Joe Biden: One year since he was sworn in - How much the US has changed
Within a year, Joe Biden had become a more ruthless president, fighting to save at least some of his promises.
Within a year, Joe Biden had become a more down-to-earth president, fighting to save at least some of his big promises.
On January 20, 2021, on the steps of the Capitol, the 46th President of the United States, who had just been sworn in, assured Abraham Lincoln, the Americans, that their country knew how to "embrace its guardian angels" and stressed that he would put "his whole soul" to "unite" it.
On January 6, 2022, a completely different Joe Biden takes the floor again in the Capitol, a year after the invasion of the building of supporters of former President Donald Trump. "I will not allow anyone to put the knife to the neck of democracy," he said. "I did not seek this battle" against political violence and authoritarian tendencies, but "I will not give it up."
No dialogue with Republicans
There is no longer a question of dialogue with the Republicans, in the opposition, nor of treating his predecessor with contempt. "The goal of the former president and his allies is to exclude anyone who votes against them. It is so simple. The facts have no value anymore. "Your vote no longer has any value," the American president complained a few days later.
The change in rhetoric is obvious to the 79-year-old Democrat, who usually preferred insults to swearing, allusions to scathing criticism. As good-natured as he is, Biden is not popular: according to opinion polls, 42% of Americans have a positive opinion of him.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 58% of Americans believe that democracy will not withstand the division of the country over which violence haunts more than ever: the violence of political attacks, social and racial inequalities, the dead from drug overdose or from firearms.
Joe Biden has vowed to turn the page on the deadly pandemic covid-19, to guarantee the prosperity of the middle class, to restore the international prestige of the USA.
Big promises for a president without real parliamentary power: in the Senate, Democrats have only 50 +1 votes (that of Vice President Kamala Harris) against 50 for Republicans.
"President of the cooperation"
Biden "made a political miscalculation" by saying he "has a real majority to govern" instead of "appearing as a 'co-chair' as he really is," said Corentan Celine, a history professor and chronicler at Les Jours.
His term started well: the US recovery plan was adopted quickly, unemployment fell, the vaccination rate increased covid-19, US allies appeared to be excited about the new president. Joe Biden is based on his personality, which is completely opposite to that of his predecessor.
It is easy for him to make fun and joke, the dramas of his family arouse sympathy. Next to Jill's wife he cultivates the image of a benevolent grandfather: a crib for his grandchildren under the windows of the White House, a dog, Sunday service, ice cream in the freezer.
But his presidency was derailed in the summer of 2021. In July, Biden declared early US "independence" from covid-19, at a time when the Delta strain was still spreading across the country.
He then delayed reacting when the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan proved chaotic. The Americans watched in shock the fall of Kabul, with Biden at his home in Camp David.
The passage of a historic investment investment bill, which was ratified by a vote of some Republicans, gave it a boost in the fall.
But Americans are tired of the pandemic, one wave after another, and are facing rising inflation, which the White House has long sought to curb.
Biden's relations with Xi and Putin
Despite his experience - having served as senator for more than 30 years and vice president for eight years - Biden failed to save two major bills from parliamentary wreckage.
In December, a reluctant senator from the Democrats was forced to freeze the 1,85 trillion plan for social and environmental spending. dollars. The same scenario was repeated in January with a bill aimed at protecting the votes of African Americans and other Democrat minorities, from restrictive laws passed by many southern Republican states.
These states, with the blessing of a Supreme Court that made a conservative turn under Trump, are at odds with Washington over the right to abortion.
On the foreign front, Biden has worked hard to keep open a channel of communication with his Chinese and Russian counterparts, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. But sometimes his team seems to take a cold stance on the provocations of China or Russia or the protests of US allies who feel neglected.
"Everything was based on the rhetoric of a return to normalcy, on the hope of a dialogue beyond party divisions and on dealing with major crises as a matter of priority: covid-19 and economics, "said Lara Brown, a political scientist at George Washington University. But this "optimism combined with the expectation of the people that all these problems would be solved, led Biden and his government to insult."