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US politics

The honeymoon’s over for Biden 

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A president’s first summer is often when the “novelty wears off”, and Joe Biden is in good company, says Andrew Sullivan in The Weekly Dish. Bill Clinton crashed to 39% approval around this time in his first term; George W Bush plummeted to 50% before 9/11; and Obama was “sideswiped” by the Tea Party. But the “Biden honeymoon” has hit the skids. In June 89% of Americans thought he was handling Covid well; now 45% think everything’s getting worse. 

“The plague will recede, and the economy will grow” – but Biden has other problems. “A president who presides over massive illegal immigration and soaring murder rates is especially vulnerable to Republican Trump-style attacks.” On immigration Biden is “seriously underwater on the polls”. The border crisis is getting worse, with a million illegal migrants arrested since October. And sorry, but his age is also a problem. While he has done amazingly well for a man of his years, it’s hard to see him lasting two terms, which weakens his clout. His designated successor, Kamala Harris, is so unpopular “even her cronies are worried”. If Biden were to fall ill, or worse, President Harris would be a dream for the GOP to run against. Biden’s ability to work with Republicans and soften polarisation is unmatched. “Take him away, and the centre implodes.”