If Joe Biden wants to be a successful president, he needs to get used to regularly doing victory laps.
That doesn’t come natural to a lot of Democrats, as best embodied by President Barack Obama. Obama, and many Democrats, tend to dislike the crass style of self-congratulatory statements and actions. Obama held on to the belief that “politics” was a separate mode and operation from “governing,” and that good governing could stand on its own. The thinking on projects like the Recovery Act and Obamacare was that Obama and Democrats could simply lean back, watch Americans enjoy the benefits, and reap the political reward.
The reality of the situation was instead Republicans demonizing the initiatives, the press uncritically repeating those unfounded criticisms, while Americans were left without an affirmative case. The result was a mess, and in cases like the 2010 midterm elections, a disaster for Democrats.
Donald Trump has been a disaster in the presidency and he doesn’t know how to do the job. But one aspect he understands is taking a victory lap. Of course, because it’s Trump, he takes victory laps over things that never happened or that happened under his predecessor, but its still a smart political play.
For instance, here’s Trump tweeting about a relatively modest grant for an airport:
This is something Biden can and should frequently do during his time in the presidency. Every time his administration does something for Americans, make a point to make noise about it. It doesn’t have to be crass, but it works as a simple reminder to the public at large that he is fighting on their behalf — and most importantly, delivering results.
“Just deployed 10 millionth vaccine, looking forward to lots of healthy people” is the kind of tweet Biden could make in a few months that makes the point without knocking people over the head or sounding like a carnival barker.
Democrats historically shy away from this sort of behavior, but they should and must adapt to the modern world, where there is simply no distinction between governing in office and running for office. Take the victory lap, it just makes sense.
If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my Patreon to fund more posts like it. Join today, save the world!