News and Analysis

‘We Need To Change That’: Biden Team Plans ‘Public Reset’ To Rescue President From Plummeting Polls
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden has called on his fellow Democrats to go around Republican opposition, do away with the 60-vote threshold for advancing legislation in the Senate and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom To Vote Act. The strategy is in doubt because Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) oppose doing away with the filibuster. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s communications team has reportedly decided that it’s time to change course and adopt a “new communications strategy” designed to rescue the administration from plummeting polls and legislative failures.

According to the report from NBC, the new strategy depends on Biden spending less time talking to Congress — at least in full view of the public — and more time using his bully pulpit: speaking directly with the American people.

NBC News reports:

Biden’s reset plan, senior administration officials said, is to make his conversations with members of Congress less of a public priority and to emphasize spending more time communicating directly with Americans. The officials said that the White House will continue negotiations with Congress over Biden’s legislative priorities but that it would stop releasing details of the talks to the public.

“There is a recognition that we need to change that dynamic,” a senior administration official said, adding that Biden has told aides and lawmakers that he intends to make the shift.

“He’s mindful that he doesn’t want to send the message that his role is to be legislator-in-chief,” one senior official reportedly told NBC, noting that one of the goals of the new communications strategy is to put some distance on the feeling that Biden approaches the presidency as though he is still part of the Senate.

According to the report, the officials all seem to be in agreement that Biden needs to spend more time addressing the public directly, but there does not appear to be a consensus yet as to what that will ultimately look like — whether the American people should expect more official addresses, more informal town hall-type interviews, or more press conferences.

“The Biden Team always thinks it can solve problems with a new Comms strategy,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham mocked the plan.

Reuters national politics correspondent James Oliphant suggested the reason Biden was planning on fewer public conversations with Congress was more about doing a little CYA than about a communications “reset.”

“‘The officials said that the White House will continue negotiations with Congress over Biden’s legislative priorities but that it would stop releasing details of the talks to the public.’ ? Because he’s not getting his way?” Oliphant tweeted.

Tim Murtaugh, who served as communications director for former President Donald Trump, added his own take: “Here’s the thing with liberals. They rarely speak to anyone who disagrees with them, and so when their policies get rejected, they always conclude that it’s simply a messaging problem. ‘The people don’t like the president so we’ll just give them more!'”

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