Opinion | Why Biden Waited So Long to Throw the Press a Bone

If you’re Biden, avoiding press conferences has been a successful political strategy. As he found during the presidential campaign, the less people saw him, the more they liked him, the more they liked him, the more likely they were to vote for him, and all the ranting in the world is not going to cause Biden to learn this lesson unlearn. According to a new poll by POLITICO / Morning Consult, 62 percent of registered voters give Joe their approval. Biden has to ask himself: Why did you work up a sweat when you rolled out and got where you always wanted to go?

In limiting his direct exposure to the control powers of printers, Biden followed the example of his former boss. President Barack Obama is known to have avoided press conferences by holding only 36 of them in his first term, fewer than Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush or Bill Clinton during their presidency, as historian Harold Holzer recently wrote book, The presidents against the press. If Biden decides to take on the full Obama, he will do what his predecessor did and fill the news stream with editorial content created by the White House itself. As Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen wrote for POLITICO in 2013, Obama’s people were busy producing internal photos of the President, videos by White House officials, and blog posts by aides to the President and other journalists that would be “immediately released to the masses could through social media. They often contain footage that is not available to the press. “

With the possible exception of Kennedy, who rolled and joked through his press conferences, the presidents seem to fear them. “I’ll put up the usual weekly cross and let you drive the nails” said Eisenhower in 1953 when he was asking questions of a presser.

But how painful is the experience? No one becomes president without first practicing the arts of parrying and distracting in the campaign. So a presidential press conference isn’t the first jump for any of them. A properly prepared president can blunt even the toughest question of a seasoned interrogator, how blunt or blunt Kaitlin Collins from CNN or Weijia Jiang from CBS News when he thinks about it. It is his house. He decides who to call and can cut a reporter off almost at will. He can filibust anything he wants. He can end it whenever he wants.

But while no one has ever sunk their government by attacking a presser – consider all the crazy things President Donald Trump said at his press conferences! -, the format triggers performance anxiety in most presidents. Attribute it to the institutional scope that the event acquired. The press gives them a great build; the lights seem brighter; The reporters come and pack special rhetorical heat. Every twitch, twitch and pause of the president is recorded and analyzed. Newspapers give the story a prominent piece; All networks broadcast the event live. and the whole world is watching.

Rather than treating formal press as the mostly meaningless exhibition games they generally forgot within a week of being staged, presidents insist on adding to their fear by foolishly treating the showdowns as playoffs that could determine the course of their presidency . Biden’s well-documented tendencies would, somewhat uninteresting, make him immune to the risks of the high pressure press. “I’m a gaffe machine,” he said confessed Back in December 2018, Biden was summoned with the understanding that Biden will say it if it is possible to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Just as we ruled out something crazy that Trump said because he was a known liar, we agreed not to hold on to Biden’s words because we understand that he is confused after what he says we are.

But just because the president’s press conferences don’t meaningfully scratch our memories doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Do it. Sometimes the administration is put on file which is helpful in clarifying government policy. They often raise the status of undiscussed subjects and offer them the benefit of a public hearing. They are even known to bring news. They can also be helpful in spreading a message from the president. It is believed that Biden agreed to his press agent not to calm the press package, but because he wanted to crow over his legislative victory, his $ 1.9 trillion American Relief Act. Democrats who criticized Obama for it underBiden is promoting his 2009 relief plan and is delighted with the fanfare that Biden will surely trumpet next week.

Biden, who seems to know a thing or two about politics, understands that popular presidents don’t really need press conferences (especially when they can talk over the heads of the press) and that the unpopular presidents who believe press officials will increase their approval numbers are cheating only. In next Thursday’s session, Biden will do well, by which I mean he won’t start a world war or instruct his press secretary to do so eject a reporter from the meeting. Although some conservatives have invested heavily in Biden’s derogatory imagination as drooling, Trip-over-his-own shoelaces, senile incompetent, you will likely be disappointed with his presser performance. He has never confirmed their ridicule in his debates with Trump and has not botched a public appearance since he was sworn in. Like previous presidents, he will answer most questions by providing the answer to the question he would have liked to ask, not the one that was directed at him. He will keep the meeting short but continue the relief effort for a long time. We can count on him to confuse himself and make jokes that no one gets because that’s his way. And having milked the opportunity for his political ends, he will slip away and only return when the growl and bark peak is reached again and he finds a new reason to throw fresh meat on the beasts.

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