Why Doesn’t Biden Get More Credit?

Some people say there's a reporter to blame.

President Joe Biden meets with leaders of his federal emergency preparedness and response team, cabinet and staff members for a briefing on hurricane, wildfire and extreme weather preparedness, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

In an Atlantic Radio conversation with Franklin Foer and Elaina Plott Calbro, Hanna Rosin purports to identify “The Real Reason Biden’s Political Wins Don’t Register With Voters.” The setup:

Objectively speaking, President Joe Biden has presided over some significant, even historic, accomplishments: a massive vaccine rollout, the biggest infrastructure investment since the Eisenhower administration, the lowest unemployment rate in over 50 years. Yet, when voters are asked about these things, their responses are perplexing. Poll after poll show that voters have never heard of these programs, are annoyed the media isn’t reporting about them more, or they just don’t care. Why don’t Biden’s political and legislative victories penetrate the public consciousness?

So, first off, while I have zero doubt that the vaccine rollout ran much more smoothly than it would have if Donald Trump had served a second term, the fact of the matter is that “Vaccinations in the United States began on December 14, 2020,” more than a month before Biden took office. They were developed under Operation Warp Speed, a Trump initiative. So, it’s natural that Biden doesn’t get a ton of credit.

Similarly, while unemployment is indeed considerably lower (3.8%) than when Biden took office (6.3%), pretty much anyone with half a brain understood that the spike was caused by a global pandemic. Here’s the trendline from Trump’s taking office in January 2017 to now:

The current 3.8% is exactly what it was in May 2018 and slightly higher than it was in February 2020 (3.5%), before the pandemic hit our shores. It’s not shocking that Biden isn’t getting credit for what most of us think of as the normal state of affairs.

That he’s not getting credit for “the biggest infrastructure investment since the Eisenhower administration” is a much more interesting question. But the obvious answer is that it takes a long time for the investment to materialize in jobs, much less completed projects.

But Rosen and her guests have a different take:

Political insiders point the finger at Biden. He isn’t a great communicator, they say. He tends to defer and give other people credit. He doesn’t have enough energy. But part of it is also how voters consume political news.

From the interview itself:

Elaina Plott Calabro: I think it’s not natural for someone like President Biden to try and go out and focus on shaping the narrative that way. At the end of the day you’ll talk to pollsters who say I go in and say, Did you know that this administration kind of executed the largest investment in infrastructure, really since the Eisenhower era? When they do bring this up with voters and focus groups, they’re almost angry that they haven’t heard about it.

Rosin: What do you mean, they’re angry?

Plott Calabro: Why didn’t I know about this? Why didn’t this break through the media for me? And it’s interesting because reporters do cover these things, but that, I think is, kind of a dynamic that’s become really pronounced in the Trump era. What does it mean to achieve ubiquity as a politician when you are not Donald Trump? And when has that become the standard for how one breaks through?

Rosin: Why aren’t they pleased? Like, why isn’t it a Oh, this is wonderful.

Plott Calabro: I think it’s more of just, I feel that I should have known about this. Why is this not something I’m seeing on TV every day? Or that when I just, like, log on to the homepage of whatever news source I use is the banner of the day?

I’m skeptical that the focus groups are reacting this way. But more befuddled that they think the front page of the daily news should consist of repeating over and over something that happened months ago. That’s the job of political actors, not local journalists.

I’d say a more fair critique is that when the projects do get built—to the extent that it’s already happened—the reporting doesn’t emphasize that they were made possible by various Federal government programs. People will naturally notice the inconveniences associated with, say, the expansion of a highway or the replacement of an old bridge, but somehow still wonder, “What is it that the government is doing with all that money I pay in taxes?” But, again, that’s what the Bully Pulpit is for.

Franklin Foer: Yeah, well, I think, as a nation we’re suffering through some sort of equivalent of a long COVID, where even though the pandemic is gone, there’s a lot that still feels bad about its aftermath. Whether it’s inflation, which is something that you’re reminded of constantly, and whether the administration contributed to it in a somewhat meaningful way or an extremely meaningful way, it’s there and people are pissed off about that.

