This week’s White House Report Card shows that President Joe Biden had a pretty good week up until Friday night, when Elon Musk’s Twitter sent out several cross shots.
Earlier in the week, Biden hosted a rare meeting of bipartisan congressional leadership to discuss lame duck issues and ask for help stopping a rail strike. Those leaders delivered.
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He got some unexpected good news about job creation, although it could result in a higher interest rate and a recession hangover.
And he seemed to have a good time feasting with the first French family with lobster and caviar at their first state dinner. In addition, a video showed how French President Emmanuel Macron helped Biden through his growing confusion. And on Friday, in Boston, she met Britain’s Prince William.
But then Friday came with Musk, via journalist Matt Taibbi, posting tweets suggesting Team Biden’s role in getting the social media company to remove reports of the Hunter Biden computer scandal ahead of the 2020 election.
Before that hit, our qualifiers were split as usual. Conservative analyst Jed Babbin handed out a D+, noting how the president had not spoken out forcefully in favor of democracy protesters in China or Iran. Democratic pollster John Zogby gave it an A+ due to the jobs report, the prevention of a rail strike and the passage of a gay marriage protection bill.
Biden actually did something to help our economy: his push to prevent a national rail strike. But the week also continued with his inability to speak for the Chinese and Iranian protesters, his war on US energy production, and he spewed out some big lies to round things out.
Biden called on Congress to intervene, under the old Railroad Labor Act, to ban a rail strike. That briefly angered his work friends, but it will prevent the already struggling economy from getting any worse. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the highest inflation rate in Biden’s 40 years was due to the country “splurging” on purchases during the pandemic. Hope for? The only things people were “splurging” during the COVID-19 crisis were masks, antivirals, and Tylenol.
Biden’s comments and those of his press secretary puzzled many people. For example, in some confusion, he suggested that he was not sure whether to run for re-election. And then his spokeswoman erroneously claimed that the president had been to the southern border.
While all this was going on, Biden lifted some sanctions on Venezuela, allowing the importation of oil from that nation and helping Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. He could, and should instead have resumed at least some of the US oil production that he has halted. Why help a socialist dictator when he would help our oil production?
At around the same time, Biden was deploying many federal air marshals to the border, presumably to help process the flood of illegal immigrants. Some are threatening to ignore the order, saying Biden is radically increasing the chance of another 9/11-style attack by removing them from planes.
To cap off the week, Biden still won’t speak out for the Chinese or Iranian freedom protesters. The Chinese, en masse, are protesting Xi Jinping’s COVID-19 lockdowns. Thousands of Iranians protest the death of a young woman in police custody. There is no excuse for Biden not to speak on her behalf and, at the very least, not to call on China and Iran to stop beating, jailing and killing protesters. Does America no longer stand for freedom? With Biden in the White House, apparently not.
I went from kindergarten to four years of college in Catholic schools. I then taught four more years at a Catholic high school. A typical response to my greetings when I come across priests, brothers, and nuns would be: “This is truly a day the Lord has made.”
This was one of those weeks for Biden. The economy created 233,000 new jobs, well above economists’ expectations, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%. Wages rose and spending rose 0.8%, enough to fuel robust spending over the holiday season. Additionally, the national average for a gallon at the pump fell to $3.47, back to what it was in February. And it’s projected to drop to around $3 by Christmas. Also, last week’s jobless claims were down again from the previous week.
Biden even became president, hosting the president of France at a state dinner and defining the conversation and media coverage.
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My son’s poll has a Biden approval rating of 45%, and four new polls have Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock ahead of Republican Herschel Walker by 2-4 percentage points in Georgia. Three of those polls have Warnock at 50% or higher.
The icing on Biden’s 80th birthday cake this week: the passage of two bipartisan laws codifying same-sex marriage and averting a potentially devastating rail strike. In a world of headlines dominated by names like Elon Musk, Ye, Alex Jones and Vladimir Putin, there seems to be a force for dignity and stability: Biden. Truly a week the Lord made for the president.
Jed Babbin it’s a washington examiner collaborator and former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the administration of former President George HW Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin
john zogby is the founder of Zogby Survey and Senior Partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with his son and managing partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @ZogbyStrategies