As Joe Biden campaigns in Virginia, Ticker News US political contributor Bruce Wolpe reflects on the future of his presidency. Wolpe is a Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre.
Friday evening, just before escaping to his beloved Delaware for the weekend (his, wife, the First Lady, was in Japan for the Olympics), President Biden slipped across the Potomac River into Virginia. Here, he headlined a campaign rally for Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor. The election is in November.
Biden keeps learning – and applying – some critical lessons from when he was in the White House 12 years ago, serving as Vice President for Barack Obama. Their first year in office was dramatic, exhilarating, dynamic – and very challenging.
America (and the rest of the world) was reeling from the Global Financial Crisis. Obama and Biden won a key early victory in passing a massive economic recovery program. Obama proposed landmark universal access to health insurance – it would ultimately become Obamacare – and comprehensive energy and climate legislation to tackle global warming.
Biden learns lessons from the Obama era
2009 was also an election year for two governorships, in Virginia and New Jersey. By that November, Obamacare was still tied up in bipartisan negotiations in the Senate; it would not enact it for another 5 months. The energy and climate bill passed the House but would ultimately die in the Senate.
The economic recovery was underway, but jobs gains across the country were very slow to lock in. That August, “Tea Party” activists held raucous protest rallies against Obama’s health care proposals across the country. By that November, the political mood was quitter uncertain.
In this odd-numbered year, 12 months after the presidential election, voters in Virginia and New Jersey hold their state elections. And like by-elections in Australia, citizens can read them as a referendum on how the party that controls the White House is doing. And November 2009 was bad news for Obama, Biden, and the Democrats. Republicans won both governorships. And it was a shock.
Lesson #1: go big and go fast
The pundits were in overdrive that night, saying, Democrats in big trouble! Obama took it on the nose! Too much change we cannot believe in! And this was critical because the centrist independent voters in New Jersey and Virginia voted for the Republicans. Obama
won those independents only a year before.
Biden keeps applying the lessons he learned from those days. First, go big and go early and go fast. He passed the pandemic response and vaccination program within his first 50 days in office together with the $2 trillion economic recovery initiative – more than twice as large as Obama’s in 2009.
Second, don’t focus on futile negotiations in the Senate. Pending in the Senate right now is another $4 trillion on infrastructure, health care, education, climate, childcare, and other priorities. The make-or-break moment to move on it is coming now – not after November.
A double-header victory remains on the cards
So Joe Biden was in Virginia on Friday to help his good friend Terry McAuliffe win his election against a Trump-endorsed candidate – and he will do the same in New Jersey to support the popular Democrat running for re-election there. A double-header victory would signal to the country that voters support the Biden agenda.
As the Washington Post reported last week:
“Among the questions Biden is confronting are whether the Trump base will turn out when the former president is not on the ballot, whether Biden’s ambitious economic plans will be seen as a boon or a driver of rising prices and whether voters will continue to give the president high marks for his handling of the pandemic.”
Biden has zero intention of letting anyone stop his momentum in Virginia this year.
Read more by Bruce Wolpe here.
YouTuber Trevor Jacob behind bars for plane crash stunt
YouTuber Trevor Jacob has been sentenced to jail after orchestrating a dangerous stunt involving a plane crash in a reckless bid for views.
The shocking incident unfolded as Jacob attempted to push the boundaries of extreme content creation on his YouTube channel.
In a bid to capture the attention of his audience, Jacob embarked on a perilous mission, piloting a small plane before deliberately crashing it. The stunt, which was filmed and uploaded to his channel, garnered immediate backlash from viewers, many of whom decried the reckless behavior as dangerous and irresponsible.
Authorities swiftly intervened, launching an investigation into Jacob’s actions. Following the investigation, he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to a prison term.
The incident has raised important questions about the ethics of content creation, the pursuit of internet fame, and the potential legal consequences for those who prioritize views over safety.
Russian women want their men back from Ukraine
In a heartfelt plea, Russian women have taken to the streets demanding the safe return of their loved ones from the Ukrainian front.
The conflict in Ukraine has stretched on for years, and the toll on families has been immense. Mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters are uniting to call for an end to the fighting and the return of their men.
The women, often referred to as the “mothers of the front,” are growing increasingly frustrated with the ongoing conflict. They argue that their husbands, sons, and brothers have been away for far too long, and the human cost of the war is simply too high.
With no clear resolution in sight, their calls for peace and reconciliation are becoming more urgent.
This grassroots movement has sparked a national conversation in Russia, with many questioning the government’s handling of the conflict.
While the official stance has been to support the separatist forces in Ukraine, these women are highlighting the personal tragedies and broken families left in the wake of the war. Their determination to bring their loved ones home is palpable.
The situation raises important questions about the impact of long-term conflicts on families, the role of women in peace movements, the government’s response to public sentiment, and the prospects for a peaceful resolution in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
Is a long commute a reason to quit?
Workers reconsider roles due to lengthy travel times
A surge in resignations is hitting the job market as employees reevaluate the impact of long commutes on their work-life balance. The trend, intensified by the rise of remote work during the pandemic, sees a growing number of professionals opting to quit rather than endure extended travel times.
A recent survey conducted among commuters revealed that 68% of participants identified their daily journeys as a major source of stress. The findings suggest a paradigm shift in the traditional understanding of commuting as an inherent aspect of employment.
Employers are now grappling with the challenge of retaining talent as dissatisfaction with lengthy commutes becomes a catalyst for resignations. The implications extend beyond individual decisions, impacting productivity and overall workforce dynamics.
The phenomenon underscores the need for businesses to reassess their remote work policies and invest in solutions that alleviate the burden of commuting. As the job market adapts to evolving expectations, companies that fail to address the commute conundrum risk losing valuable contributors.
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