Like, when was the right moment to crow about the vaccine? Like, was it while people were getting vaccinated, but there were different variants that continued to rage across the country? Was it after we returned to normal? Returning to normal wasn’t something. I read The Plague by Camus, and there was actually a fireworks display at the end of that pandemic when the quarantine was lifted. They tried that fireworks display on July 4, 2021, and they got lashed roundly for that. So I think there’s something about the times that we’re living in. And then I do think that there is something about his age that ends up compounding this impression that he’s not governing in a competent sort of way. So when you read my book, you would see that he’s a micromanager. He’s involved in a lot of decision making, but the public impression is that he’s not an energetic president. Is that persuasive?

Rosin: That’s almost persuasive, but I think my fear is that we don’t have tolerance to take in good news. Like, our senses are heightened to conflict in such a way now that we can’t even hear anything that’s below the decibel of that. And so if he were to somehow say, Look I’ve accomplished, I’ve done this great thing. I’ve, you know, done this with inflation. I’ve done this with vaccines, it just comes in as noise, you know, dull noise.

I think these are indeed fair critiques of the way journalists frame stories. Bad news is simply more interesting. Conflict sells more papers than compromise. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema probably got more coverage in the first two years of the Biden administration than any other Senator.

But, as Foer points out, it’s also true that the COVID vaccine was much less than we’d hoped. Rather than creating immunity from the virus, it made it more survivable. We were still losing hundreds of people a day at the time of the 2022 midterms, so it’s really hard to crow about that.

As to inflation . . .

it’s just going to be really hard to get credit for bringing it down when it’s skyrocketed during your tenure. That we’re doing better at managing it than most OECD countries should certainly be getting more attention. And, as Kevin Drum has been banging the drum (no pun intended) for a while now, we should indeed note that most Americans have gotten raises that have more than compensated.

But, as we’ve discussed before, we pay outsized attention to a handful of indicators, notably the price of gas and groceries and the cost of buying and selling a home. And those have gone way up under Biden. That these things are almost entirely outside his control is frustrating, to be sure, but Presidents are like quarterbacks: they get far more credit for wins and blame for losses than they deserve.

Plott Calabro: I would say Celinda Lake, who’s a pretty prominent Democratic pollster, has done a lot of work for the Biden campaign. She put it to me pretty succinctly, which was that when you understand that people feel day to day, like the vibes are off in the country, they don’t want to see their politicians taking a victory lap, even if it’s deservedly so, for example. When it’s not matching, sort of, their day-to-day experience in the country, it just—it’s a recipe for disaster. Like fireworks not going so well for instance.

Granting that, in our extremely charged political climate and tendency to live in news bubbles, there’s probably only limited room for movement, anyway. But it’s really hard to convince people it’s all sunshine and rainbows during a thunderstorm.

Plott Calabro: I think that’s something important to think about. But the second thing that’s interesting about whether voters today have the capacity to, I don’t know, register good news or even seek it out, you know, on their own—that’s, I think, something that Democrats are confused by too, because, you know, Biden was swept in ostensibly on this idea that voters want a return to normalcy.

They want to get back to a place where they’re not actively, like, wondering what their president is saying or doing every day. In some ways, that is what this president has been able to provide, but even if voters were saying back in 2020, That is the dynamic we want, it’s not the one that seems to compel them day to day in terms of, like, wanting to be engaged with what is happening.

Rosin: So this is one of those cases, I can’t remember the psychological, sociological term for when there’s a gap between what you say you want in a poll and what you actually want, and you’re not even aware of that, your desire, because it’s subconscious. So you’re like, Check. I want to go back to normal. But it’s not actually….

Would things be radically worse almost seven years into a Trump presidency? Almost certainly. But that’s now how most people think—much less feel.

Further, while Biden is very much a normal President, the fact of the matter is that he hasn’t been able to restore normalcy to our politics. That this is almost entirely a function of an opposition party that refuses to give him a single vote even on policies they support is frustrating.

