt rose to higher levels under President Donald Trump than Obama, but facts rarely matter in campaigning.

And that fact is a sad one.

Biden received more votes than anyone in history, and many Americans saw his win over Trump as the start of a rebirth of Democratic values and decency as well as a chance at bipartisanship. But Biden has been unable to broker many deals in Congress, and his administration woefully failed in assuring there were enough COVID-19 tests as Omicron continues to batter our country.

Partner those failures with the sloppy Afghanistan withdrawal, inflation and shortages of goods and many are questioning Biden's capability for leading this country.

Biden won in large part because the majority of voters wanted Trump out of office. But ultimately, we expect our leaders to move us forward. If Democrats want to see Biden or another one of their candidates retain the presidency, there's a lot of work to be done over the next three years.

The News and Tribune Editorial Board