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The Associated Press reported Sunday that President Biden’s speech on July 4, 2021 “marked a crossroads” for his presidency and described his current political stance as a “steep slide” from the previous year.
“As Biden approaches his second 4th of July in the White House, his position couldn’t be more different. A series of miscalculations and unforeseen challenges have Biden struggling to gain a foothold as he faces to a potentially damaging voter verdict in the upcoming midterm elections. Even issues that weren’t Biden’s fault fueled Republican efforts to regain control of Congress,” the Associated Press said.
The report describes the president’s speech, during which he said the United States was “closer than ever to declaring our independence in the face of a deadly virus.”
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However, weeks later, the delta variant led to the reinstatement of mask mandates and caused “polarizing vaccination mandates”.
“That sunny speech a year ago marked a turning point for Biden’s presidency. The pandemic seemed to be fading, the economy was booming, inflation was not rising as fast as it is now and public approval for her professional performances was strong,” authors Chris Megerian and Zeke Miller wrote.
The report also noted the “debacle” surrounding the president’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The report describes Biden as “suddenly a reactive president,” who “was left trying to regain the initiative at every step.”
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The AP noted that its latest approval rating poll had Biden sitting at just 39%. In a July 2021 poll, the president’s approval rating was 59%.
The president has consistently blamed high gasoline prices and soaring inflation on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. An Axios reporter said in April that Biden’s economic achievements were “largely irrelevant” amid high inflation and high gas prices.
Former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said Friday that things were “out of control” and the president did not seem “in control.”
The president is also facing criticism from his party for his response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case. Some Democrats argued that Biden’s remarks weren’t enough and that the president needed more of a fight.
Historian Douglas Brinkley has compared the President’s July 4 speech to former President George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” remarks.
“He was trying to deliver good news but it didn’t work for him,” Brinkley told the AP. “Suddenly Biden lost a lot of goodwill.”
CNN medical analyst and George Washington University professor Leana Wen told the outlet that Biden’s 2021 speech was premature, but this year the country is in a better place.
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“The administration is reluctant to make these proclamations now, when in fact now is the time to do so,” she said.
The Biden White House is grappling with its message ahead of the midterm elections as inflation and high gas prices continue to be top concerns for voters.
“President Bill Clinton stumbled in his first two years in office, then faced a wave of Republican victories in his first midterm elections. But then he became the first Democratic president to be re-elected since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” the AP report said.