President Biden is finally set to give his first “primetime” speech — but it won’t make the milk cartons with his face on them go away.
Having passed on earlier opportunities for a national address (unlike all other modern presidents), Biden has opted to use the one-year anniversary of the pandemic (as declared by the World Health Organization) to . . . sell his huge spending bill.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will talk a lot about the sacrifices and suffering of the last year, and “moving the country toward getting back to normal.” He clearly means to pretend his $1.9 trillion blowout is key to that effort, even though most of the cash won’t actually go out the door for years.
Using his first speech to try to convince the American people that this bloated monstrosity is a win for them, rather than for Democratic special interests and ideologues, is pretty high-handed. And to pretend it’s all about beating COVID is obscene.
In short, he’s going to look like the frontman for his party’s deepest partisans, who are actually calling the shots.
How engaged is Biden in any policy questions? The only way to put those doubts to rest is by holding regular press conferences, or at least his first. President Donald Trump held his first solo press conference 27 days after taking office; President Barack Obama, 20 days into the job. Biden’s blowing past Day 51 as he makes this speech.
Americans need reason to believe their president is truly in charge, but the White House is dismayingly uninterested in offering any.