Biden plans another week of trying selling voters on recent accomplishments


An oft-repeated regret among former aides to President Obama is that they didn’t spend enough time traveling and selling voters on their accomplishments.

Recent days from the Biden White House have been a demonstration of how intent aides are on not repeating that perceived mistake.

Last week, President Biden visited Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland for numerous events. This week, Biden will visit Massachusetts and Michigan and is expected to deliver seven speeches.

“I don’t think this is rocket science, you got to get out there and you’ve got to explain things to people and you have to hopefully do it in ways that resonate with them,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, during a Yahoo Finance Live interview on Friday.

Biden might have some help with recent economic winds blowing in his favor, including the easing of inflation — particularly at the gas pump. It has led some to wonder if Democrats may defy the odds and hold on to Congress in November.

‘There are things…that nobody knows about’

How much Biden and his travel can do to help the Democratic cause remains to be seen, with polling showing Biden’s accomplishments still having trouble breaking through.

July polling from the think-tank Third Way and Impact Research found only 24% of voters are even aware that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – which was signed last November – is even a law.

Thirty percent wrongly said they think the bill “is still being worked on.”

It was only a few months back when White House aides anonymously expressed frustration with the fact Biden would spend time on the road when only a few people were noticing.

“Why are we doing this?” a person familiar with internal Biden conversation told CNN in June.

Biden plans another week of trying selling voters on recent accomplishments

President Biden speaks Friday on rebuilding American manufacturing through the CHIPS and Science Act at the groundbreaking of the new Intel semiconductor manufacturing facility in New Albany, Ohio (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Other polling is a bit more promising for the White House, finding that Americans express support for many elements of the Inflation Reduction Act when asked about things like allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

The massive bill was signed into law this August.

In Friday’s interview, Bernstein acknowledged some of the challenges saying “there are things in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that nobody knows about.”

He also discussed the recently released Biden-⁠Harris Economic Blueprint, a 58-page document released by the White House to tout their accomplishments.

“If you read through this blueprint, you’re going to learn a lot about things we’ve done,” said Bernstein. “I played a role in many of the policies that are in there and I couldn’t remember all of them.”

The week ahead

The coming week – after an event Sunday to commemorate 9/11 – will be notably busy with Biden trying and get American’s attention.

On Monday, Biden will travel to Boston to deliver twin speeches. He will discuss his cancer moonshot at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library “to end cancer as we know it” and then a second speech on the aforementioned Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Biden will be back at the White House on Tuesday to host a large South Lawn celebration for the Inflation Reduction Act. It will be the first time lawmakers from both chambers of Congress will be in session since the law passed. The Consumer Price Index for August will also be released Tuesday, with Biden and his aides hoping for good news.

The President will travel again Wednesday to the Detroit Auto Show.

The Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law include provisions for electric vehicles, and “you can expect him to talk about that and more in Detroit,” promised Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

U.S. President Joe Biden hops out after test driving a Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon during an event for clean cars and trucks, and signs an executive order on transformaing the country’s auto fleet at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 5, 2021.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Joe Biden hops out after test driving a Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon during an event for clean cars and trucks at the White House in August. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Later in the week, Biden will host a summit on hate-fueled violence and attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala before turning his attention towards foreign policy with a series of events scheduled including a visit from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Friday to the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 19 to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly next week.

This coming week’s travel comes after Biden just got back from Ohio, where he traveled Friday to tout the Chips and Science Act of 2022 at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Intel plant.

“The U.S. government is in the business of creating incentives,” Bernstein said of progress on semiconductors and manufacturing.

“As we talk, those investments are literally going into play into the nation’s investment bloodstream and we’re very happy to see it,” said Bernstein.

Ben Werschkul is a Washington correspondent for Yahoo Finance.

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