How Biden United is a cranky Democrat party under one tent


Within the Democratic caucus, Mr. Biden’s team avoided other pitfalls he witnessed during the Obama administration, when White House spokespersons the dismissed activists as “the professional left” and banned intra-party criticism from administration circles of influence. Instead, Mr. Biden’s White House has hosted many such criticisms in virtual meetings, and Chief of Staff Ron Klain, encouraged progressive criticism on his Twitter feed.

Melissa Byrne, a progressive activist, found out when she wanted to get Mr. Biden to focus on student debt forgiveness. To complement her constant stream of tweets, Ms. Byrne bought full page ads in the News Journal, a diary that was delivered daily to Mr. Biden’s home in Delaware during the presidential transition.

Ms Byrne expected Mr Biden’s team to bristle with their public protests. Instead, his efforts were encouraged. Mr. Klain told him to keep the pressure up, inviting him to further Zoom meetings with the transition team.

“We continued to be able to have people at the table,” she said. “It showed me that we can do cool things like sit-ins and banner drops, but we can also be warm and fuzzy.”

The singular focus on the pandemic has allowed Mr Biden to align his central campaign promise – a more effective government response – with the priorities of party officials in battlefield states, who say that voters expect Mr Biden to provide a competent vaccine distribution. with direct economic relief. Already, there is broad agreement within the party that Democrats will be judged in the midterms of 2022 and the presidential election of 2024 based on their handling of the twin crises.

“Needles and checks – that has to be the goal,” said Thomas Nelson, the executive of Outagamie County in Wisconsin. Mr Nelson was a Sanders delegate in 2020 and is running in the 2022 election for the seat held by Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican. “People in my riding, we need these checks.”

Mr. Biden also paid attention to other policy issues. He signed about 45 Executive orders, memoranda or proclamations promulgating or at least initiating major changes on issues such as racial justice, immigration, climate change and transgender rights.

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