U.S. President Joe Biden will mark 100 days in office this week – an important symbolic milestone when the masters of the White House take their first stock. Mr. Biden, who came to power during a terrible pandemic, has much to be proud of, such as his massive vaccination campaign. But there are also problems, such as the lack of a constructive dialogue with Russia, one of the two largest nuclear powers. According to Kommersant sources, Biden will try to start solving this problem as early as mid-June. He has suggested that Vladimir Putin meet with him in a European country on June 15-16.
Biden is unpopular. This conclusion can be drawn from his approval ratings: according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, 52% of Americans support the policies of the incumbent White House president. Only two presidents have fared worse since 1945: Gerald Ford in 1974 (48%, following the popularly unpopular pardon of his predecessor Richard Nixon) and Donald Trump in 2017 (42%).
President Biden’s 52% included assessments of his administration’s major accomplishments. 65% approve of his “coronavirus package” of aid to the economy, and 64% generally approve of anti-coronavirus policies. More than half of Americans (58%) also support raising taxes on the wealthy and passing legislation to make huge ($2 trillion) investments in infrastructure. Only 37% of respondents, however, are positive about efforts to deal with the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, where tens of thousands of illegal migrants are heading.
The cross-party split, which has been evident since the beginning of the 21st century, is also noteworthy. Mr. Biden is endorsed by 90 percent of Democrats and only 13 percent of Republicans.
To compare: the previous democratic president Barack Obama after the first 100 days in power boasted the support of 93% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans. The difference is even more striking when you analyze the numbers from long ago: Republican President George H.W. Bush, after 100 days in office, evoked positive feelings from 89% of Republicans and 58% of Democrats. Republican Ronald Reagan attracted 90% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats. These days, the “honeymoon period” of presidents seems to be a thing of the past.
There is also a certain opposite direction of the voters’ requests. Technically, 60% of respondents (vs. 30%) insist that a cross-party consensus must be sought when passing major bills. In fact, it turns out that Joe Biden’s most popular measure – the already mentioned anti-coronavirus aid package – was passed without a single Republican vote.
There is also a statistical threat: according to a poll, only 42% of Americans view the economic situation in the country positively.
Donald Trump’s figure at the end of his term in January 2021 was almost identical, far below the pre-pandemic figure of 58%. It is economic policy that has historically become one of the most important criteria for evaluating presidential performance in the United States.
If fighting the coronavirus and its economic consequences occupied Joe Biden for the first 100 days, he will soon have the opportunity to get down to another campaign promise – to convince allies and adversaries that America is back on the international stage for good. The president’s first foreign tour is scheduled for the middle of June: from June 11 to 13, he will attend the G7 summit in Great Britain, leaving for the NATO summit in Brussels on June 14, where he will also take part in the U.S.-EU summit.
During President Biden’s European tour, there may be another long-awaited event: his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Yuri Ushakov, assistant to the Russian president, a signal from the U.S. about the desire to hold a personal meeting between the two leaders has been received. Moscow is considering the signal; the decision, Mr. Ushakov said, will be made “depending on many factors.” “They are calling June, there are even specific dates,” the Russian presidential aide said in an interview with the host of the Moscow. Kremlin. Putin,” Pavel Zarubin (quoted by Vesti.ru).
According to Kommersant sources, Mr. Biden suggested that President Putin meet in a European country on June 15-16.
Recall that on April 13, Mr. Biden offered Mr. Putin a meeting. The U.S. then imposed new anti-Russian sanctions over allegations of cyberattacks, the annexation of Crimea, and Russian interference in U.S. elections. Washington announced the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats. The Russian Foreign Ministry retaliated. Moscow made it clear that the imposition of sanctions does not help to create favorable conditions for a meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents. However, neither side has given up the idea of holding a summit.