And, again, this is a place where the media critique is valid. Despite the problems being primarily caused by one of our two viable political parties being completely dysfunctional, the press mostly reports on the crisis as though we still lived in a normal world. So, it’s Congress that can’t pass a budget, not a fractured Republican caucus.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin says:

    Trying not to be too much like Tom Friedman here, but having stood in line for an hour at the pharmacy yesterday, and listened to the conversations, I think this is very much a vibes issue. People’s lives haven’t gone back to what they consider normal, and they blame Biden for this. Even though in most cases, there’s nothing he can do about the things they were complaining about.

    Things take longer than they used to, because “people don’t want to work anymore, because they’re getting free money from the government.” But also (and I swear, this was said within a minute of the prior statement, by the same person) the government is allowing illegal immigrants to come and they’re going to take all the jobs.

    And there were complaints about the forgiving of student debt, and why aren’t they canceling my mortgage payments?

    Just in general, people were angry. I felt incredibly sorry for the people working there, as multiple people came up and yelled at them for things the employees have no control over.

    That people maybe don’t want to work at jobs where they’re going to have to deal with constant abuse, when they probably have better options, plus the number of people who are available to fill jobs has decreased dramatically over the past few years, was never considered. And Biden doesn’t make himself the story; say what you want about Trump, he is good at distracting people.

    My hope is that part of the reason Biden is currently relatively unpopular is that people have forgotten how exhausting the Trump show was. And once he’s paid more attention, Biden will be seen as the lesser of two evils. Even though Biden’s been an incredibly effective president, he can’t solve the problems that people are seeing. And the problems he does try to handle, well, they don’t see. Plus, as you say, most of the media continues to try and pretend like the problem is Congressional dysfunction, not Republican dysfunction. And I fear that even if/when the mainstream media begins saying this, people who watch Fox/listen to right wing media never will get that message. I mean, they’re blaming Democrats for Kevin McCarthy being voted out.

  2. Jen says:

    Just here to give props to the Jimmy Buffett nod in the subhead. Nicely done.

  3. DrDaveT says:

    But more befuddled that they think the front page of the daily news consist of repeating over and over something that happened months ago.

    I think this is part of the problem, actually. If the front page of the daily news (or its equivalent in a medium that people under the age of 60 still use) were to allocate space according to the importance of the current issues, half of it would be about climate change, 1/4 would be about impending fascism in America, 1/8 would be about the implications of the war in Ukraine, 1/8 would be about the economy, and the rest would be on an inside page.

    But of course that’s not how it works, because headlines are driven by events, not by situations. Even when the events are relatively unimportant and the situations are urgent.

  4. Rick DeMent says:

    So, it’s Congress that can’t pass a budget, not a fractured Republican caucus.


    Honestly even thought we have finally started to see “Republicans in disarray” stories from the “mainstream media”, it took historic levels of disfunction by Republicans to get them written. Meanwhile, the Right Wing Media, having no real incentive to talk about how utterly unprecedented it is for the Speaker to get canned by a member of their own party.

    So while the “mainstream media” is going out of it’s way to not appear to be biased, Right Wing Media has no such ethical issues being overtly biased with the sole exception of Jessica Tarlov in Fox’s “the Five (and honestly she does a great job of exposing the other four for their journalistic quackery not that it has any effect on the cult). Did you ever see any stories on any right wing media talking about the super human level of competence Nancy Pelosi exhibited as speaker? Even Democrats didn’t like Pelosi and were all pitching a fit over her speakership, at least the progressives were. It seems there is always an uphill battler to satisfy Democrats. There is always something better some where, anywhere. Fall in love v fall in line.

    Even now the RWM makes excuses and pretends that this level of nonsense is simply “how the sausage is made” and ultimately it’s the fault of Democrats. Normally I would admire the stones that have even trying but there is on one reason why that can get away with it. It’s a rigged game because the cult is lapping up and is hanging on every word that comes out of the RWM’s mouth.

    Meanwhile in Democratic land most people a going about their daily lives hoping to not have to think about an election that is a year away. And do you want to hear something else? Rasmussen Reports is the only poll who have Biden’s approval rating in the single digits while everyone else has him down anywhere between 16 and 23. What hell are we living through?

  5. James Joyner says:

    @Kevin: I think COVID really changed the landscape on all matter of public perceptions. While some of it was clearly Trump and the MAGA types, there was just a general experience of institutions from the CDC to the local schools breaking the faith in visible ways. People are just much angrier than they were three years ago.

    @DrDaveT: Yeah. The news is about what’s new. Planes that don’t crash aren’t news. I do see a ton of coverage of climate change, political dysfunction, etc. but that’s because I read a ton of commentary and analysis, not just straight “what else you need to know today” reportage.

    @Rick DeMent: What’s happening there is that Rasmussen, while noted to have a slight R-lean, is already applying likely voter screens while everyone else is still showing registered voters or even just “adults.”

  6. Daryl says:

    Let’s see, Trump is found out to have been sharing Nat’l Security secrets and the press barely notices because they are focused on Biden’s age.
    But I’m not sure why Biden isn’t getting the credit he deserves.

  7. Modulo Myself says:

    @James Joyner:

    It only did that for the right. Many people are not angry about schools or the CDC. According to this poll, 80% of parents are satisfied with their schools. Problem is that Biden can’t say that if the pandemic turned you into the Joker it’s you and not the pandemic.

  8. Modulo Myself says:

    Biden’s problem with the economy occurs because people don’t experience growth as all that great. We’ve had such an attack on the idea of the public good that we’re left with the idea that people should be grateful for the government helping with health care or for a raise from your employer. It’s a very backwards way of thinking and we’ve gone too far down the neoliberal rabbit hole to get out.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, the top headline right now at CNN.com is: Here’s why the shockingly good jobs report is going to cost you.

    Just another day in the so-called liberal media.

  10. Jay L Gischer says:

    Bad stimuli elicit a stronger response than good ones, at a ratio of roughly 3 to 1.

    That is, people will (when they aren’t calculating) impute about 3 times as much weight to losing a dollar as they do to gaining a dollar. This seems fundamental to being a human, or maybe even to being a mammal.

    Bad news and good news are not symmetric. Good plays out as pleasant background music. Bad news is the thing that grabs attention. It is very unpopular to be the bearer of good news. No news organization is ever going to lead with, “things went pretty well today, on balance.”

    That doesn’t mean that good news has no effect. It just works differently. The election is a year off. When people come down to a choice, it’s going to be a very clear one. Either we go back to the circus and everything being on fire every day, or stick with the calm and reasonably competent, if not exciting, status quo.

    Weirdly enough, I should be describing conservatives as the “calm, reasonable competent status quo” and I’m not. The times we live in…

  11. Kathy says:

    If Biden spent more time holding mass rallies and less time governing, things would be worse but Joe could loudly claim things are much much better, the best ever, alotofpeoplesaythat.

    The other thing is that inflation has lingering effects even if you get raises to compensate. Things look more expensive. then there are some volatile prices. Example, limes have been more expensive these past three weeks, and also smaller. And as I related about ground beef, the quality of some products has gone down.

    So, things feel worse economically regardless of actual facts.

    BTW, I’d still favor Biden over Benito if yearly inflation stood at 25%.

  12. Kevin says:

    @James Joyner: I’m not sure if it’s that people have changed, or just . . . revealed their true selves, or something? Or more charitably, got pushed to more extremes.

    Because I remember during COVID being incredibly glad that the “essential workers” were risking their lives to keep the grocery stores stocked, and my wife was going to work in the hospital where she had to wear an absurd amount of protective gear and then come home and get undressed in the garage, and after three months of having two watch my own kids all day, was even more appreciative of what daycare workers and teachers do. And I still feel that way. I’d hoped there might be a rebalancing after COVID ended, that we’d realize how interdependent we are on each other, but that clearly didn’t happen.

  13. Andy says:

    As I’ve been saying constantly for as long as I can remember, Presidents are not the Commander In Chief of the economy. The office provides very little control or influence and even things like regulatory changes usually take years. Yet the people – for better or worse – hold the sitting President accountable for the state of the economy. Sucks, but it comes with the job.

    I’d recommend Noah Smith’s blog today, where he points to Gallup’s “most important problem” polling.

    My guess is that the bipartisan infrastructure bill isn’t resonating with the American public as a significant political win for Biden because infrastructure and clean energy are very, very low on the list of priorities. I don’t see how “messaging” can significantly alter that.

    My advice to politicians is always the same – focus on what people care about. If there are areas where a candidate is weak, then you at least need to have a defense ready when the opponent weaponizes that weakness against you. And yes, the bully pulpit matters as long as one effectively talks about the right things. I don’t think this is very complicated. But there is a limit to what a President can do to influence public opinion.

    But it’s also important to be clear-eyed. An example:

    And, as Kevin Drum has been banging the drum (no pun intended) for a while now, we should indeed note that most Americans have gotten raises that have more than compensated.

    That’s true when you look at averages. But averages hide a lot of differences when you drill down.

    And drilling down, here are some of the confounding factors.
    – You often have to change jobs to get those higher wages. Not everyone can do that. I linked to the Atlanta Fed below, and it shows the wage gains for job switchers are significantly higher than those who didn’t switch jobs. Many companies only look at wage increases once per year, so wage gains often lag price increases.
    – The distribution of wage gains isn’t even across several factors, especially income level. The top quartile of income earners initially had a lower decline in wages when the pandemic hit, but their wages increased more on a percentage basis than all the other quartiles, and they peaked faster. You can look at the numbers yourself at the Atlanta Fed.
    – People on fixed incomes – Social security adjusts for COLA, but only once a year. Those relying on pensions and savings may or may not do well, depending on specific circumstances.

    There is more nuance that could be added, but I hope that the point is clear – individual circumstances are different. Looking at averages can be misleading. And people seem to forget the law of averages is that 50% of the range is below average, which means that a lot of people’s wages have not kept up with inflation.

    So the idea that what Biden needs to do is trumpet how average wage gains have increased more than inflation is going to backfire as tone deaf on the very large number of people for whom that claim isn’t true.

  14. Gustopher says:

    Things just aren’t normal. From the level of anger on the right at basically everything, to prices of groceries, to the weather being insane, to abortion restrictions, to open season on trans kids, to my local target putting nearly everything behind plexiglass. It’s weird. It’s dystopian. It’s omnipresent.

    You can get away from some of it sometimes, but there’s always some little bit of malaise poking up.

    And Joe Biden has not used his green lantern ring to make it all better through sheer willpower.

  15. steve says:

    It’s inflation, largely the coverage of inflation. It is a real problem but it is obsessed over in the media. Other good numbers or happenings get minimal coverage. Inflation does affect everyone so it is a more universal issue. Numbers like our large increases in investment income and the creation of new small businesses might be more important in the long run since inflation is coming down but people dont care about those numbers.


  16. DK says:


    Meanwhile, the top headline right now at CNN.com is: Here’s why the shockingly good jobs report is going to cost you.

    So, yes, it’s bad media coverage. But not just bad media coverage. The American Dream is gone for many. Ageism aside, Biden gets undue blame because he is President.

    Not all are unaware of Biden’s many successes. It’s just that post-COVID, people are feeling the lack of an adequate safety net, with gross inequality stressing the middle class. People know its unfair for rich corporations, celebrities, and politicians to collect billions in PPP loans free money and bailouts, while socioeconomic risks are offloaded onto indivuals struggling to survive.

    Housing is unaffordable. People are angry because their rent is sky high, their housing unstable. Homeownership is pipe dream for most of today’s youth. We need to get rid of NIMBY regulations that slow construction. We may even need another renter bailout.

    Mental health is deteriorating. Healthcare reform should include creation of humane, public-funded mental health facilities. Public order is a fundamental government mandate. Mentally ill people should not be living in squalor on the streets. And marijuana should be descheduled.

    Healthcare, childcare, education are too costly. We need a public healthcare option, robust paid/unpaid leave mandates, student debt relief, free vocational programs and community colleges.

    Transportation is too expensive. We need to get serious about reducing dependence on foreign oil. We need a moonshot-type effort at mass transit and high-speed rail, thousands more EV charging stations.

    How to do it? We need to claw back the Trump and Bush tax cuts for the rich, some of Reagan’s deficit-exploding cuts. We need a truly progressive tax code with far more tax brackets.

    And voters have to Vote Blue, so conservatives (and corporatists like Manchin and Sinema) can’t keep blocking progress. We need an Election Day holiday.

