This week’s White House Report Card finds President Joe Biden heading in one direction — down.
His polling is at a low, he’s missing in action in the effort to fix the economy and inflation, his immigration policies are being flicked off by courts, and his PR team is so bad that he’s recruiting an old hand at the Pentagon to help out, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby.
Democratic pollster John Zogby graded an unusually low D-minus and said in his review, “This could be the worst week of Biden's presidency.”
Conservative analyst Jed Babbin also graded a D-, making it a rare week in which both of our graders were in agreement that Biden was in deep trouble. He called it a “typically bleak week.”
This could be the worst week of Biden’s presidency.
A federal judge rejected the Biden administration's effort to ease COVID-19 restrictions on immigrants at the border.
The stock market is bordering on bear territory.
Inflation continues unabated, and economists are now talking about stagflation around the corner.
Fuel prices continue to rise to record levels.
There is no short-term fix for mothers who desperately need hard-to-find baby formula.
Democrats are expressing their pessimism about the November midterm congressional elections, and Biden's influential friend, Rep. Jim Clyburn, is warning about a country about to implode over racism. The president went to Buffalo, New York, to offer sympathy to the families of the victims of a supermarket shooting reportedly sparked by racism, but at least one family member said he was tired of words. He didn't want the president to speak but to act.
Biden's approval rating stands at 41%.
Biden is off on a three-day jaunt to Asia to convince Japan and South Korea (both of which have China as their biggest trading partner) to trade more with the U.S. Good luck with that.
New York Post Cover. pic.twitter.com/COTZMCfSNi— Jose Valdez 🇸🇻 (@JoseValdezSV) May 19, 2022
It was otherwise a fairly uneventful but typically bleak week for the White House. Biden made an awful decision on Somalia, gas prices hit another new high, he invoked the Defense Production Act to produce more baby formula, and the Department of Homeland Security's new “Disinformation Governing Board” was paused but unfortunately wasn’t killed.
Biden’s obsession with reversing every decision former President Donald Trump made continued with his decision to send around 500 U.S. troops to Somalia. Trump withdrew troops in 2020. We have zero national security interest in Somalia, and it’s elementary to understand that U.S. troops should never be sent into danger unless our vital national security interests are at stake. Biden’s decision does nothing to benefit our national security and only makes our guys convenient targets for terrorists.
Biden also is removing many of Trump’s restrictions on relations with Cuba. Unfortunately, he hasn’t OK’d importing Cuban cigars.
Food prices rose 9.4% in April, and the national average gasoline price per gallon rose again to yet another new record. The stock market continues to sink (over 1,100 points in the Dow in one day this week), and now everything is pointing to a serious recession. Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of baby formula, but that won’t do anything to help solve the problem. The DPA requires companies to supply what the government demands exclusively to the government. But you can’t order a shipyard to produce baby formula. All the DPA means, in this case, is that the companies already producing baby formula (or that can readily convert to that production) will produce under government orders. If the FDA climbed off its red-tape high horse and opened the baby food plants it had closed, the problem could be solved far more rapidly.
The best news of the week was that the DHS's “disinformation governance board” was put on hold. Its wacko leader, Nina Jankowicz, resigned from the board. Unfortunately, former DHS Secretary Mike Chertoff and former assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick were put in charge to “fix” it. Look for the DGB to come back with a broad Orwellian mission and try to limit free speech online between now and November.
Meanwhile, new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre debuted to lousy reviews. It wasn't all her fault, however. Asked how Biden’s idea of taxing the rich would, as Biden claimed, reduce inflation, she was stuck for an answer. (The truthful answer, which she couldn’t admit, is that it obviously won’t.) Pentagon spokesman John Kirby is being brought in to strengthen the White House team.
John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Survey and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with son and partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @ZogbyStrategies
Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin