It wouldn’t be surprising if President Joe Biden felt a strong sense of déjà vu as he marked his first year in office and the D.C. press eagerly writes him off as a failure buried by a mountain of crises, while at the same time erasing his accomplishments. (Record job gains, ending the Forever War.) Reading from GOP talking points, journalists remain in hyperventilation mode, obsessively detailing Biden’s soft polling numbers while loudly — and falsely —claiming he can’t get his key legislative initiatives passed into law.
Biden’s lurking sense of been-here-before would be driven by the fact that as Barack Obama’s vice president, he watched the same media story play out under a different Democratic administration. Hounded by a D.C. press corps that was often obsessed with tagging Obama as a failure, depicting him as overwhelmed and outsmarted by Republicans, and occasionally just losing its mind over relatively minor unfolding stories (remember Ebola and the glitchy Obamacare website?), the press misjudged one of the most successful and popular presidents of the last half century.