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.