The Biden honeymoon won’t last

It’s not that the press isn’t willing to take shots at a new administration, it’s that they’re busy lining up the shots they might want to take. Busy compiling dossiers on the president’s team and developing sources in the new administrations, reporters can’t devote as much time to scrutinize him as directly as they’d like. Besides, they just got done doing that during the campaign. We caught a glimpse of Biden’s poor press management skills at the end of the campaign as he snapped at being asked legitimate questions about court-packing and again when the subject was the New York Post piece on his son Hunter. Reporters don’t mind politicians with short fuses or being abused because that’s all part of the job, but at some point, the payback always comes…

Most of the pre-inauguration reportorial energy has gone into criticizing not Biden, but the political wisdom of some of his picks for the top jobs in his administration. Office of Management and Budget designee, Neera Tanden, has generated a lot of hostile copy for being an enemy of the left wing of his party and an annoyance to Republicans. And the consideration of several WestExec Advisors consultancy picks (Tony Blinken, Michèle Flournoy and Avril Haines) for top slots in the new administration has kicked up hundreds of column inches of coverage as an example of revolving-door politics. But neither of these press storms have injured Biden. Quite the opposite: Coverage has teemed with stories about how brilliant and qualified the Biden appointees are compared with Trump’s idiot brigade. Unless the press digs up real muck on the appointees, Biden’s honeymoon will remain as sweet to the nostrils as a bridal bouquet.