Why No Press Conference? Here’s What Joe Biden May Want to Avoid
Author: Greg Valliere
March 15, 2021
THE CURIOSITY IS RISING: No president in 100 years has ever gone this long without a press conference after his inauguration; Joe Biden is at 54 days and counting — and the speculation is growing from his friends and foes over the delay.
BIDEN KEPT AN EXCEPTIONALLY LOW PROFILE during the the campaign, spending most of his time locked down in Wilmington, Del. But now he’s on a bigger stage and the questions are flying; many of our readers have emailed, asking whether there’s a problem?
FIRST OF ALL, THERE ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS that Biden would prefer not to answer right now. Here are ten questions he would like to avoid:
1. What’s the plan at the border? This is Biden’s first real crisis, as thousands of illegal immigrants — many of them unaccompanied children — surge into Texas. When asked about this in a press conference, can Biden detail a clear plan? There isn’t one.
2. Are tax hikes coming? Janet Yellen raised eyebrows yesterday when she did not rule out a wealth tax. Surely tax hikes are coming — on wealthy taxpayers, corporations, capital gains, estate taxes, etc. Prepare for a leak a day from Washington on what taxes will be raised; this could keep Biden on the defensive.
3. Why do parts of the Covid bill have nothing to do with Covid? Biden will hit the road this week, selling the bill to voters. But in a press conference, he undoubtedly will be asked about many provisions that have nothing to do with Covid, starting with the $68 billion bailout of pension funds.
4. What bill comes next? There’s uncertainty in the White House; will the next bill focus on clogged supply lines, new background checks to curb assault weapons, or an attempt raise the minimum wage? Our guess is that Biden hasn’t decided yet.
5. Will the filibuster get challenged? More and more Democrats want to kill or water down filibuster rules. Biden isn’t enthusiastic, so his answer on that at a press conference would make news.
6. Is inflation now a risk? With bubbles everywhere — from housing to Bitcoin — is inflation about to accelerate? The Federal Reserve, which meets this week, actually prefers higher inflation. It’s a question Biden may have to address in a press conference.
7. Targeting the tech industry: Based on recent Biden hires, it’s clear that his administration wants to curb the power of Big Tech; Biden favors unionization of Amazon workers and tough new antitrust policies. Good luck to him if he gets a question on this complicated subject.
8. What about Andrew Cuomo? The prickly New York Governor has very few friends within the party, but Biden was close to the late Mario Cuomo and has had decent relations with Andrew. Biden, known for years as being touchy-feely, will have to punt on this question, endorsing the New York investigation.
9. Why No Credit to Donald Trump on vaccines? Even Trump’s detractors concede that the former president’s Operation Warp Speed made a significant contribution. Biden may dislike Trump, but his refusal to give him any credit surely will arise in a press conference.
10. Is there a plan for Iran, China or Afghanistan? Trump’s advisers may have thought Iran’s Ayatollahs would welcome a resumption of talks with the U.S., but they haven’t shown any inclination to return to the bargaining table. As for China, will Biden indicate the deep freeze will persist? And a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan may not be imminent.
THE OVER-RIDING ISSUE: Reporters are eager to ask these and other questions, but there’s a bigger issue — do Biden’s advisers want to keep him out of the limelight because of concerns about his stuttering, his occasional inability to find the right words or his propensity for gaffes?
THAT’S THE NARRATIVE FROM FOX NEWS and Biden’s other detractors, and until he confronts it with a press conference, the doubts will intensify. We think Biden has gotten off to a good start, but his refusal to meet the press is becoming a troubling issue.
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