Analysis

The Major Papers Gave Him Glowing Endorsements. How’d That All Play Out?

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Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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Several prominent publications endorsed then-candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential elections, promising a Biden presidency would bring peace, unity and prosperity.

The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Houston Chronicle and others predicted Biden, wise from his decades in Washington, would break from the turbulence of the Trump administration and stock his White House with experience. With that experience, the story went, Biden and his staff would guide the country through the end of the pandemic, economic hardship, challenging problems abroad and transformative energy policy the political left has always envisioned.

The reality, just two years later, is a series of stumbles, failures, and losses in Washington have led to polls like 75 percent of likely Dem voters in New Hampshire wishing for Biden to step aside in 2024. Biden, despite the experience, is struggling to live up to the rosy predictions as Americans face rising inflation, a looming recession and national division.

Public Trust

Biden was sold as the “steady hand on the wheel” by The New York Times editorial board in its generous October 2020 endorsement. The board promised that “a President Biden would embrace the rule of law and restore public confidence in democratic institutions” and that “his focus would be on healing divisions and rallying a nation around shared values.”

The reality under Biden is a stark contrast. Confidence in “democratic institutions,” like the U.S. public school system, and the level of patriotism among U.S. adults, is bottoming out, a recent Gallup survey showed.

Only 28% of Americans said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in public schools, marking the second lowest confidence score U.S. public schools have received in the poll’s history, Gallup reported.

Before 2015, typically, at least 55% of adults in the U.S. would say they are extremely proud to be an American. About 80% usually said they were extremely or very proud, according to Gallup.

In the Biden years, that number went down significantly, with 38% of U.S. adults saying they are extremely proud and 65% saying they are extremely or very proud to be an American, Gallup reported. The poll surveyed 1,015 U.S. adults from June 1-20 with a margin of error of +/-4%. (RELATED:’Laughably Behind The Curve’: The Fed Isn’t Doing Enough To Rein In Inflation, Economists Say)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 23: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event with members of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, on the South Lawn at the White House June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The event helps raise awareness to the public about severely injured veterans and provides rehabilitation opportunities. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Economics

The Washington Post and USA Today editorial boards touted Biden’s economic experience during the financial crisis under former President Barack Obama as crucial to his ability to steer the economy through any incoming pandemic-related hardships.

“As vice president in the Obama administration, Biden played a central role in the last economic recovery and is equipped to handle another one,” the USA Today editorial board stated.

The Washington Post board argued Biden would draw from his “well of experience” handling economic hardship as Obama’s vice president to help the U.S. economy recover from the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns.

“If he takes the oath in the midst of the pandemic’s second wave, as is quite possible, with the economy in a tailspin, we can be confident Mr. Biden will rise to the occasion,” wrote The Washington Post editorial board.

Just about three years later, U.S. business owners “believe the Biden Administration is failing to address inflation and supply chain disruption,” according to a recent Job Creators Network (JCN) survey.

As U.S. inflation hit a historic 9.1% in June, the JCN survey showed that despite promises Biden would “rise to the occasion,” U.S. business owners have reported signs the economy was already in a recession, like a decline in demand for goods and services, lower profits and planned job cuts.

Timirie Shibley, owner of the Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in July that everything about operating her business has gone up.

“The price we pay for a case of eggs (15 dozen), for example, has gone from $17 to $61, and for a restaurant that goes through 6500 eggs a week, that’s not at all insignificant,” Shibley told the DCNF.

Foreign Policy

The publications, which cast Trump as a boon for authoritarianism abroad, advertised a future Biden presidency where the U.S. would garner respect globally and prevent authoritarian leadership from taking power internationally.

“[Biden] would stand with America’s allies and against adversaries that seek to undermine our democracy,” The New York Times wrote. “He would not court foreign autocrats or give comfort to white supremacists.”

The New York Times editorial board argued Biden’s “unusually rich grasp of and experience in foreign policy” gave him the “necessary chops” to handle international relations. (RELATED: Biden Poised To Declare Climate Emergency To Ram Through Green Agenda: REPORT)

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s board said Biden’s “sober view of American power” showed the fundamental differences between Biden and Trump’s levels of foreign relations experience.

“On foreign policy, Mr. Biden offers an enormously positive change from the Trump administration, simply by promising to rebuild long-standing U.S. alliances and the global leadership that Mr. Trump has willfully disrupted,” wrote The Washington Post.

Biden would “unite democracies in ‘fighting corruption, defending against authoritarianism and advancing human rights.’ He would rebuild relations with NATO countries and help them stiffen defenses against Russia,” the board wrote. “He would end Mr. Trump’s appeasement of Russian President Vladimir Putin and coddling of Arab dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia.”

However, early into Biden’s presidency, his foreign policy experience was tested when he finalized the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Biden’s chaotic withdrawal garnered international condemnation after videos of desperate Afghan people falling from U.S. military planes went viral. He also received heavy criticism from grieving military families following an explosion at the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. service members and injured 18 others.

TOPSHOT – US President Joe Biden looks down alongside First Lady Jill Biden as they attend the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan last week. – President Joe Biden prepared Sunday at a US military base to receive the remains of the 13 American service members killed in an attack in Kabul, a solemn ritual that comes amid fierce criticism of his handling of the Afghanistan crisis. Biden and his wife, Jill, both wearing black and with black face masks, first met far from the cameras with relatives of the dead in a special family center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.The base, on the US East Coast about two hours from Washington, is synonymous with the painful return of service members who have fallen in combat. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian and Russian geopolitical influence has expanded.

