Now, I understand why they are doing this. For one thing, it worked like a charm during the campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic gave Biden the perfect excuse to run a tightly scripted campaign. Think of the Democratic National Convention, which was conducted via… Zoom. There was zero chance of a rowdy delegate uprising—which is exactly what you want when you’re the presumptive nominee. Imagine enjoying four years of that!
“[F]rom a strategic standpoint, it makes perfect sense,” a veteran White House correspondent told The Daily Beast regarding the absence of press conferences, “because why would he want to get asked about his predecessor all the time? Or Hunter Biden? There are always going to be uncomfortable questions, no matter who’s in office. But there’s a responsibility issue here that he has just been completely ducking. It’s too cute by half. It seems they’re doing this because they think [taking questions] just throws them off message.”
By demonstrating a disciplined media operation, Team Biden knows they are implicitly showing a stark contrast with Trump’s “shoot-from-the-hip” mentality. We are always fighting the last war; in the case of presidential politics, this means overcorrecting for the last presidency. But as both Trump and COVID-19 start to take a back seat in the news cycle, so too will the media’s willingness to give Biden a pass.