UPDATE 3/11/21 3:00 PM EDT: President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package that he said will help the U.S. defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health.
The signing came hours before Biden delivers his first prime-time address since taking office.
“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said as he signed the bill in the Oval Office.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: From “lying dog-faced pony soldier” to dog-and-pony show—with the coronavirus in hindsight, President Joe Biden‘s handlers are planning to take him on the road in what could be the comedy hit of the season, or else a major flop.
On Wednesday, Biden set a new milestone in modern-era White House history by going 50 days in office without a single press conference.
With only a few exceptions, in fact, Biden has seemed to avoid public appearances altogether—and with good reason.
Increasingly his always-concerning dementia has gone from the occasional foot-in-mouth gaffes to long sequences of incoherent stream-of-consciousness, even while relying upon an earpiece or teleprompter.
According to a recent poll, 50% of likely voters doubted that the newly elected leader was actually “up to the job,” Breitbart reported.
As the speculation has mounted, White House officials seemed eager to diffuse it.
On Wednesday, they announced the rollout of Phase II in the Biden presidency—starting with his first presidential prime-time address on Thursday, Politico reported.
President Biden is planning more media, a major speech, an address to Congress and a road show featuring VP Kamala Harris — all with an eye on promoting the massive, soon-to-be passed Covid bill.https://t.co/9GDzqSrV00
— POLITICO (@politico) March 10, 2021
Other forthcoming events included his first press conference and even an unscheduled address before Congress, it said.
But most noteworthy of the pending PR blitz was what they described as a “road show” which was slated to prominently feature Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as both the president and First Lady Jill Biden.
The recent passage of a new coronavirus relief bill—laden with left-wing pork spending—figured to be a prominent topic, with Biden touting the long-awaited $1,400 relief checks that many Americans expect to receive.
The payoffs fall short of what former president Donald Trump delivered—a $1,200 check and subsequent $600 check.
And they also failed to live up to Biden’s January campaign-trail promise that he would have $2,000 checks “out the door” if Democrats reclaimed the Senate majority—which they did following two Georgia runoffs.
Nonetheless, Biden’s allies sought to carefully package the messaging with the best possible spin.
“There are a lot of people who use the term ‘victory lap’ in a derogatory way,” said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-SC, according to Politico.
“I’ve already heard people saying that Biden is about to take a victory lap,” Clyburn continued. “Well, that’s a lot of crap. One of the—if not the biggest—mistakes that Obama made, in my opinion, was getting the Recovery Act done and not explaining to people what he had done.”
The so-called American Rescue Plan has been widely criticized among conservatives due to its bailouts on insolvent blue states, foreign aid to countries including China, and other leftist wish-list priorities.
Only about 10% of the appropriations were estimated to go directly back into American pockets.
Some acknowledged that Biden had a tough road ahead swaying public perception, even if he was able to flawlessly execute the mission with no oratory hitches.
“We will need to do some work and use our best voices,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
But some conservative media outlets wondered if selling the stimulus was really the underlying goal of Biden’s first administration reboot.
American Thinker noted that the main goal seemed to be showcasing Kamala Harris and other administration officials who are calling the shots in Biden’s mental absence.
I want every child to know that this is what vice presidents and generals in the United States Armed Forces look like. pic.twitter.com/y2OFL1z29r
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 9, 2021
Republican lawmakers also went on the attack over Biden’s over-reliance on his second-in-command.
I don’t recall anytime in American Presidential history where a VP has hovered so much behind a President.
Why the constant presence of Kamala Harris? pic.twitter.com/HiYefJy2dv
— Tricia Flanagan (R-NJ) (@NewDayForNJ) March 9, 2021
It seemed a stark contrast to the Obama administration, when the president seemed to keep Biden, as his vice president, at arms length much of the time.
Harris, meanwhile, already has prominently filled in for Biden in meetings with major world-leaders.