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It’s not unusual for promises made in the heat of passion during a presidential campaign to run into the cold reality of actually being president.
It just usually takes longer than it did for Joe Biden.
President Biden enjoyed a campaign where he rarely answered questions, particularly about ending the pandemic, or was challenged by a media which openly wished to elect him. He was able to get away with catchy slogans. When would the changes start? “Day 1!” How long would everything take? “100 days!”
For “100 days” everyone would be urged to wear masks, as if we were not already. Biden promised to give out 100 million vaccine shots in those 100 days, a promise that didn’t make a lot of sense since Americans were getting nearly 1 million shots a day in the waning days of the Trump administration. I guess “I’ll keep the status quo!” didn’t have quite the same ring.
And Biden had promised to open schools 100 days into his administration. Those of us with school-age children did the math and pointed out that timeline put us squarely in May, a time when we’d normally be wrapping up the school year, but we needn’t have worried as the administration has backtracked on that promise already.
A few days ago, President Biden gave a speech on the “American Rescue Plan.” In it, he admitted “the crisis is only deepening. It’s not getting better; it’s deepening.” He also finally stated that “there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” So no magic plan.
Some of us have known that all along. As I wrote in these pages in October, candidate Joe Biden was offering nothing new in the fight against COVID-19. He often talked about what he would have done last March or if America were a different country, like South Korea, without our core civil liberties. It was unhelpful as a gauge of what a potential president would do. But few in the media cared to call him on it “because Donald Trump.”
Well, Donald Trump is gone now but Joe Biden is continuing to use him as an excuse for his own failures. The Biden team planted a story with CNN that alleged they were given no vaccine plan from the Trump administration. Dr. Anthony Fauci disputed that report.
President Biden has gone from sweeping campaign promises to blame shifting. On Tuesday, President Biden tried it again, this time extra buttering up the media so they wouldn’t question him: “It’s also no secret that we have recently discovered, in the final days of the transition — and it wasn’t until the final days we got the kind of cooperation we needed — that once we arrived, the vaccine program is worse shape than we anticipated or expected. A lot of you who follow this — and nobody is — I mean this sincerely, the press is the smartest group of people in town; you hone this stuff down, clearly — I think you found the same thing.”
Hey, smartest group of people in town, can you get the president to stop using the last administration as a foil? We hired Joe Biden not to look backward and say what he coulda, woulda done but to lead. It’s time for the new president to step up and do that.
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