    Republicans don’t care. My former party is now a dangerous, incompetent clown car wedded to culture wars and tax cuts for billionaires. Still voters poll as trusting Republicans on the economy more. Why?

    Maybe Biden is not consistently using his bully pulpit to acknowledge Americans’ struggles and demand action from Congress, governors, and state legislatures. Just blaming the media won’t cut it.

    Then you have other centrists and Democrats always focused on what we can’t do. Bring up student debt relief, you get stupid “it’s payoff to the rich” lectures from those out-of-touch with today’s salary market. Bring up high-speed rail, you get “we can’t put a man on the moon” lectures.

    I agree with Elizabeth Warren: there’s too many in the game “just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

    Biden and Democratic governors needs to harness America’s can-do spirit, pushing voters to give them big enough legislative majorities to solve problems. But first they must acknowledge the problems.

    Democrats can sell their successes and still validate the people’s struggles.

  17. Jen says:

    Yet the people – for better or worse – hold the sitting President accountable for the state of the economy. Sucks, but it comes with the job.

    Agreed. However, the economy–broadly speaking–is chugging along. Inflation is down considerably from the highs of 2021 (~7%) and 2022 (~6.5%). It’s at roughly 3.7% in the 12 months ending in August. While not the 2% Americans have grown accustomed to, it IS down.

    The unemployment rate is also good, as evidenced by today’s jobs report. The stock market could be a bit less wobbly, and gas prices are higher than people would like, and grocery prices have not come down much. But overall, the economy is not struggling or on the brink of collapse.

    So, why do people think the economy is bad and are “holding the sitting President accountable”?

    Maybe silly media coverage like the above-mentioned CNN headline, perhaps? (That well and truly is a ridiculous headline.)

  18. Gustopher says:


    Inflation is down considerably from the highs of 2021 (~7%) and 2022 (~6.5%)

    People don’t notice inflation. They notice prices above their expected “what a pound of ground beef should cost.”

    This sounds like the same thing, but inflation can drop, go to zero even, and those prices are still higher than people think they should be.

    So, hooting and hollering that inflation is down triggers what @Andy is saying here about wages:

    So the idea that what Biden needs to do is trumpet how average wage gains have increased more than inflation is going to backfire as tone deaf on the very large number of people for whom that claim isn’t true.

    Sure, inflation is down to economists, but people are still feeling the effects of (past) inflation. Saying that inflation is down sounds like a lie, and (many) people hate being lied to.

    Alas “we’ve slowed the rate at which things are getting more unaffordable” is a lousy campaign slogan.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Alas “we’ve slowed the rate at which things are getting more unaffordable” is a lousy campaign slogan.

    And it’s not even a starting point for how we can begin to address the “gross inequality stressing the middle class.” (H/T to DK for noticing while others are noting that a $24K used car today is a much better bargain than a $1000 used car was 30 years ago.)

  20. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: Fair point.

    It also occurs to me that most Americans carry credit card debt, and rising interest rates are probably making them feel pretty stretched.

  21. JKB says:

    I figured they weren’t out highlighting the infrastructure investment since it is a rapid adaptation to the threat of China exports declining. That and they are jobs for burly men, building plants that will use fossil fuel energy, as well as petrochemical feedstocks and not put out unicorn farts, but rather icky refined feedstocks whose processing used to be in China. This hardly shows a devotion to the climate change agenda.

    Hardly something to endear Biden to the activist, college credentialed, mostly female, 20-something vote. In fact, time is of the essence so not bring this to the attention of the activist class in the Democrat party keeps the projects rolling.

    I found it interesting reporting on Trump falling off the Forbes 400, with a large bite coming from crashing urban office building values. Other nearby properties in SF have sold for 50-75% of their valuations just back in May.

    Also in trouble: his office buildings, which are down by an estimated $170 million. The majority of that decline comes from 555 California Street, a 1.8 million square-foot complex in the heart of San Francisco, where Trump holds a 30% stake…. The problem is not the property’s performance to date… but… its outlook for the future…. The neighborhood around the building is also struggling…. There is a bright spot in Trump’s portfolio. As fewer people spend time in the office, more are goofing off on the golf course….”

