On Biden, Press Conferences and Cuomo

Joe Biden has been president for nearly two months, and it would seem his honeymoon with the media (if there is such a thing) has ended, with criticism coming from all quarters for his lack of press conferences and for his staying on the sidelines of the trainwreck that is Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial career.

First, the fact is Biden held two town halls since the election where the questions from regular people were thoughtful and meaningful — a refreshing contrast to the White House press corps’ attempts to illicit a gotcha. He also regularly responds to questions hollered at him by journalists as he passes from one place to another.

Finally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds regular press conferences where she handles media queries with poise, skill and little prevaricating, if not some expected deflection. That’s a far cry from her predecessors in the same position in the Trump administration who, when they did give a rare press conference, mainly just repeated their boss’ lies and took questions only from friendly representatives of conservative media outlets.

On the Cuomo question, Biden and his team have been consistent in witholding judgement pending a complete investigation of the allegations against New York’s governor. The attempt to paint Biden into a corner as the only person who can prevent a damaging rift between the Democratic Party and Cuomo is ludicrous. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have already done that — with Gillibrand’s trigger finger being only slightly less itchy than when she called for Sen. Al Franken’s resignation BEFORE an investigation of sexual harrassment allegations. Cuomo is only hurting Cuomo, not the Democratic Party, and his political party is in no greater danger from his truculence and intractability than the Knights of Columbus are from his Italian lineage.

But think for a moment — what if Donald Trump were still president.
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Biden Looks Back to S.C. Primary a Year Ago

“As I look back on what happened in South Carolina one year ago, it’s amazing how much can change in a day, never mind a whole year. My hope is that a year from now, Americans are able to look back and marvel at how much has changed — in their lives and in our economy — for the better.”

— President Joe Biden, writing on Medium, one year after winning the South Carolina Democratic primary.

Rick Scott is the U.S. Senate’s Whiner-In-Chief

Photo: Rolling Stone

The image is pathetic: Florida’s freshman U.S. Sen. Rick Scott sitting by his pink princess phone, waiting for the call that never came. Then whining on the Fox News Rundown podcast:

“He’s not called me to say ‘Oh, how can I be helpful in the things that are important to your state?’ … He doesn’t care one iota. He just has this radical left agenda he’s fulfilling, but it’s not good for American families.”

The image is also a complete fantasy. As is the notion that the incoming president of the United States should take the time out of his first busy week in office to call the freshman senator from a state that didn’t support him in the recent fair and legal election.

We would wager that Rick Scott is pretty close to the bottom of the list of 100 U.S. senators Joe Biden is likely to call — ever.

But Scott isn’t done whining. His idea of bipartisanship, apparently, is: If I go to your inauguration, you have to call me.

“President Biden’s been pretty disappointing to me,” Scott noted. “I went to his inauguration. He gave a talk about unity. And then he spent the next seven days doing everything but unity.”

This from the guy who voted against Biden’s cabinet nominations for Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Oh, and he was also among the 45 senators who voted that Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is unconstitutional.

Not to mention he was one of eight Senate Republicans to vote against certifying the election results.

Hey Rick, stay near that phone. I’m sure Joe’s call will come any minute now ….

Trump Got the Debate He Wanted, But Will it Help Him?

The day after the debate
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.

I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.

The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.

The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.

The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.

Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.