News & Politics

Who Is Calling the Shots at the White House?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A poll from the Convention of States and the Trafalgar Group shows that most Americans do not believe that President Joe Biden is calling the shots in his administration. The poll was conducted before Biden’s stumbles over the weekend and surveyed 1,086 likely general election voters. When asked whether Biden is fully executing the duties of his office, 56.5% said no and believe others are directing his policy agenda.

The breakdown was predictably partisan. Only 31.7% of Democrats believe Biden is not in complete control, while 83.6% of Republicans say he is. As in many polls, the unaffiliated govern the result, and 58.4% of them think the president is not in full control of the agenda. The perception of non-partisan voters becomes very important in midterm elections and can swing outcomes.

Related: Joe Biden’s Dementia European Vacation

Apparently, the corporate media’s obsession with what flavor ice cream Biden partakes of isn’t fooling anyone. One Twitter user made a video more than a minute long about the ice cream obsession alone. Nothing about this is normal for the supposed leader of the free world:

The fluff coverage isn’t resonating, thanks to Biden’s gaffes at the ice cream photo-ops. When a reporter asked Biden something substantial about the latest ransomware attack, his initial reaction was to say he had been briefed on the plane and would be in a better position to respond later. Then he remembered he had a script in his pocket and pulled it out and read it:

On Friday before the holiday weekend, he had some words for new citizens. Unfortunately, they did not make a lot of sense when he put the words together:

Former White House physician, Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), is getting dragged by the press for urging President Biden to take the same cognitive screening test President Trump took to answer charges of cognitive impairment. Biden once mocked the test as ridiculous and refused to take it during the election. Any White House doctor now caring for him who doesn’t administer a cognitive test, given his age and evident decline, is practicing politics, not medicine.

Trafalgar released this poll amid another from NPR/PBS/Marist that demonstrates that the Biden agenda is not overwhelmingly popular, no matter who is guiding it. His approval rating still sits at around 50%. Among those with strong feelings, only 21% strongly approve of the job Biden is doing, and 32% strongly disapprove. The consistent theme in these polls is to compare Biden’s numbers to President Trump’s. They do this because comparing him to any other modern president is generally a disaster.

President Barack Obama’s 100-day approval was 65%. At the end of Biden’s first 100 days, his approval was at 52%, and while higher than Trump’s, it was lower than every other modern president at the same point in his presidency. The lukewarm numbers were not a good sign in April, as ABC’s Rick Klein noted at the time:

Dan, Biden’s honeymoon appears to be ending, if it was even there in the first place. What’s so striking here is, you can at the same time say President Biden is in so much stronger position than his predecessor, but so much weaker than almost everyone else that we’ve seen at this point in a presidency. And the easiest culprit to blame here is partisanship.

Blame partisanship if you want, but voters were and still are pretty clear that it is a policy issue. Just like in April, the only policy where Biden has comfortable majority approval is in his handling of the pandemic. He’s done a fabulous job presiding over the distribution plan, developed by a Trump appointee, for a vaccine developed by Operation Warp Speed and presiding over the inevitable reopening.

On the other policies polled—the economy, immigration, and foreign policy—Biden doesn’t break 50%. When asked about America’s role on the world stage, only 50% think it is stronger, a 4% decline from April. When asked about the tone coming from Washington, 76% say it has either gotten worse (41%) or stayed the same (35%). So much for all that civility and unity.

None of this will teach Democrats or the corporate media the age-old lesson about lipstick and a pig. They will continue to expect you to be excited about the next ice cream cone, skyrocketing gas prices, and an emboldened China—and they’ll be shocked in November of 2022 when they find out you weren’t.