Despite sanctions and other threats, Russia has unabashedly ignored Biden’s calls to stop its invasion and subsequent war in Ukraine. The Russian government also arrested and jailed American basketball player Brittney Griner for possessing marijuana and warned against Biden attempting to pressure them into releasing her. The administration now is even considering the trade of Russia’s “Merchant of Death” to secure release of the imprisoned WNBA player.

Due to the U.S. energy crisis, created in part by Biden’s green energy policies, his recent trip to the Middle East included a stop to beg Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, which failed.

Instead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman committing to produce more oil, he criticized Biden’s domestic green energy policies.

“Adopting unrealistic policies to reduce emissions by excluding main sources of energy will lead in coming years to unprecedented inflation and an increase in energy prices, and rising unemployment and a worsening of serious social and security problems,” Prince Mohammad said.

With the U.S.’s major adversary, China, The Washington Post said that Biden would stand up against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Biden “would better position the United States as a capitalist competitor to China;” “he would work with allies to confront China’s abusive behaviors,” and “he would stand up for this country’s belief in freedom and openness against the Chinese brand of surveillance authoritarianism,” wrote The Washington Post.

The CCP has not been deterred by the threat of Biden’s foreign policy experience. Instead, the CCP took over Hong Kong, annexing it back under the control of mainland China. Under Biden, the Chinese military has also increased provocations with the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries across the Taiwan Strait and continues its cyberattacks against Americans, the U.S. government and U.S. corporations.

While millions of Americans were suffering under record high gas prices, Biden went around U.S. refiners to sell more than five million barrels of oil released from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to European and Asian countries, including China.

Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson told the Washington Free Beacon in July that Biden’s China policies are “helping our adversaries and setting America up for failure in the event of a major disaster or national security threat.”

US President Joe Biden meets with China’s President Xi Jinping during a virtual summit from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, November 15, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

After China threatened to take over Taiwan in a similar fashion to Hong Kong, the CCP said it would respond with “forceful measures” if Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi continued her planned August visit to the democratic and independent island country.

Biden, who previously vowed to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, buckled to the CCP’s threats telling reporters that the U.S. military said it was “not a good idea” for Pelosi to continue her planned trip.

An Administration Lacking Experience

Several outlets attempted to reassure readers that Biden’s ability to choose a competent administration would fill any gaps in Biden’s own experience.

The New York Times editorial board promised Biden would “stock his administration with competent, qualified, principled individuals.” (RELATED: ‘Out-Of-Date’: Biden Responds To Record High Inflation Numbers)

USA Today said that “with his plans, his personnel picks, his experience and his humanity, Joe Biden can help lead the United States out of this morass and into the future.”

The Houston Chronicle editorial board argued that “as evident by his V.P. pick of Sen. Kamala Harris,” Biden would fill his administration with “qualified, effective people from diverse backgrounds.”

Despite promises of a “qualified” administration, 62% of Biden’s appointees that “deal with economic policy, regulation, commerce, energy and finance” have “virtually no business experience,” according to a report from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The study found that while Trump’s administration had an average of 13 years of private business experience, the average business experience of 68 top Democrats and appointees in the Biden administration who now make critical policy decisions affecting the economy is only 2.4 years.

“It’s fair to wonder if the Biden policies and their results reflect a lack of even a basic understanding of how business works,” the WSJ stated. “Presidents are free to appoint whoever they wish, but the results of business ignorance in this Administration are speaking for themselves.”

The lack of experience among Biden’s cabinet goes beyond the economy, according to WSJ.

“Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo has spent nearly all his career in politics and government,” the WSJ wrote. “Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has no experience in healthcare.”

“Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was a mayor and management consultant with little experience in supply chains or America’s vast transportation network,” the outlet wrote.

Buttigieg wasn’t eyeing the transportation position originally, according to Axios. Buttigieg wanted to be Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations, but Biden denied him.

Instead, Buttigieg was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Feb. 2, 2021, as the head of the Department of Transportation, which has a budget of $87 million and over 58,000 employees.

His previous transportation experience consisted of being mayor of South Bend, Indiana, with its small regional airport, small train station, and a bus station with a fleet of fewer than 50 buses.

Less than eight months into Buttigieg’s appointment, he was apparently AWOL during the supply-chain crisis when videos of U.S. ports, from New York to Los Angeles, showed an overwhelming 250,000 containers still waiting to be unloaded.

The Department of Transportation had neglected to announce that Buttigieg took paid maternity leave starting in August, a department spokesperson told Politico. Exasperated Politico reporters began their Playbook newsletter with the line “Pete Buttigieg has been MIA,” acknowledging that the media in general hadn’t even noticed Buttigieg’s absence during the crisis until Playbook asked for a quote.

“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” the spokesperson told the outlet. The department said that Buttigieg would “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children.”

The support included Buttigieg flying to Chicago to attend the premiere of a documentary about himself,  a glowing write-up in Business Insider teasing a 2024 presidential run, and interviews with NBC about parenthood being the ‘most demanding thing’ he’s ever done.

And perhaps — as Biden’s polling hits previously unimaginable lows, rivaling even those of Trump — the once crucially absent Buttigieg actually is the Democrat Party’s only hope. Even now, the Biden administration seems to spend more energy bickering over the definition of “recession” than with actually solving the many issues facing America.

“The ‘it’s not a recession’ discourse is so ANNOYING,” Saagar Enjeti, host of the YouTube show Breaking Points and former Daily Caller White House correspondent, wrote on Twitter, “and peak econ brain. Nobody gives a shit about definitions, they care that gas and food are too expensive.”