    Just this morning I saw some reaction videos to a new “Pandemic Skip” tend where late 20-somethings lament the lost chunk of their youth from lockdowns. That could be fun going into the election.

    “I turned 24 in lockdown under total government control. Government lied, government lied.”

  22. Jen says:

    @JKB: You’re speaking gibberish again.

    That entire first paragraph makes no sense. As far as “losing their youth to lockdowns”–this is dumb. It was three years. There are cheeses older than that.

  23. Ken_L says:

    Presidents are like quarterbacks: they get far more credit for wins and blame for losses than they deserve.

    Offhand, I can’t think of any president in recent times who got credit for anything much from anyone except their own base of supporters. The highest job approval any of them had on leaving office since Truman’s time was 66%, for Bill Clinton.

    Joe Biden’s presidency has suffered from several drumbeats in the media. The first can be summarised as “but”, as in “Strong job growth in second quarter but most economists predict recession later this year”, or “Positive consumer sentiment surprises analysts, but fears of recession grow”. Another consisted of endless speculation that this was Jimmy Carter’s second term: punditry discussing all the scenarios in which America could experience stagflation which would make Joe a one-term president. And then of course JOE IS OLD, something which had apparently been shamefully covered up until it was discovered by enterprising members of the Washington Press Rabble. Not only old, but predicted to get even older every year if he’s re-elected!

    To this observer from Australia, Joe Biden has done an outstanding job as president in the face of awful headwinds. The coming election should be perceived by non-partisan observers as a contest between an old but reliable professional social democrat and a maniac who has no discernible goals beyond getting revenge on his enemies and staying out of jail. It ought to be the most one-sided election in history. It isn’t, at least not yet, and it speaks volumes for the sickness that has infected the USA.

  24. JKB says:


    The idea is still marinating on Tik Tok after the article at The Cut. Good luck using logic to combat a viral idea among 20-something women.

    Schneider mentions a few examples in her essay, including one about her colleague, who started the pandemic at age 29.

    “Now, she wants to make up for the time she lost: to travel with her husband, to work, to go to dinner with friends — all the things a young, carefree person roaming around in the city might concern themselves with.

    “But she also wants to have children, and she’s worried she needs to settle down and start soon — according to obstetrics guidelines, her body is now two years away from being considered ‘geriatric’.”

    “I’m really 31 in my head, which is a problem, [But she’s also really 33 in form.] because now I actually don’t have time for my brain to catch up with my body,” Schneider’s colleague told her recently.

    A number of women on TikTok have come forward on the app to share their pandemic skips.

  25. JKB says:

    @Ken_L: Offhand, I can’t think of any president in recent times who got credit for anything much from anyone except their own base of supporters.

    I would nominate Reagan’s landslide in the 1984 election as having gotten credit.

    Reagan carried 49 of the 50 states, becoming only the second presidential candidate to do so after Richard Nixon’s victory in the 1972 presidential election. Mondale’s only electoral votes came from the District of Columbia, which has always been considered a Democratic guarantee, and his home state of Minnesota—which he won by a mere 3761 votes, meaning Reagan came within 3800 votes of winning all fifty states.

  26. Matt says:

    @JKB: Yeah against Walter Mondale lol….

    What still blows my mind is that Mondale was able to get 40.6% of the vote (Reagan was 58.8%).

    “I’m really 31 in my head, which is a problem, [But she’s also really 33 in form.] because now I actually don’t have time for my brain to catch up with my body,” Schneider’s colleague told her recently.

    This is the type of person that JKB on any other day would deride as a weak snowflake/idiot. But because she’s complaining about the pandemic well she’s an ally now and is the authority on pandemics and how evil/destructive/wahtever it was..

  27. Ken_L says:

    @JKB: Votes don’t necessarily indicate job approval. Reagan’s bumped along around 50% in the first half of his first term and the latter half of his second. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/ronald-reagan-public-approval

    I suppose W got widespread credit for his response to 9/11, at least for a while. It’s remarkable that Trump is so bone-headed he didn’t learn from that in his response to the pandemic. Most other countries’ heads of government got an approval boost from the way they handled it, even if it was only temporary in some cases.