Joe Biden is finally getting his chance to run the country. Becoming president was a long-term dream of the former senator and vice president. What must he do in the near future to convince Americans that he deserves to reside in the White House?
Here are objectives that would make Biden a success during his tenure as president:
[in no special order]
- End the pandemic. Biden will be inheriting the Corona epidemic. If anything happens on his watch that delays a return to normalcy, Biden will be held responsible and lambasted for it. The safest and smartest thing for the new president to do is to follow the lead of the medical community. Although distribution of the vaccines has become the most pressing issue.
- Diversify and include. So far, Biden selected a wide array of cabinet members and advisers representing quite a few groups. Many of his colleagues in Congress, particularly the Black Caucus, will make demands on the administration in payment for their support during the 2020 election. Biden will need to navigate carefully as he tries to accommodate these individuals and groups.
- Continue economic growth. If Biden or Democrats do anything that depresses the economy, they will be held accountable. In particular, overspending represents a grave danger with regard to the national deficit. Continuing surges in spending could set off a new recession, inflation and a weaker dollar.
- Improve our relationships with Russia and China. The president’s ability to affectively negotiate with these leaders is paramount because of the magnitude of current differences between the countries. Everything is on the table including nuclear proliferation, conventional military strength, trade and terrorism. If Biden is too lax in his response to provocation from either country, he will be criticized. There is less downside to his being more aggressive with the leaders than being more accommodative.
- Tame Iran and North Korea. These countries pose existential threats to world peace and mankind. The US must rein in both countries or nuclear weapons will eventually be in the hands of maniacal, irresponsible madmen.
- Control the House. The current leader of the House of Representatives is reaching the end of her reign. She has lost strength and is making dubious political moves there are being rejected by the opposition as well as her more progressive colleagues. Biden should encourage a regime change and find a more moderate voice that will assist him in governing the country. If he cannot temper the radicals in his own party, he will be ineffective.
- Work with the Senate. If Republicans hold the Senate, Biden’s agenda will not have a chance to be enacted unless he makes peace with Senate Republicans. Just like Obama, all legislative efforts will be opposed by the right without compromise. And the president will only be able to govern with presidential mandates.
- Control the cabinet. As exhibited during the Trump administration, turmoil created by outliers in the cabinet can have a detrimental effect on the smooth operation of the government. Biden has selected some controversial individuals who have had differences with him in the past. These people should be kept on a short leash.
- Minimize gaffes. Too many Americans think Biden is absentminded. He makes many small errors, which are usually not consequential. But more than a few Americans are concerned that his age and mental acuity could be a problem when under the gun.
Biden has a tall order, and a very big challenge ahead of him. I think it’s a toss up whether he will be able to deal with the rigors of the presidency.