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The first lady explained to donors in Nantucket, Massachusetts, that her husband came into the presidency with “hopes and plans” for how he wanted to shape the future of the country, but those dreams had been interrupted by “the problems of the moment.”
“[The President] had so many hopes and plans for things he wanted to do, but every time you turned around, he had to address the problems of the moment,” Biden said at a private-home gathering of about two dozen.
Biden pointed to the war in Ukraine, the latest string of mass shootings in the U.S., and the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade as examples of roadblocks to the president pursuing his agenda.
“He’s just had so many things thrown his way,” Biden said, according to CNN. “Who would have ever thought about what happened [with the Supreme Court overturning] Roe v Wade? Well, maybe we saw it coming, but still we didn’t believe it. The gun violence in this country is absolutely appalling. We didn’t see the war in Ukraine coming.”
Biden shifted some blame for the president’s stalled agenda onto Republicans in the Democrat-led Congress, even as Democrats fail to maintain unity in their Party, CNN reported. President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda was dealt yet another blow by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) earlier this week after the senator refused to support the Democratic legislation related to climate change and tax increases.
Along with discussing her frustrations with her husband’s difficulties, Biden also mentioned the challenges she encountered during her role as first lady.
“I was saying to myself, ‘Okay, I was second lady. I worked on community colleges. I worked on military families. I’ve worked on cancer.’ They were supposed to be my areas of focus. But then when we got [in the White House,] I had to be, with all that was happening, the first lady of the moment,” Biden commented.
The first lady’s comments come shortly after President Joe Biden’s approval rating slumped to a dismal 33% in a New York Times/Siena College poll released earlier this week. That same poll showed that 64% of Democrats want someone other than the president to run as the Democratic candidate in 2024.