Biden ran on competence. A slew of challenges are testing that promise

Sep 13, 2021 by

New administrations have learning curves. President Biden’s current struggles may reflect a team that hasn’t fully ramped up and a bureaucracy that’s not nimble enough.

Biden's numerous gaffes over the years from tripping up the stair to  calling Harris the 'president' | Daily Mail Online

Joe Biden’s campaign watchwords were competence, experience, empathy. But since Inauguration Day, one challenge after another has tested the new president and his administration in ways both foreseen and unimagined, denting the reputation of a man who took office amid high hopes.

A summer COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant dashed expectations of a return to quasi-normality. A different surge – of migrants at the southern U.S. border – has also put the Biden team on the defensive.

And following the United States’ chaotic, deadly exit from Afghanistan, President Biden is digging out of his biggest foreign policy crisis yet. The Taliban have returned to power; Americans and Afghans qualified for evacuation are still trying to get out.

Mr. Biden’s biggest challenge of all – the pandemic – threatens to engulf his presidency, with major implications for all aspects of American life. On Thursday, the president laid out a new six-pronged strategy to fight the delta variant and increase vaccinations.

“First years are problematic for presidents,” says presidential historian Russell Riley. Even eight years as vice president isn’t the same as having the top job, he says. And the president’s team, no matter how talented, won’t have fully jelled this early on. “The only way to mount the learning curve is over time.”

Source: Biden ran on competence. A slew of challenges are testing that promise – CSMonitor.com

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