Building Biden Back Better – Administration Seeks to Rebrand Sinking President

Building Biden Back Better - Administration Seeks to Rebrand Sinking President

( – Who hasn’t heard the saying “new year, new you”? The White House appears to be taking a cue from that hopeful sentiment by starting the year with only the second of two press conferences so far this year. Some feel the increase in public exposure is just one facet of a much larger plan to rebrand the president’s image.

A New Year’s Press Conference

President Biden gave his first formal new year’s press conference on January 19 in the East Room. The date is significant; it marks the last day of his first year in office.

Biden and Harris rarely grant press conferences. When the president does speak up, he often does so in tandem with a foreign leader, which makes the latest conference unique.

The president’s latest address may be an attempt to create the illusion of a more visible, and thus, more accountable, leader. Voters and political colleagues alike have repeatedly criticized Biden’s disconnected nature, suggesting it proves he’s out of touch with voters.

The conference comes only one day after the White House launched its program offering free COVID-19 tests for all Americans and announced new measures to issue N95 masks to the public. It demonstrates a shift in approach that’s prompting an increase in discussion of critical issues, such as inflation and everyday problems.

By meeting with the people, Biden grants them access to connect with him on essential points. As for whether that will make a difference, it’s too early to tell.

A Critical Response

Biden’s speech comes at a critical time. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that only 33% of voters approve of the job he’s doing at this point. In addition, problems such as the disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the out-of-control pandemic, and draconian vaccine mandates further complicate the issue, leaving some to feel Biden hasn’t lived up to promises made on the campaign trail.

The utter failure of the Build Back Better agenda is also causing hardship for Democrats in advance of midterm elections. The bill faces many roadblocks, including dissent from party members such as Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Democrats have little hope of the expensive measure passing the Senate in its current state.

The lack of movement to address key voter concerns, such as inflation or COVID-19, also complicates matters. The DNC’s singular focus on the failing Build Back Better plan has harmed Biden’s popularity and slowed the party’s momentum.

The Vice President’s Working Too

The president isn’t alone in his public image issues. Vice President Kamala Harris also suffers from bad polling numbers. Voters criticize her for lack of leadership and for failing to address the problems at the southern border.

The VP is also apparently overhauling her office. She recently installed a new communications team and allegedly expects to increase interaction with reporters in 2022.

Potential to Backfire

Making the Biden administration more accessible also stands to become its downfall. Biden and Harris both struggle with public speaking. Harris tends to ramble and make statements that come back to bite her. On the other hand, Biden makes mistakes and fumbles over his words. The White House team has kept them out of the spotlight to avoid these issues.

That leaves the question of whether this communication overhaul will work to revive the Biden administration’s image. Only time will tell.

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